Amateur Blogging – A Simple Guide for Newbie Amateur Bloggers Who Want to Start Today
Disclosure (full version- https://nikolaroza.com/affiliate-disclosure/): Some of the links you’ll encounter are affiliate links. If you click and buy something, I may get a commission. Thank you!
Amateur blogging can make for a dream of a lifestyle.
Think about it, you, retired, sitting in a coffee shop in Florence, the same town Dante Alighieri was expelled from 700+years ago; or you sailing on a ferryboat from Livorno to Marseilles on the same route the 30-year-old Edmond Dantes was smuggling goods on Young Amelia, plotting his revenge against Danglars, Fernand and Villefort;
or you on a trans-Siberian train from Moscow to Vladivostok on a hunt for some Asian adventure.
Next stop South Korea, Japan, Okinawa, Thailand, Malesia Indonesia (ah that Javan premium gourmet coffee, taken under the shade of palm trees with the blistering tropical sun above and laziness floating in the air.
And yet you’re not being lazy at all. Instead, you’re blogging your passion away and making a great life out of it.
You’re an amateur blogger and a successful one at that.
Let’s see the steps you took to get there.
Here’s the path to amateur blogging success.
What is Amateur Blogging?
The short answer is:
“amateur blogging is posting content online as a hobby and not for any kind of monetary reward or compensation”.
“amateur blogging is blogging for fun; blogging what you’re passionate about; blogging to express yourself and your thoughts on the topic without worrying about the money; blogging without trying to monetize and often without paying anything because you’re writing on a free platform. Amateur blogging is your deeply personal endeavor that just happens to be indexed on the web and accessible to any stranger who comes upon it while searching in Google and Bing”.
Does that mean you can never make money as an amateur blogger?
Well, let’s find out!
Are Amateur Blogging and Making Money Off a Blog Polar Opposites?
No, they’re not.
It’s just that you can’t start blogging as an amateur and expect to get paid immediately.
If you do, you’re bound to be disappointed really fast.
When starting a business, you would typically consider monetizing the business from day one. You’d build revenue models, budgets, and other financials. But for most people, that approach isn’t appropriate when starting an amateur blog.
To make your blog attractive and subsequently popular you need to bring enough time and strength or else use help with social media assignments to save your valuable time and rely on professionals.
Instead, you need to blog for passion, for fun and to express yourself. And if you’re persistent and keep bringing value with every post you publish, over time you’ll build a regular readership and following, and this will then enable you to monetize your blog via affiliate links or banner ads.
It’s at this point that you’ll convert from an amateur blogger to a pro blogger.
How Does Money Come From Amateur Blogging?
There are dozens of ways to monetize a blog.
But the most feasible one for amateur bloggers is affiliate marketing. It’s when you post paid links on your site and when people click them and buy on the merchants’ sites you get awarded commissions for your hard work.
Moreover, there are many different affiliate link tracking tools for marketers, webmasters and business owners.
For example, I’m an affiliate for Link Whisper (read my Link Whisper review) and a successful one at that.
Here’s my affiliate dashboard where you can see I’m making regular money every month, just from one affiliate program.
And it’s growing every month.
What Topics Are Most Appropriate for an Amateur Blog?
Anything goes when it comes to amateur blogging. But first thing’s first, only write what you love thinking about and on topics where you have much to say and plenty of knowledge to share.
Never write on topics you’re clueless bout just because they’re in vogue. If you do, people who stumble upon your posts will notice your content lacks “life” and will shun your blog forever.
But, when you blog about what you love, your content bursts with energy and vitality, and the reader will sense it.
They’ll actually be hooked and often read to the very end.
Bottom line: when it comes to picking blogging topics, focus on yourself, and not on what you think is popular that day.
Amateur blogging is all about self expression and sharing with others what is authentic in your life’s experience.
How to Become an Amateur Blogger?
Starting with amateur blogging is really easy.
You just how to start.
Yes, that’s right.
Just start writing and putting words on (digital) paper. Or in case you’re starting a photography blog you need to start posting beautiful photos immediately.
It doesn’t matter that you’re not a born natural writer and that your initial drafts will suck. You’ll get better over time.
The real question is, should you post your content on a free platform or on a self-hosted WordPress?
Free Blogging Platforms Pros and Cons
- Plenty of free blogging platforms available (WordPress.com, Tumblr, Blogspot, Systeme.io, Wix, Pixpa, Weebly, Squarespace, Shopify, Hubspot…);
- it’s free to get started;
- it’s free to host your content forever;
- it’s easy to use those platforms;
- Your content is not yours- it can be deleted at any time without you having a say in the matter;
- poor customization options- your blog will look generic at best; very ugly and stale at worst;
- limited monetization;
- trouble moving to self-hosted WordPress down the line;
- and more.
