How to Migrate Your WordPress Site to BlueHost

Website migrations are complex and these complexities are not always simplified with WordPress blog or sites. There are a number of steps that should be followed in the correct sequence to ensure a proper migration.  If done incorrectly you may experience website downtime.

Please make sure to read through this entire guide before initiating your website migration.

Step One: Setup Your New BlueHost Account

I recommend using BlueHost because of their reliability and cost-effectiveness.  In addition, in my experience their customer support has been top-notch, which is particularly nice to have when you are doing something like migrating your site.

Disclosure: The Blog Starter receives a commission when you purchase a BlueHost package through our link.

Use this link to get the discounted rate of $2.75 per month on a BlueHost package.

Bluehost offers a number of packages.  For most people the Starter plan will be fine (if you are just hosting 1 site), or get the Plus plan if are hosting multiple sites.

Step 2: Create FTP Credentials in Your Existing Hosting Account

In the cPanel of your existing hosting account, navigate to FTP Accounts usually under the “Files” heading.

Add a new FTP account by filling in the user name and password. Often, a file path under “Directory” will be automatically created. Delete this file path completely so that your new FTP account will have ROOT access.

Make sure the quota is set to “Unlimited” and click “Create FTP Account”. Make sure to notate your new FTP account password.

You should see the new account at the bottom of this page. Click “Configure FTP Client” next to the new account and then notate the User Name, Host Name, and port number.

Step 3: Download Filezilla

Filezilla is a free FTP client and is the most commonly used. You can download this software here. After downloading the installation file, click “run” to begin setup.

Step 4: Connect to Your Server

Once Filezilla is installed on your machine, open the program and under “File” click “Site Manager”. Here you’ll be setting up the connection to your existing server. Add in the hostname and port from above, and then your username and password.

Click “Connect” to begin the connection.

Note: If you’re unable to connect, try adding @yourdomainname.com to the User Name. If that doesn’t work, you may need to call your hosting provider to troubleshoot.

Step 5: Download Your Files

On your local machine, create a new file folder where you will be able to transfer all of your website files and remember its location.

In Filezilla and connected to your server, navigate using the top right window to the file folder containing your website files. Usually, this is under the public_html file. If you click on the public_html folder, the files within this folder will appear on the bottom right window.

Your website files may be in a different folder within the public_html folder. Locate the appropriate folder and open it.

In the top left window, navigate to the empty folder you created on your machine. Open the folder by clicking on the + icon to the left of the folder name. The empty folder will open in the left bottom window.

In the RIGHT bottom window, click on the first folder and then scroll down to the very last file, press and hold the SHIFT button and click the last file. All files and folders should be highlighted.

Drag and drop all of the highlighted files and folders into the bottom LEFT window by pressing and holding the CTRL button and clicking on any file/folder and dragging them over.

The download will begin in the bottom window. This will take some time. There are a LOT of files in WordPress. And don’t worry, you’re only copying the files, not removing them!

Go have a cup of coffee. Or move on to the next step which you can do while the download is running.

Step 6: Download Your Database

In the cPanel of your existing server, navigate to phpMyAdmin under Database.

On the lefthand side, click on your website’s database.

Note: If you have many databases, and you’re not sure which one it is, take a look at your website’s wp-config file and notate the database name. That’s the one you’re looking for.

With this database file open on the left, click on “Export” in the top menu of phpMyAdmin. Keep the export at “Quick” and the format as “SQL”. Click “Go”. This will download the SQL file onto your machine. It’s a fairly quick process.

Step 7: Create a New Database

In the cPanel of your new Bluehost hosting account, navigate to MySQL Databases.

First, create a new database. Give it any name you like next to the designated prefix and click “Create Database”.

Next, scroll down to the bottom of this screen to create a “User” attached to this database. Under “Create User” add a new user name and password, and click “Create User”.

Under “Add User to the Database”, select the user you created and the new database you created, and click “Add”.

Note: Remember to notate the name of the user and database (with the prefixes!).

Step 8: Upload Your Database

Access the phpMyAdmin of your new Bluehost server in the same manner described above. Select the new database you just created on the left-hand side.

Navigate to “Import” on the top menu. Here, you can browse from your computer and select the SQL file you recently downloaded. At the bottom of the screen, select “Go”. This will upload your database and your new DB will show on the left-hand side of the screen momentarily.

Step 9: Create an FTP account in Bluehost

Using the same method described above for creating an FTP account, create a new FTP account in Bluehost, remembering to notate your credentials.

Step 10: Connect to the BlueHost Server

Assuming your download is complete (Do NOT disconnect if it is not complete! Wait until the transfer is done!), under File and Site Manager of Filezilla, click “New Site”.

Using your new BlueHost FTP credentials, and the method described above, connect to your Bluehost server.

The local file containing your WordPress files and folders should be already showing in your left-hand window. In the right-hand top window, your server, navigate to public_html or to the file you would like to store your WordPress site.

Using the method above to select all files, move all files and folders from the bottom left-hand window to the right-hand window.

Again, this will take a while. Go walk the dog.

