You decided to start a blog but don’t know where to start and how to do it?
Then you’ve come to the right place!
This post will teach you everything you need to know about starting a money making blog from scratch.
I know how scary and overwhelming starting a blog can be. That’s why I put together this easy to follow guide to make starting a blog easier and less stressful.
This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. Please see my full disclosure for further information.
Starting a blog to make money?
Before you start your blog you need to know WHY you’re starting your blog.
Do you want to make money with your blog and turn it into a business or do you just want to blog for fun?
If you are serious about blogging and would like to make money with your blog, you need to take it seriously.
If you’ve read one of those “I made $10k in one month blogging” posts and though you are gonna start a blog and make $10k in your first month you are gonna get very disappointed when I tell you this.
You won’t make $10k in your first month, maybe not even in your first year of blogging.
BUT, and this is a big but, you CAN make $10k blogging.
It’s not impossible.
But it will take time.
It will take A LOT of work and effort.
It’s not easy and get rich fast kinda thing.
It takes hard work and persistence.
To answer your question, you shouldn’t start a blog if you’re not ready to put the work in.
BUT if you DO want to work hard and learn you should 100% start a blog.
As it WILL pay off!
Just not right away.
Go self-hosted from the beginning
You might be thinking, why would I want to pay for a self-hosted blog when there are lots of free blogging platforms available?
And honestly, that’s a great question.
But if you are serious about blogging and would like to turn it into a business one day you need to treat it like a business from the beginning and invest in it!
If you want to start a blog to make money you need to keep in mind that it’s very hard to make money on a free blogging platform.
Most of them don’t allow you to monetize your blog (or if they do, it’s very limited).
Another thing is that, by having a self-hosted blog, you are telling companies that you are serious about blogging.
They are more likely to take you seriously and want to work with you if they see you are serious about your blog.
Okay, now that you know why you need to invest in a self-hosted blog it’s time to show you how to set it up. (hint- it’s a lot easier than you think 😉 )
How to start a blog to make money
1. Decide on a niche
First things first, you need to pick a niche for your blog.
What is a niche? …you might be asking.
A niche is a segment within a market that targets a specific group of people.
Which means that, instead of writing a blog about everything and for everyone, you need to find one thing to write about.
You need to write for one specific group of people.
You need to figure out WHO you want to write for first and then see WHAT you’ll be writing about.
You need to define your ideal reader (the person you want to write for) and then find out what their interests are, what their biggest problems and struggles and and write content that will help them deal with those things.
Why you need to niche down
There are lots of different reasons why you should niche down but I’m just gonna go over a few that are most important.
First, niching down is incredibly important for SEO (search engine optimization).
You see, when you niche down (aka write about one topic on your blog) Google sees you as an “expert” in that field, therefore, it will show your posts higher in search results.
Secondly, think about your readers.
If someone comes to your blog to read a banana bread recipe and sees that you also have posts about gardening or gaming or whatever they will just look at that recipe and leave.
They will probably never come back or think about your blog again as they aren’t interested in those other topics.
Why would they come back to a blog where 1 out of 10 articles is something they are interested in?
On the other hand, if they see that you also have a banana oatmeal recipe or chocolate chip cookies recipe they will look around your blog to see what other recipes you have.
They might even follow you or subscribe to your email list.
That’s where niching down comes in handy!
When you are writing for a specific group of people they are more likely to come back to your blog and follow it as they know your posts are relevant for them.
Niching down is also helpful for YOU as it makes creating content easier.
When you’re writing about many different topics and don’t have limitations you can feel a bit overwhelmed. When you have lots of different options it’s hard to decide on one.
But don’t niche down too much
When choosing your niche it’s important not to go too narrow as you could end up with not having enough things to write about.
That’s why, when you’re choosing your niche, ask yourself if it’s something you won’t run out of things to write about.
2. Pick a blog name
Now that you’ve decided on a niche, we can move onto setting up your blog.
The first step is to pick a name for your blog.
When picking a blog name you should keep a few things in mind. You want it to be as short as possible (no one’s gonna remember a 10-word blog name), something that’s catchy and easy to remember.If you’re stuck and have no idea on what to name your blog, don’t panic, I’m coming to your rescue. Here is a super simple and effective method I used to come up with my blog name. Ready?
Take a pen and a piece of paper and draw a mind map. Write down different keywords. Write the topics you’ll write about, some info about yourself like your name, age, a word that best describes you, etc. After you’ve written some keywords start playing with words to see what you can come up with.
If you’re not a fan of drawing on paper you can also make a mind map in Canva. They have so many pre-made templates you can use, or create your own. I made a little example to show you:
After you’ve come up with a blog name, enter it below to make sure it’s not taken.
3. Choose a web hosting provider
A web hosting provider is a service that allows you to post a website on the internet. They basically rent you out storage space on the internet where all your files, information and data are stored.
There are so many web hosting providers on the market so choosing one can be a bit overwhelming.
That’s why I wanted to share the one my website is on and tell you a bit more information about them.
My web host is Bluehost. They offer a website hosting starting from only $3.95/month which is super affordable.
You also get a free domain name with your purchase and so many other benefits. If you are interested click here for more information on their pricing and services.
Why you should choose Bluehost
- WordPress recommends it
- you get a free domain name
- you get a free email
- installation is fast and simple
- they are reliable
- customer support is helpful and fast
How to set up Bluehost
Setting up Bluehost is super quick and simple. It only takes a few minutes.
You just go to their homepage and click “Get started”.
There you can pick a plan which best suits your needs and click “Select”.