Paid Blogging Platforms Pros and Cons (Self Hosted WordPress)
- The best option for everyone;
- Easiest indexation for Google and Bing;
- Ranks easiest in the search engines;
- Infinite customization options
- 1000’s of plugins;
- very cheap to get started
- full control over your blog’s future;
- and more;
- it’s not free;
- you need to own a domain name (note: hosting companies give you a free domain name for the first year);
- need to solve problems personally as they happen (hosting support can help you with that);
Overall, there’s no real competition between free blogging platforms and WordPress.org
I started my amateur blogging career on a free option (coffee niche, Tumblr) invested 1000+ hours in it, created dozens of quality articles, and now I have absolutely nothing to show for it.
It’s because some Tumblr user reported my blog for whatever reason and the grumpy moderator then simply deleted it, without me being able to fight the decision in any way.
I was very angry and that mistake taught me to always self-host, even as an amateur blogger.
Therefore, I will not show you how to start an amateur blog on a free platform. It’d be doing you a disservice if I did, and it’d be a huge waste of time if you were to attempt it.
You deserve better.
Remember, amateur blogging is not equal to unsuccessful blogging. In fact, it can be the total opposite.
And that’s why you need to start blogging with a self-hosted WordPress blog.
My number #1 hosting choice for beginners is HostGator, and the tutorial is right below.
How To Start a WordPress Blog With HostGator (Tutorial)
It’s easy and you will be able to create your amateur blog in 10m or less. Guaranteed.
Just follow the steps here and if you have questions, leave them as comments at the bottom of the page and I’ll be glad to clarify things further.
First, choose the plan you want. I will go with the Hatchling plan, which is the most basic, cheapest, and perfect for beginners.
Click on “Buy Now” button.
Second, pick a domain name (you’ll get it for free with HostGator hosting).
Thitd, pick a hosting plan and duration you want. I suggest you go for a 3-year plan because then you pay $2.75/mo vs a yearly plan where you pay $3.95/mo )(earn more about HostGator billing here)
Fourth, create your HostGator account.
Fifth, enter your personal info (state, address, city, name, surname).
Then add your payment info.
You can pay for your hosting plan with PayPal or a credit card.
Sixth, add additional services. I recommend you uncheck everything here, except maybe CodeGuard backups.
CodeGuard Basic is a premium backup service that gives you peace of mind knowing your site is always backed up and ready to be -reinstalled in case of emergencies.
However, there’s also a native WordPress backup function so even CodeGuard is not needed.
Seventh, enter a coupon code.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to enter anything because the HostGator standard 60% coupon will be entered automatically.
Eight (final step), review order details.
When you’re done click on the BIG checkout button at the bottom of the page.
And that’s it.
Once you log in your WordPress site will be waiting for you to start your amateur blogging journey:)
Amateur Blogging Tips
Blogging like an amateur doesn’t mean not taking care of the basics.
Follow the tips below to achieve optimal results with your amateur blog fast.
Writing Posts – No, you don’t need to hire a content writer to bulk up your amateur blog with content. Instead, you should write everything by yourself. Should be easy because you’ll be blogging your passion, remember? Every blog post starts with an idea. An idea that needs to be worked on before you write a single word. So, for every blog post decide what the purpose is, whom is it going to serve, and what your goal as a blogger is. Then create an outline and get cracking.
Seems like it’s a lot of work, but with practice, you can do it in 3m or less.
Add Images and Graphics – We humans are visual creatures. Half of our brain is dedicated to visual processing. In other words, your blog posts MUST have plenty of high-quality imagery to spruce things up. Include images like infographics, banners, graphs, custom posters, memes, and any other visually enticing material that will add value to your content. Be creative!
Have an Attractive Headline – blog post’s headline is the most important part of your blog post. At least half of the people will read your headline, and if not enticing click back and leave. You need to prevent that from happening.
Some tips are to include your target keyword in the headline, to include power words, to invoke curiosity, to include numbers (odd numbers work better than even)…
Writing catchy headlines is a skill that can be mastered over time.
Do SEO– although as an amateur blogger getting abundant traffic is not your primary goal, you still need to do basic on-page SEO for better results overall. Because if you do no SEO at all, you can’t expect any traffic from the search engines, no matter how good your writing is.
Focus on the basics, use words you want to rank for liberally across your posts and optimize metadata with your SEO plugin of choice. I use RankMath, but Yoast is good as well. These two simple steps will make your articles SEO-friendly, and help a lot with generating organic traffic.