Step 11: Adjust the WP-config file

Once all of the files have been uploaded, access your Bluehost cPanel and navigate to the file manager. Then navigate to the folder where you’ve uploaded all WordPress files. Open the wp-config.php file in the editor.

Change the DB_NAME to your new database name, the DB_USER to the new database user name, and the DB_PASSWORD to the new password you just created.

The DB_HOST is normally ‘localhost’ and you won’t need to change this. However, if you have a VPS, the hostname might be different.

Step 12: Is there an SSL?

If your existing website has an SSL certificate installed, you will need to have one installed on your new hosting account for the same domain before you point your site over. Contact Bluehost and make sure the SSL is installed and ready to go.

Step 13: Point Your Domain

Now that your files and the database have been transferred, you can point your domain over to Bluehost. You can achieve this by changing the nameservers or by creating DNS records.

Navigate to the domain registry where your domain is registered. Select your domain to manage the DNS and find the nameserver section. Change the nameservers to:

ns1.bluehost.com

ns2.bluehost.com

It can take up to 24 hours to propagate to all servers, but most of the time your site should be working correctly within 1-2 hours. Keep checking your domain and make sure everything looks good. If you have a database error, recheck your config file for the proper credentials.

Note: Changing the nameservers will also change the email to Bluehost. Log into your Bluehost account and create new email accounts.

Note: Domains registered through GoDaddy often encounter trouble with changes to the nameservers, especially with SSL. Rather than changing the nameservers, make DNS entries instead of altering the nameservers.

Six Comprehensive Strategies for Increasing Blog Traffic

You have a blog and you’ve been writing for weeks, maybe even months or years, but the traffic is lackluster. You’ve been putting in the time and effort, so where are the hordes of people who should have found your content by now? Where is your audience?

Blogs are rarely set-and-go assets. They require daily work that goes beyond the scope of writing and posting to acquire a growing audience and maximum views.

The six major arms of blog traffic growth are: Calendar, Content, Social, Engagement, SEO, and Advertising. Each segment offers a number of methods any blogger can and should use to increase traffic at supersonic levels.

Calendar

Create an editorial calendar: Create a writing calendar and stick to it. This could be writing Monday-Friday, as an example, and could even include different subjects or themes for each of the days involved.

Regularity: One your editorial calendar has been established, do not  – under any circumstances – stray from this calendar. If you plan on a vacation, write posts and schedule them for the days you’ll be absent.

Your schedule is monitored by search engines: As you start posting on a regular schedule and with frequency, search engines will begin scraping your site with the same regularity. Your posting schedule sets the schedule for search engine bots. Imagine that!

Content

Know your material: If you’re writing about how to get rich online and, in reality, you’re flat broke and know nothing about online businesses, readers will know. You don’t have to have a Ph.D. in your field, but you should be passionate about your blogging niche, be able to provide interesting, relevant, and educational information, and be knowledgeable in general.

Know your audience: People who are interested in the topic you blog about – this is your audience. This can vary from blog post to blog post. For example, one post may be geared toward those who understand technical terminology within your field while another post may be geared toward potential new audience members who don’t know much about your topic but want to know more.

Imagery: Include images in your blog posts. Try to use your own photos or manipulate stock photos to create a cohesive look. People are visual and often initially attracted to the imagery.

Video: Selfmade videos are a powerful way to bring people to your blog. Video platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo allow you to upload your own videos, providing you with bits of code to place those videos on your own blog while using their bandwidth and video speed strength. Better yet, these platforms have the ability to drive traffic straight to your blog on their own.

Lists: With long-winded articles, people can get bored which, in turn, can cause a high bounce rate. Break up your content into smaller, readable portions such as lists and shorts bursts of information within subheaders.

Evergreen: Make sure your articles can withstand the test of time. A blog post about “The Best Places to Eat in Portland, Maine” written ten years ago will most certainly have no relevance today when restaurants come and go. Either refresh your posts that have gone stale (updating them yearly) or write “Evergreen” posts that will withstand the passage of time.

Guest Contributors and Posting: Encourage guests posts from those in your field who are admired or well known. In the same vein, offer to contribute guests posts (with a backlink) to blogs within your field of expertise.

Social Media

Inspire curiosity with a great title: Sharing your blog post on social media will display the title and a snippet. That title should be amazing. Create an irresistible blog title that will cause people to click the link with urgency. They must know more!

Find your people: Find groups and communities on social media platforms devoted to your interest or a variation of it. When you find your people, share your posts there and like-minded individuals will follow.

Social sharing buttons: Include social sharing buttons on your blog posts. It makes it easy for people who want to share your information to do so.

Reshare old content: Recently updated content or blog posts that are suddenly relevant again can be reshared on social media platforms. Think about using this strategy at least once per week.

Engage

Use a comment system: Allow readers to leave comments and encourage the use of your comment system by asking readers questions and/or their opinions.

Employ giveaways: Contests and giveaways can have a viral effect, especially if you set a condition for entry by requiring the post to be reposted, liked, or tweeted by the entrant.

