What is a blog? A blog is not a very heavy website. It is in most cases a simple website which is being updated regularly by the website owners and contain quite personalized information on the topic it has been written. Anyone can create a blog. Blog is not just about being a Top Level Domain (TLD) but also can be subdomain as in the case of many big companies. Take any website and you will most certainly find a blog about them which is being updated constantly and contains updates from the owner/business/company. Any person can create a blog and best place to do so would be WordPress in my opinion for its ease to be created and user friendly.
Much said about blogging, much mentioned about blogs but how to make a blog for self anyway? Can anyone write a blog? The answer is yes! Anyone can easily create blogs. I will suggest you to begin with writing on something that you love. Choose the topic carefully of your blog, it should interests you, you must have enough knowledge on that topic so you can write ample. And once you have enough of visitors coming in, you can optimize it for making money as well.
Free Blogging v/s Paid Blogging
There are many websites that will give you choice to create blog for free of cost, without charging you anything. Few names would be Weebly, Webs,yolasite, blogger and wordpress. Out of all these free options available, I will suggest blogger or wordpress the most for the reason that Google loves them both, in fact, blogger is owned by Google itself and I wrote my first free blog on blogger itself. The beauty of these site builders is that you don’t need to know any codes and don’t need to spend a dime to start blogging. They are already very popular and hence your blog can be huge with no time as compared to having your own domain name and working hard on it. If you are new to blogging and want to test drive, I will suggest you to start with blogger or wordpress. And if you have few dollars to spend, you may wanna still use them but get a domain name, a top level domain (TLD) for yourself which will take a while to start showing up on Google but once it does, it will impact hugely and positively.
Paid blogging on the contrary essentially means buying a domain from domain registrars, GoDaddy being the best for me so far and get paid hosting from the hosting providers. Once everything is paid, you get to connect hosting with domain and install WordPress or other CMS on your website. This should work well and once everything is setup, you are ready to start blogging. You control everything unlike the case is of free blogging providers.
Using Google Webmasters and Analytics
You may wanna check and see how your blog is performing once everything is all setup. With wordpress comes Jetpack which is free plugin and using this, you can track your visitors anyway but if you want more insights, Google Analytics would be the better choice. There are many other reliable paid services as well but as a beginner, I am good with Google Analytics. Besides, Google provides you webmaster tools which can be used in integration with Analytics to see insights about your website, indesing and ranking status.
You can use all the data gathered from this and use this information to choose the best affiliate program that might suit your blog. The data like what is the major geographical source of your blog can help you finding better programs which will suit your blog.
Monetizing your blog
Once your blog is up and running fine, you can go for monetizing it using either Google Adsense or Affiliate marketing. You may even sell your own product like tees or caps and stuff but that might cost you little more because of the manufacturing cost. To begin with, just have Google Adsense and see how it goes. And you can always keep looking for various products in the niche of your blog.
I will say that blogging is not a big challenge and if you are passionate about some topic and can find enough time to write on the topic, you can do blogging. Not only it will get you some time passed easily but also can get you to make money passively. Even if you can write once or twice a week, just couple of articles in a week, that would be enough. Important is to keep updating your blog so that search engines will understand that your blog is active and live, being regularly updated and hence posts will show up on the top.