The plan I got is Basic which is perfect for bloggers as it’s all you need.
The next step is setting up your domain name, you can create a new one (you get a FREE one with every Bluehost plan) or if you already purchased a domain name just enter it!
Click “next” and you’ll be taken to a new page (see screenshot below) where you have to enter all your account and payment information.
Once you’ve filled in all the information boxes click “Submit” and you’ll be taken to a new page where you’ll create a password for your account!
Don’t forget to write down your password somewhere so you don’t forget it!
4. Set up WordPress
Setting up WordPress is so quick and easy with Bluehost.
Once you’ve created your Bluehost account click on “Go to login” to start setting up your WordPress website.
After you’ve signed in you’ll see a page that looks like this:
This is where you’ll enter your blog’s name and some other information about your website and what it is about.
Once you’ve done filling in all the fields click “Continue”
The next step is picking a theme for your blog.
You’ll get a list of recommended themes based on the information you entered in the previous step or you can search through different categories like Blog, Food & Drinks, News, etc. and pick a theme you like the most.
When picking a theme keep in mind what kinda content you’ll be sharing on your blog. What will be the focal point of your blog? Photos or text? Pick the theme that best highlights it.
But don’t worry about the theme too much as you can change it anytime!
Once you picked your theme you’ve officially installed WordPress!
You’ll be taken to this page:
Click that “Start building button” > “Login to WordPress” to go to your WordPress dashboard. (the screenshot below is how your WordPress dashboard will look like)
Now that you installed WordPress it’s time to play around with your website and customize it.
In the left menu click on plugins > add new and download all the necessary plugins on your website.
5. Set up important pages
Once you set up your blog it’s time to add all the important pages to your blog.
- about page
- contact page
- legal pages
For your about page write a few paragraphs telling your readers who you are and what your blog is about.
On your contact page write your email address where people can contact you or add a contact form.
Now let’s talk abut legal pages!
Having legal pages on your blog is SO important! (and it’s required by law! )
And trust me, you WILL collect their personal data even if you aren’t aware of that. (for example through Google Analytics, and someone’s email address when they leave a comment on your blog).
6. Write some content
Now that your blog is all done and you have your legal pages it’s time to write some posts.
Plan out and write at least 5 different posts that will be up when your website goes public.
Write 5 posts that best represent you and your website to show people what they can expect from you.
Take your time with writing these articles, make them the best they can possibly be.
Leaving a good first impression is key to success, you want to make people wanna come back to your blog, you want to make them want more.
And how do you do that?
With great posts they won’t be able to get enough of!
Because CONTENT IS KING!
7. Go live
The last step of starting a blog is making it public.
To make your blog public go to your Bluehost dashboard in WordPress and click on “Launch your site”.
Your blog is ready to be seen and read.
It’s time to take over the world one pageview at a time!
After you started your blog it’s time to let the world know about that awesome blog you created!
How do I get traffic to my new blog?
There are only two real ways to get traffic to your blog, they are
Yes, there is also social media and other places but, in my opinion, they aren’t really worth your time. Especially when you’re just starting out.
Learn Pinterest and SEO first and then you can experiment with other things.
Pinterest is the best way to start for new bloggers as you can see results incredibly fast.
In my SECOND month of blogging, I had over 5k blog views from Pinterest. And now I get 30,000+ blog views a month from Pinterest!
To get started with Pinterest take my FREE 3-day course where I’ll teach you how to set up your account and optimize your profile with the right keywords!
The next things you should focus on is SEO.
It takes around 6 months for a new blog to start seeing organic traffic, that’s why you want to start working on your SEO as soon as possible.
Organic traffic is so important and valuable and it’s something you should start working on from day one.
The sooner you start learning about SEO and optimizing your posts the sooner you’ll start seeing results.
To get started with SEO I would highly recommend enrolling in this FREE SEO course.
Another thing I would recommend is getting Easy on page SEO which is a super affordable SEO ebook for beginners.
It will teach you how to optimize your posts for SEO so you can rank higher in search even as a new blogger! (yes, it’s possible! )
How to make money with a blog
Now that you’ve started your blog you’re wondering when can I start monetizing my blog? How many followers do I need? How many pageviews?
And the answer is NOW!
You should start monetizing your blog from the beginning!
It is possible to make money in the beginning with a small blog!
The best way to make money blogging as a beginner
There are many different ways you can make money with a blog. The best one to get started with is affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing is the process of earning money by promoting products and services from companies.
You find products and services you want to talk about and apply to their affiliate programs.
When you get accepted into an affiliate program you get a unique tracking link. You can share that link on your blog and social media. Whenever someone clicks on that link and buys something you get a commission.
What I love the most about affiliate marketing is the fact that you don’t need 1000s of pageviews or followers to be able to earn money.
You can make a lot of money with low traffic if you do it right (this affiliate marketing training bundle will teach you how).
Other ways to make money blogging in 2021
Affiliate marketing is the best way but it isn’t only.
You can also make money blogging through sponsored posts. A sponsored post is a post that is created in collaboration with a company. A company pays you to write about them or their products/services.
Another way to earn money blogging is by selling your own products. You can create physical or digital products and sell them on your blog.
You can also earn some extra cash by offering services like coaching, writing, virtual assistant services, etc. Having a blog can help you show off your work and book clients.
Final thoughts on starting a blog to make money
There you have it, this is how you can start a blog in 2020!
It’s not as hard as it seams, right?
I really hope you found this post helpful and easy to follow.
If you have any questions or need help with starting your blog, I’m here for you!