Use USG (User Generated Content): A common way for bloggers to gather USG is through Reddit. Pose a question to people in your related interest groups, and utilize their answers. The same method can be used on other social media platforms.

Encourage email signups: Add an email sign-up box on your blog that captures emails to be used by an email system such as Constant Contact. Sending monthly recap emails remind your audience of your existence and brings back readers.

SEO

Use keywords: Use the most relevant keywords multiple times in your copy, in your headings, in your metadata, and in your image alt tags. Don’t overdo it, but make sure they are used more than once.

Use links: Linking to high-ranking, relevant, authority sites is a powerful way to signal to Google and other search engines that you can be trusted.

Crosslink your articles: A great way to “connect the dots” and create a hierarchy of related pages within search engine indices is to crosslink your own posts. Link to related posts that might be of value to the reader for the current post.

Write long articles: If you’re looking for better rankings on search engines, write long articles – the longer the better. Google gives a nearly disproportionate amount of weight to longer articles – the more information, the better.

Advertise

Spend the money: Advertising online can cost a pretty penny, but the stakes are worth it when building your audience. Online advertising delivers highly targeted traffic straight to your site, readers who are genuinely interested in what you have to say. It is definitely something to consider.


Each fundamental strategy for blog traffic growth has multiple facets, and each of these facets can be discussed in great detail. Conduct your own research on each facet and work to employ all items in your daily blogging schedule.

Happy blogging!

How To Transfer From Wix to WordPress

How To Migrate Your Wix Website to WordPress

The Wix platform is alluring for new and small businesses when they are able to get a website up and running quickly on a limited budget. But after a while, this allure fades with the realization of major limitations and the need to pay for each and every plugin and module that soon becomes a necessity.

A WordPress hosted website is hard to beat and the statistics speak for themselves. Over 30% of all websites use the WordPress codex for many reasons: a vast repository of completely free plugins and tools, superior SEO, thousands of free themes, and a much easier platform for customizing.

With Wix feeling a steady loss of customers to WordPress, they recently disabled their RSS feed, a tool commonly used to transfer blogs, in an effort to staunch the steady flow of Wix customers jumping ship for WordPress by making it more difficult for customers to transfer data.

If you have an older Wix site, you may still have a feed. But if your website is newer on Wix, you may have no feed and might have to take manual steps for a transfer.

Let’s explore the steps needed to be taken in order for you to transfer your site from Wix to WordPress without a loss in traffic or SERPs (Search Engine Results Placement).

1) Sign Up For WordPress Hosting

A web hosting company will give you space on a web server where you can install WordPress. This sounds complicated, but the process is actually pretty simple.

For WordPress sites I personally recommend using BlueHost.com as your web host. BlueHost has been recommended by WordPress since 2005, and currently hosts several million websites. WordPress also comes pre-installed, which makes this whole process much easier.

Disclosure: BlueHost compensates me when you purchase with this discount link, so all of my help is free of charge to you! Contact me if you have any problems transferring from Wix to WordPress.

Once you complete your registration with BlueHost you can continue with the steps below to get everything migrated over from Wix.

2) Get A Temporary Domain

Since your domain is likely tied up with Wix, you can start building your new website straight away on a temporary domain provided to you for free with your web hosting plan.

3) Log In to WordPress

You can log in to WordPress directly from your BlueHost dashboard.

Alternatively, you can log in to the backend of WordPress using your temporary domain with /wp-admin appended to the URL.

http://yourtemporarydomain.com/wp-admin

4) Pick a Theme and Customize

In the backend of WordPress, also known as the dashboard, navigate to Appearance > Themes.

At the top of the next screen, select “Add New”.

Here you can search through the WordPress Repository for thousands of free themes. Search by popularity, or the newest, or by using the feature filter to find specific needs. You can even use the search bar to find a possible theme related to your business through the use of keywords.

Once you find the perfect theme, download it and then activate it.

You can customize the theme by navigating to Appearance > Customize on the left side of the dashboard. And to view your progress at any time, simply view the site in a separate browser tab without the /wp-admin in the URL.

4) Create a Menu and Pages

Take note of your existing pages on Wix and create the same ones on your new site.

Easily create all of the pages you need by navigating to Pages > Add New.

Title each page, leaving the body blank for now, and save them. Don’t forget to create a “Home” and “Blog” page. After these two pages are created, navigate to Settings > Reading to set your Home and Blog (Posts) page.

Once you’re done, navigate to Appearance > Menus and click the link to “Create a New Menu”.

Fill your new menu with the top-level pages you just created by dragging and dropping them over from the left module and save when you’re done. Don’t forget to set the menu position which is theme dependent. It is usually the “Main Menu” position.

5) Set Your Permalinks

Navigate to Settings > Permalinks to change your URL structure which is a good step to take prior to your move.

Change the Permalinks structure to “Post Name” and click Save Settings.

6) Transferring Your Data

Now that you have your WordPress website ready to go, it’s time to transfer your data. And this is where it gets tricky. There are several methods and parts that can be employed. The two main methods are manual (free) and automatic (paid). With the free manual method, you may be able to transfer the blog quickly and easily if your Wix account has an RSS feed.