Note: These SEO plugins are free plugins that can be installed only on self-hosted WordPress and not on free blogging platforms.
Constant Posting– it’s simple, if you post more content you will see more success. But, you also don’t want to bur out as blogging, even amateur blogging is a long-term play.
My advice is to publish a good, meaty article once per week. That is an excellent starting point.
Leverage Social Media – Promote your blog posts on major social medial platforms that your audience also uses.
You can do it manually, which is an amateur thing to do, or you can be a pro in this regard, and get Hopper HQ, an AI social media scheduling tool that can both write and post content for you on your chosen platforms. Professional marketers use social media management tools to plan and schedule posts in advance across multiple social channels. ”
It saves you 99% of the time as your job only becomes reviewing and pushing the promotional campaigns live.
Quality Content- The Backbone of Successful Amateur Blogging
Content will be the bread and butter of your amateur blog. Here are some tips for writing quality content consistently.
Research – you’ll be doing a disservice to your readers by serving them error-ridden text. You really don’t want to give wrong advice online and then someone follows that advice and gets crappy results and then they blame you for it and get all vocal about it on social media.
Instead, you want to be a trustworthy data source where people go to get the facts and not some baseless biased opinions.
Clarity – remember that when you first start writing, the best content is one that presents clear ideas.
You must consider the fact that your readers hail from various backgrounds, have various levels of education, and might even be clueless about the topic you’re writing about, except that they know they want to learn it.
So you must give them a fluid and clear text they’ll find easy to consume and understand.
Kind of like this amateur blogging guide here:)
Write freely – your personal writing style is the best for your content. Never try to imitate some successful blogger and their way of crafting sentences. . You’ll just come out awkward and repel readers.
Instead, embrace your personal writing style while making a commitment to get better over time. No one’s born a perfect writer.
And you don’t have to be Hemmingway to write compelling content.
Grammar – although you aim to become an amateur blogger, amateurship is not a pleasant characteristic for any writer. Grammar mistakes can ruin your chances of success like nothing else can. Why should someone take your advice about anything, when you can’t even spell?
Luckily there are free and paid tools that can help you proofread your content before you publish it.
I recommend Grammarly, and if you’re interested, read my Grammarly pricing and Grammarly student coupon article for more details.
Otherwise, you can take a look at my Quillbot review. Next to Grammarly, it’s the best grammar checker on the market. And it’s much cheaper.
Pro tip: Quillbot sometimes offers coupon codes, so read my Quillbot discount code to learn if a promo code is currently available.
Take Advantage of AI Writing and Paraphrasing Tools- AI paraphrasing software are AI-based tools that can help you create content quicker while preserving content uniqueness. Some good examples are Jasper AI, Quillbot, and Writesonic…
Read my AI paraphrasing software guide to learn more about which paraphrasing tools are currently available on the market.
Other guides to read are the best plagiarism checker software and best AI content detection software.
These are different types of tools, but even as an amateur blogger you should be using them to your advantage.
Amateur Blogging Mistakes- Avoid These!
No mistake is severe enough to ruin your amateur blogging career.
However, that doesn’t mean you should make them. In fact, avoid the errors you’ll see below and you’ll be well on your way to becoming a successful blogger.
Common amateur blogging mistakes are:
- Starting to blog on a free platform;
- Choosing the wrong niche you’re not passionate about, or know nothing about.
- Not doing any SEO;
- Doing too much SEO. Yes, writing for robots first is a thing and something Google doesn’t like. Google puts its users first, and so should you.
- Investing in expensive affiliate marketing tools before mastering the basics;
- Use clickbait headlines to try and draw clicks. Also writing boring headlines.
- Copying content from other bloggers, either in verbatim or by paraphrasing their content without bringing anything new to the table.
- Not posting regularly.
- Not building backlinks via blogger outreach and other means
- not doing email marketing;
- not promoting your blog socially;
- not using SEO tools;
Note: I mention above it’s a mistake to not use SEO tools, even if you’re blogging as an amateur. I recommend SEMrush.
SEMrush is an all-in-one SEO tool that does everything you need in case you’re doing any form of internet marketing.
SEMrush is an expensive tool, but luckily SEMrush free trial is a thing. SEMrush lifetime deal can also be taken advantage of if you know how SEMrush annual pricing works. Finally, I got my SEMrush subscription using a SEMrush coupon code from some affiliate blogger.
You could too.
And if you’re on the fence about SEMrush, you can at least start with a free SEMrush subscription account.
It’s free forever!