If you want to use a paid plugin to transfer everything quickly and automatically, skip to Option Two: Automatic.

Option One: Manual (Free)

1) Determine if your Wix website has an RSS feed. You can do this by navigating to your Wix website and appending /feed.xml or /blog-feed.xml to your URL. If you don’t have a custom domain and instead have a Wix subdomain, use the URL:

username.wixsite.com/blogname/feed.xml

or

username.wixsite.com/blogname/blog-feed.xml

If one of these URLs produces a feed, right-click anywhere on the feed and click “Save As” to save the XML file to your computer.

Now, let’s import all of your blog posts through the WordPress RSS feed importer.

In your WordPress dashboard, navigate to Tools> Import, and under RSS, click “Install Now”.

When the “Run Importer” link appears, go ahead and click it. Next, click “Choose File” and select the XML file you recently downloaded, and then simply run the import. Depending on how many blog posts you have, it may take anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes.

When the import is complete, check to see if your posts have been uploaded. Navigate to Posts > All Posts and confirm all of your blog posts have been uploaded.

While the blog posts are there, we encounter another problem: the images are not hosted on your site. But there is another quick and easy fix.

Navigate to Plugins > Add New and conduct a search for “Auto Upload Images”. When the plugin appears, download it and then activate it. This plugin will look for external images and then upload them to your server, but only when a page/post is saved.

The plugin works automatically when you open up any post and save it by looking for an external image and then uploading and replacing it.

If you have many blog posts, you can save them all simultaneously by going to Posts > All Posts and selecting “Screen Options”. Change the “Number of Items Per Page” to 999 and then click “Apply”. This will display all blog posts on one page.

Now you can tick the very top checkbox above all posts which will then check all blog posts automatically. Change the dropdown to “Edit” and then click “Apply”. This will open a box under the first blog post. Click “Update” and all of your posts will be saved, automatically uploading and replacing all images.

To make sure this worked, navigate to Media > Library, and confirm all images have been uploaded. It may take several minutes for all images to appear.

When you’re satisfied that all images have been uploaded, deactivate and remove this image uploader plugin.

Now that your blog has been moved over, the next step is to import your pages. Unfortunately, this must be done manually through copying and pasting the text. There is no automatic importer for pages.

And if you have no RSS feed, all blog posts must also be copied over manually.

Option Two: Automatic (Paid)

This option will transfer all posts, pages, and images to your new site with a click of a button. And it’s very inexpensive to boot! Pricing depends on the number of pages and posts you have.

CMS2CMS provides plugin software for a variety of platforms, and they are commonly used for Wix to WordPress migrations. You cannot download this plugin from the WordPress repository.

Navigate to CMS2CMS and visit the pricing page.

Change the first box to Wix and the second box to WordPress. Change the number of estimated pages and taxonomies, and the system will give you an estimated price. Next, try the demo to see it in action.

CMS2CMS will provide you with the plugin and instructions for use. It is easy, affordable, and they have great customer support with – gasp! – real people at the helm!

7) Make a List of Your URLs

Now that you have pulled your content over, it’s time to make the final switchover as long as you’re okay with your new site’s appearance. First, make a list of all URLs (all pages and posts) on your existing Wix site. For posts, you don’t need to list every single blog post URL- just note the structure of one blog post URL.

8) Point Your Domain

Who has control over your domain name? If your domain is hosted by Wix, you will need to transfer your domain to your new hosting provider. Simply log into your Wix account, navigate to your Subscriptions and then click on “Domains” in the dropdown. Choose your domain and then select the “Advanced” tab. Choose “Transfer Away from Wix” and you will receive a code.

Use this code in the domain section of your hosting provider to transfer the domain to you.

If the domain is somewhere else in your ownership, you can simply point the domain to your new server by altering the nameservers. Your hosting provider will give you the nameservers.

When the domain is pointed to your server, it often takes 24 hours to propagate globally.

9) Change Your Domain References

Your website is likely built using the temporary URL. Therefore, we need to change all references to this URL to the new one.

Navigate to Plugins > Add New and search for Better Search Replace. Download and activate this plugin.

Now navigate to Tools > Better Search Replace and you’ll find an easy-to-use interface. This plugin will replace all references of your temporary URL with the new one.

In the “search for” bar, enter your temporary URL. There may be variations such as with or without an http or https.

And then choose to replace it with your new URL.

TAKE CARE TO MAKE SURE THE URLS MATCH. A full temporary URL should replace a full new URL. If one has a trailing slash at the end, so should the other. You do not want to replace tempurl.com with a URL with https:// because it will then be rewritten as http://https//newurl.com in many cases.

When you are certain you have the correct URLs, highlight all tables, click “Replace GUIDs”, uncheck “Dry Run”, and run the search/replace.

When finished, you will have to log back in again using the same credentials, but under the new domain.

10) Redirect The URLs

You’re almost done!

Compare the list of Wix URLs to your new URLs. There may be some differences in URL structure. If so, let’s create some redirects to make sure we tell Google and other search engines, as well as visitors following old links, that the pages have been moved.

Navigate to Plugins > Add New and search for Redirection. When you find the plugin, install and activate it.

After activating, you’ll notice a message at the top of your screen.

Redirection needs to make changes to your database. Click the link and proceed with the updates which take a couple of steps.

Once finished, navigate to Tools > Redirection. Here, add in your old URL slug and the new one. Then click “Add Redirect”. You can test to see if the old URL is redirected to the new one in a new browser window.

Once all redirects are in place, you’re officially transferred over. Congratulations!

How to Embed PDF Files in WordPress Posts

Traditionally, PDF documents are uploaded to your media bank in WordPress and then linked through a “Download Now” button. Because PDFs are not images, the WordPress editor is not able to display the PDF directly on the page or post.

If you try to embed a PDF by uploading the PDF into your media bank, and then selecting that PDF to insert into a page or post, you will see a blank image representing the PDF.

Selecting the PDF will only provide the title in your text editor. There will be no image and no PDF link. Simply put, it doesn’t work.

But there is a way to display PDFs on your WordPress website with a handy plugin.

How to embed PDFs in your WordPress Post

Navigate to the backend of your WordPress dashboard and go to your plugins page. Click “Add New” to search the WordPress repository, and conduct a search for “PDF Embedder”.

Click the “Install Now” button next to PDF Embedder (there are other options, make sure to select the correct title!) and after it has finished downloading, activate the plugin.

PDF Embedder has “Activate and Go” capabilities, meaning it isn’t necessary to edit the settings or copy shortcode for this plugin to work. You’re ready to add your PDFs directly to your website! And it’s as easy as adding media.

Using the embedder with the classic editor

Create a new page or post and select the “Add Media” tab.

Just as would with a normal image, select the PDF from the media bank or upload it. When you are done with the selection, a piece shortcode will be automatically created and populated within the text editor.

Most likely, you won’t be able to see the image in your editor. But if you save the post as a draft or publish it, you will be able to see it on the front end.

Voila! The PDF will automatically resize to fit the container where it is placed.

To change the sizing, you can find the plugin’s settings in your dashboard under “Settings”.

In the PDF Embedder settings, you can change the width or height of the PDF display. This will change the dimensions for all PDFs embedded with this plugin.

Changing the width to 300 and keeping the height set to max will yield this result:

If you would rather not change the universal settings, you can alternatively manipulate height or width by editing the shortcode directly. This way, only the PDF you’re working on is affected.

You can find more shortcode manipulations for PDF Embedder here.

Using the embedder with the new block editor

In the new block editor or with builders such as Divi, you can create columns and blocks with definitive widths set so that you don’t need to edit the size of the PDF.

In your new post, set the columns and blocks as you would like the post to appear. Within the chosen column where you want to embed a PDF, click “Add Block”.

The block editor will provide an option for PDF Embedder as its own block. Select this option.

You will then see “Click Here” text to insert your media.

The PDF Embedder settings are set to max size, but the PDF will display perfectly to fit the max width of that specific container.

Embedding a multi-page PDF

The PDF Embedder handles this for you and there are no additional steps that need to be taken. Once the PDF has been embedded, only the first page will show. But if you hover over the PDF on the front end, directional tabs will appear at the bottom, enabling the user to easily flip through the pages within the container.

And that’s it! Not so terribly tough, is it? We hope this article helped you!

How to use your GoDaddy domain name with BlueHost

If you have your domain registered with GoDaddy and a hosting account with BlueHost, you do not need to transfer domain ownership to Bluehost. In fact, it’s highly advisable that you keep your domains and hosting accounts separate in order to minimize loss in the event of account corruption or disruption.

To use your GoDaddy domain and build on a BlueHost hosting account, you must change the nameservers of your domain to point to your Bluehost account.

Step One: Copy and paste the BlueHost nameserver details

Take note of the Bluehost nameservers. They are:

NS1.bluehost.com

NS2.bluehost.com

Step Two: Change the nameservers on GoDaddy

Log into your GoDaddy account and go to your products page. Under the Domains heading, select “DNS” next to the domain you want to point to BlueHost.

Scroll down to the Nameservers heading and click “Change”.

You will be given the option to choose your Nameserver type. Default is the option set for hosting on GoDaddy. To change your nameserver destination, you’ll need to select “Custom”.

Enter the nameservers for Bluehost, copied from above, and then click “Save”.

Step Three: Make sure the domain is entered in your BlueHost account

**Note** It usually takes a full 24 hours for nameserver DNS propagation from the GoDaddy servers. Therefore, you might not be able to work with your new site under your domain for a full day.

Option One: If you set your up Bluehost account with the domain name in question, you won’t need to add it again. Build your site, if you haven’t already, within the /public_html file.

Option Two: If this domain is new to your BlueHost account, you will need to add the domain as an “Addon” domain.

Navigate to “Domains” in your BlueHost account.

Next, select “Assign a domain to your cPanel account”.