Amateur Blogging FAQ- Things All Bloggers Must Know
My amateur blogging guide would be incomplete without an FAQ section, you agree?
The answers to your questions are right below.
#1- Is Amateur Blogging Worth it?
Amateur blogging is worth it because you’ll be blogging about what you love, with no pressure to rank on Google and make money.
It’ll be a fun pastime that could turn into something profitable down the line if you stick with it.
#2- Can an Amateur Blogger Become a Pro Some Day?
Absolutely! If you’re consistent with your content output your traffic will eventually start to rise and with more traffic, making money won’t be far behind.
#3- Can I Start Blogging on a Free Platform and Later Upgrade?
Yes, you can. Many pro bloggers who have started as amateurs have done exactly that.
It’s just a suboptimal way to begin to blog as platform changes can and often turn into messes you’d rather avoid.
#4- What is a Good Example of an Amateur Blog?
Amateur blogs abound on the web.
Here’s a good example of an amateur blog:
It’s a website dedicated to Cowboy Bebop, possibly the greatest anime of all time. It’s an amateur blog built on Wix that isn’t monetized in any way, but is a repository of thought of an author who’s even crazier about Cowboy Bebop than me 🙂
This website is built on Wix and could potentially last forever, but since it’s not self-hosted, it’s also in constant danger of being erased at any point because of any reason, or for no reason at all.
Thy’s why going with self-hosted WordPress is a must, even for amateur bloggers.
#5- Is My Niche Overcrowded?
Probably not. 99.9% percent of all niches are full of amateur blogs run by amateur bloggers and can be broken into with enough passion, zeal for writing, and persistence.
The remaining are those where you need a huge budget to compete, for example, credit cards. If you’re going to engage in niche topics like credit score tips, or how to improve it using cards such as the revvi credit card, make sure to give readers valuable info that will keep them coming back to your blog for reference.
#6- Is Blogging the Fastest Way for People New to the Web to Make Money Online?
No, blogging is definitely not the fastest way. It’s the most sustainable way through, but the rewards come after you’ve put in significant effort into your blog over an extended time period.
If you want quick online money, consider downloading money making apps on your phone and start cracking. You won’t earn a ton, there but you will earn decently and very fast too.
Learn more in the resource below:
And if you have some bright idea for an app of your own, and you have some money to invest, consider building an app that you can later monetize and sell to a hungry audience.
Creating an app is not that expensive, and you can learn more by checking out the resource below.Amateur Blogging FAQ- All You Need to Know! Click To Tweet
Concluding My Amateur Blogging Guide for 2023…
Amateur blogging is all about pursuing your passion, having abundant fun, and planning for a future when an amateur blogger who persisted through all those blogging throes found a way to become a pro blogger and monetize their writing.
The key mistake you need to avoid is blogging on a free platform where said platform controls your destiny and where all your hard work can turn out was for naught when it disappears in a puff of web smoke.
Don’t make that mistake.
Other than that, become a blogger today, start blogging, give value to the web and your target niche and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Nikola Roza is an affiliate marketer and blogger behind Nikola Roza- SEO for the Poor and Determined. He writes for bloggers who don't have huge marketing budgets and who still want to carve out a niche online and a better life for themselves. Learn about Nikola here, or read his blog posts and guides here.
I am a blogger too, but I think I have come out of the amateur phase and entered the professional one. My niece is just starting her journey, and for now, she is just [osting as a hobby. I think this article will help her a lot. Your tips and insights will be invaluable in her journey to find success. I am grateful that you shared topics for such bloggers, I know she struggles a lot with them, and it will be a very helpful read for her. Thanks a lot for such an insightful share.
Hey Nikola bro,
I really love this post about common mistakes amateur bloggers make.
You have raised the right point that you should be active on social media in order to be successful in blogging
After I have joined facebook and twitter I have seen a super growth in my blogging career.
My pleasure, Nishant. Keep rocking, bro!
First of all excellent article. Second you are speaking the truth here and I hope some new bloggers learn from it. It took me ages to learn and find out what you’ve just explained in this post. I too learned a lot from Wealthy Affiliate and owe them a thank you for my current success. It has been 3 years since I started blogging and I am still learning. Thanks for the great read!
What a smashing post. The issue with picking a niche based on its lucrative potential is that the money actually comes from the blogger’s skills, NOT from the niche itself. Bloggers who put in 1000’s of hours of work become skilled. What happens before putting in 1000’s of work-hours? No money, happens, because money responds to skills, not niches. What happens to bloggers who believe the niche – not their skills – create money? Virtually 100% of the time, they quit. No money = no motivator. You and I have seen this thousands of times as veteran bloggers.