Enter the domain that is not already associated with the account. Do not use the http:// or www headers.

BlueHost will analyze the domain and verify ownership by checking to see if the nameservers on GoDaddy have been properly set to the above BlueHost nameservers. Since you have done this already, verification will be complete.

Under Step 3, make sure “Addon Domain” is selected.

Step 4 will ask you to choose your Addon and subdomain directories. It will automatically assign and create a directory based on the name of the domain you entered. As long as you are okay with this creation, click “Assign this Domain”. Otherwise, you can enter a different folder name.

You are done! It’s a good practice to wait a full day before beginning your build or working with the website after a nameserver change. This is only due to the delay in full nameserver change propagation which is typically completed in 24 hours.

How to Choose the Perfect Blog Topic for You

With the ever-expanding reach of the Internet and an audience of web surfers that continues to grow on a minute-by-minute basis, you can still easily make money by niche blogging. You don’t have to start with a huge following or be famous to attain a reasonable, money-making digital reach.

There are only three things that are required. The three Ps of blogging:

1. Passion

2. Patience

3. Perseverance

Passion: Don’t pick a blog topic on the basis of profitability alone. Select an appropriate niche for you. What do you love? What consumes your thoughts? What topic do you annoy your friends with the most? If you find a niche involving your passion, you’ll never run out of topics to write about.

Patience: Realizing profit from blogging takes time. It will never be instantaneous. It takes time and effort to develop an audience and organic traffic through a healthy relationship with search engines, otherwise known as SEO.

Perseverance: Haven’t made a dime after a month? Don’t give up! Keep developing content, keep to a regular schedule, and have fun while doing it. If you build it, ‘they’ will come.

So what is a blog ‘niche’, anyway?

A blog niche is a smaller, more defined category or market segment.

Examples:

Main category: Dogs
Niche category: Dog training

Main category: Book Reviews
Niche category: Contemporary Young Adult Fiction

Main category: Hollywood Gossip
Niche category: Arrested A-listers

The perfect niche for you could be absolutely anything – the possibilities are endless! Think about what you love, where your passion is. Then take that idea, and narrow it down a little further. You could whittle it down based on geography or to a subcategory within your passion, or both.

If you think there wouldn’t be any interest in your field of choice, you would be wrong. No matter how prosaic or boring you think your passion might be to others, there will be a surplus of web surfers out there who will manage to find your musings. And you, in your little corner of the massive World Wide Web, may just be the one to inspire and engage on this front.

There are also ways to organically capture and drive traffic to your blog with surfers who wouldn’t have ended up there ordinarily – but we’ll get into that later.

The 10 Most Profitable Blog Topics

Naturally, there are blog categories that are more profitable than others. This doesn’t mean that you should jump into one of these categories. However, if your passion involves any of these ‘biggies’, you might want to consider using a part of that theme in your niche selection.

Each of these categories has a number of topics that can be extrapolated and developed.

1. How to Make Money Online

This is the obvious number one money-making blog category, aptly and hilariously so. This article serves as a niche in this very category: making money from home by niche blogging.

Successful Niche Example: Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse teaches people how to run a successful money-making blog on his site ProBlogger, and rakes in an estimated $40,000 per month in doing so.

Darren Rowse took the main theme of making money online and turned it into a niche by showing people how to earn an income online through blogging. His success is stunning and only proves that niche blogging certainly does pad the bank account.

2. Personal Finance

This category isn’t about making money, but about money and asset management. It can be broken down further into investing, currency, budgeting, saving, and other aspects of personal finance.

Successful Niche Example: Rosemarie Groner

Rosemarie Groner’s successful money and household budgeting blog called Busy Budgeter brings in an estimated $86,000 per month, give or take.

Groner took the main category of personal finance and helmed a niche blog on family budgeting geared toward disorganized people. It was the perfect gap filler that she now dominates.

3. Health and Fitness

New fitness and diet fads, healthy living, and online weight loss venues are all the rage.

Successful Niche Example: Jessica Castaneda

Jessica’s fitness blog Easy Living Today is positively attractive, and she’s bringing in a reported $20,000 per month by staying active in life and on the keyboard.

She began a blog within the main category of health and fitness and narrowed it down to her niche of meal planning, especially for busy moms. It was a home run of an idea.

4. Recipes

How many times have you looked up recipes online? A recipe site along with its numerous recipe and food niches can bring in plenty of traffic.

Successful Niche Example: Jennifer Debth

Jennifer Debth’s website and blog called Show Me the Yummy pulls in a whopping $46,000 per month.

Jennifer began a blog in the main category of recipes, and then made a niche for herself by creating and posting “easy” recipes. Because of this strategy, she dominates the search engine results with listings for easy recipes.

5. Beauty and Fashion

Again, the possibilities are endless. From make-up tutorials to hairstyle directions to before-and-afters, to clothes design or reviews, anything goes!

Successful Niche Example: Chiara Ferragni

Chiara’s fashion blog The Blonde Salad has been running for ten years and has turned into a monster. Her own fashion brand and website brings in an estimated $200,000 per month.

Chiara began a beauty and fashion blog with a high emphasis on making her own identity and brand stick out. By doing so, she became a top influencer in fashion years ago.

6. Personal Development

Otherwise known as life coaching, this category draws in the crowds. I’m sure you can already think of a few people off the top of your head who are life coaches or gurus dedicated to self-improvement and achieving happiness.

Successful Niche Example: Gina Trapani

A simple site dedicated to life hacks, Gina Trapani’s site Life Hacker is reported to bring in $110,000 per month.

This personal development site filled a great niche with simple, fun life hacks. These tidbits of wisdom are perfect for sharing, and she went viral.

7. Arts and Crafts

Widely-searched and investigated, DIY arts and crafts sites score a ton of traffic.

Successful Niche Example: Abby Lawson

Abby Lawson’s site is a mix of home organization and decorating that people have come to know and love. Her site brings in an estimated $41,000 per month.

Abby began a blog in the arts and crafts category but truly narrowed it down to focus on organization and home decorating crafts for families and moms. She owns the area now!

8. Parenting

As the population grows, so do the number of people entering parenthood. First-timers gravitate toward parenting wisdom in droves.

Successful Niche Example: Heather B. Armstrong

This personal blog isn’t so much about parenting but involves motherhood with some snark and comical attitude. Heather Armstrong’s blog Dooce brings in an estimated $50,000 per month.

Armstrong began a blog in the parenting category and infused it with her own brand of humor, distinguishing herself from other mommy blogs easily.

9. Travel

Travel blogs capture traffic from all types of users. People do their research before taking a vacation or traveling to a location for work. They might just find your content!

Successful Niche Example: Heather and Pete Reese

Mr. and Mrs. Reese run a family travel blog called It’s a Lovely Life. The money they make from the blog supports their traveling lifestyle. Imagine making around $170,000 per month just from a blog – because they do!

The Reeses ventured into the travel blogging category, and emerged with their own particular niche of traveling with the family and with kids.

10. Marketing

Advertising has primarily moved from paper to digital, with the latter offering a larger variety of ways to market a business such as email marketing, website design, landing pages, pay-per-click ads, and more.

Successful Niche Example: Neil Patel

Neil Patel is one of the most prolific and successful bloggers in the history of blogging and he focuses on website marketing. He’s publicized his own earnings of over $350,000 per month.

Mr. Patel began a blog in the marketing category and owned his own niche with online marketing. A very successful move.

How Can You Find a Great Niche?

If you’re looking to make money online, which you surely are, the blog niche should be profitable. You want to find a niche that has the potential for making money. At the same time, this niche should be something you know a lot about, something you’re passionate about and be within an area where you would contribute to the community through depth of knowledge.

It might seem like a tall order, but we have some steps you can take to help find your perfect blog niche.

Pick something you love to talk about

If you love to talk about it, you probably know a lot about the subject. It is fundamentally imperative that your chosen subject is something you love to discuss because you’ll be writing up articles on the subject on a regular basis, hopefully daily. When people are out of fresh ideas, that’s when they drop the ball and stop posting on their blog. And if they’re not posting, they’re not making any money.

You don’t have to be an absolute expert by any means. The passion you imbue into your posts is what makes the real difference. Each topic should be something you’re absolutely excited about. Your excitement will be contagious and your post will stimulate dialogue. That’s what you want!

Do Market Research

The subject you pick should have a steady amount of interest and there are a few ways to determine online interest level.

Visit Google Trends and search for your term using a five-year analysis. For example, let’s say you wanted to enter the recipe category and narrow it down to healthy dessert recipes. Running a check on ‘Healthy Desserts’ yields the type of chart you want to see.

The numbers on the left are not the number of searches completed, but the interest level on a scale of 0-100. What you want to see for interest is a steady interest in the middle. In this case, ‘Healthy Desserts’ provides a great opportunity for a niche blog.

If you receive a chart that appears to be declining over time, you’ll want to try another topic. Another type of chart to avoid is one the varies wildly and often hits zero.

As you can see, the subject peaks regularly during the holidays but spends most of its time near the bottom. A term yielding these results would be difficult to monetize.

Take a look at the competition

You can get a great idea of the competition you’ll face with a Google search. Conduct a search and see what results come up. Once again, we’ll use the ‘Healthy Desserts’ key term.

There are a couple of things you’ll want to take into consideration on the search results.

The first is the number of results pulled at the very top. This example shows 570 million results. That’s your competition and it’s quite a large number. This doesn’t mean there are 570 million website competitors, but rather pages, many belonging to the same website.

If you scroll down to look at the top results, we find that most of the results reveal an article based on this topic, but not a website itself. So if you were to start a blog called Healthy Desserts, there is potential to run the search engine results because keywords in a domain name have more search engine power than in an article title.

So far, ‘Healthy Desserts’ is looking good.

However, if you find too much direct competition, you can break this topic down even further by doing a related search. Scroll down to the bottom of the search results, and you’ll find searches related to ‘Healthy Desserts’.

“Easy Healthy Desserts’ or ‘Healthy Desserts for Kids’ are possible contenders.

The next step is to see how many monthly searches are conducted for your search term. Head on over to Google’s Keyword Planner and navigate to ‘Keyword Ideas’.

Conduct a search for your niche idea’s key term. Again, we will try ‘Healthy Desserts’.

Perfect results. This is what you’re looking for. I think we may have inadvertently discovered a blog niche with amazing potential.

The results show high monthly searches of 10k – 100k. This is an enormous amount of potential traffic. Better yet, the competition is low. This competition relates to PPC advertising.

Try a few different variations to find your best possible niche.

Test Profitability

The goal is to make money. You can easily see if your niche idea is profitable by investigating ads placed for your key terms. If companies are shelling out money to advertise on Google, the site is making money from the placement of these ads.

Your main term may be too broad for PPC ads, but if you find ads placed under related searches, your niche is likely profitable. Otherwise, companies wouldn’t be paying for ads based on those key terms.

If companies are paying for ads within your niche subject, they’ll pay for ads on your site. That’s how you monetize. That’s the end game. You can use Amazon Adsense or profit with affiliate marketing or a combination of both.

Common Mistakes Made by New Bloggers Looking for a Topic

There are a few common pitfalls many first-time bloggers fall into while trying to find the perfect blog niche.

Forcing or searching for your passion

Let’s face it, not everyone has something they are absolutely and utterly devoted to. If you are not sure what your passion is, don’t force it. Because that’s not passion.

Being passionate about something happens over the years. That yearning and burning about a particular topic is a drive that is developed over time, and not suddenly discovered.

While you may not have this devoted passion, you likely have a deep interest in something. Maybe many things. Starting a blog and blogging about that topic will help develop that passion we’re talking about.

But the wrong thing to do is go searching for it. As I said before, it’s not something to be discovered or awakened within. It is something you cultivate over time.

Choosing a category that is too broad

If your category is far too broad, fewer searches will find your blog posts. You’ll be drowned in a sea of competitors and related searches. And there will be nothing to set you apart.

If your subject material is too broad, you’ll fail to motivate a large enough crowd. Without motivation, you won’t gather a regular audience. This is why it is truly important to whittle down your blogging idea into a smaller, more profitable niche.

Shying away from competition

Healthy competition is great in a free market society. Competition keeps prices low, improves quality, provides choice, inspires innovation, and encourages all participants to do better in general.

Don’t be frightened of the competition. If you discover a great niche with plenty of traffic and there is another blogging competitor out there, don’t toss the idea simply because you think, “Oh, I’ll never capture traffic with that competitor.” If the search traffic is there, you will capture your fair share.

You can also learn from your competition. By studying your competitor, you can see what works and possibly improve upon the idea. This is how competition generally makes us better.

Not blogging regularly

A profitable blog niche doesn’t pick up and fall off over and over with days and weeks between posts. A successful blogger makes an editorial calendar and sticks with it. You should post daily, Monday through Friday.

If you find yourself lapsing between posts and going longer and longer between each one, your blog is going to fail. It can be difficult to find new and interesting topics to post, but do your best. Each piece doesn’t need to be worthy of a Pulitzer. You can throw in some light-hearted and quick posts. Just as long as you keep blogging!

Choosing a blog niche based on profitability alone

While you want to be profitable, if you know absolutely nothing about the topic but jump right on in for the profit potential, it’s not going to work. For many reasons.

Your articles and blog posts need to be good. They need to be passionate. If you know squat about the subject, it won’t do very well at all. Readers will know that you’re a poseur.

You’ll also find it incredibly difficult to come up with topics to write about. If you’re not knowledgable or passionate about the subject, you won’t be inspired to write. Your blog posts will drop off and you’ll eventually give up.

Not defining your Unique Selling Point

Your USP (Unique Selling Point) is what defines you and sets you apart from the competition. What makes you different? What makes you special? Why should your audience pay attention to you instead of that other guy?

Your USP can be based on a number of things. It can be based on your credentials, your personality, your humor or lack thereof, your knowledge, and your style.

Also, the way you deliver your information and blog posts is a large slice of the USP pie. What’s your style?

Summary

Remember the three Ps of blogging:

1. Passion

2. Patience

3. Perseverance

Definition: A blog niche is a smaller subcategory within a larger, broad category. It could be a subcategory or a subcategory.

The ten most profitable blog categories:

1) How to make money online

2) Personal Finance

3) Health and Fitness

4) recipes

5) Beauty and Fashion

6) Personal Development

7) Arts and Crafts

8) Parenting

9) Travel

10) Marketing

To find a great niche, you should pick a top you’re genuinely excited about, one you love to discuss. Do the market research and check for keyword trends, competition, and search volume. Also, make sure that your niche has profit potential!

Common mistakes:

1) Forcing a passion

2) Choosing a category that is too broad

3) Shying away from competition

4) Not sticking to a regular blogging schedule

5) Choosing a niche based on profitability alone

6) Not defining your Unique Selling Point