How to Start a Blog and Make Money in 6 Steps:
- Determine Your Blog’s Niche
- Blog Hosting, Domain, and Creation (Installing WordPress)
- Blog Structure and Design
- Blog Content Creation
- Getting Traffic to Your Blog
- Making Money With Your Blog
What Is a Blog?
A blog is a regularly updated website, typically run by an individual or small group, that is frequently updated with content that is written in an informal (or formal) conversational style. Starting a blog is often with the goal of attracting readers and generating online income around a varying subset of similar topics.
Blogging for Beginners
Starting a blog as a beginner is one of the best and easiest ways to create your own business and make money online. You don’t need any professional writing or technical experience. There are also no age or location requirements. All you need is a little passion and the willingness to learn, and you can start a blog in as little as 15 mins to a couple of hours depending on your ability level.
The main cost to start a blog is about $35 to $65 for the first year which will mainly go towards web hosting. The average cost of cheap yet good and reliable web hosting for your blog is around $3 a month - the equivalent cost of a decent cup of coffee.
How Do Bloggers Make Money?
Bloggers can make money via serval methods once their website starts to get traffic. These methods include monetization through Ads such as Google AdSense or Ezoic ad platform, affiliate marketing, selling digital or physical products, membership, subscriptions, and more. Though monitorization through Ads, affiliate marketing, and selling digital products are the 3 most ideal methods to start earning money with your blog.
Follow these 6 Steps on How to Start a Blog and Make Money Online
Almost every written guide about starting a blog is extremely long and filled with a lot of “fluff”. Therefore, we have purposely created this concise yet extremely detailed guide teaching you exactly how to start a blog from scratch. This beginner blogging guide is to the point focusing on only what you need to get started blogging.
Moreover, rather than images, we have included step-by-step tutorial videos at the end of each step that requires it which show you exactly what you need to do to start a blog and make money. We have also included numerous resources to helpful websites such as ones that will allow you to create beautiful free logos and find amazing free images for your blog. Let’s get started blogging.
1. Determine Your Blog’s Niche
The niche of your blog is basically what your blog is about. This includes the type of content, products, and or services you will put on your blog. Your blog’s niche shouldn’t be too broad, nor should it be too narrow. It also shouldn’t be too competitive.
Most Important Factors of Choosing a Good Blog Niche
- Ideally, when you start a blog, you should be passionate, knowledgeable, or have some interest in the niche you choose so that you create accurate helpful content over a long period of time. This is because creating a blog around your life’s passions and interests allows for more happiness and fulfillment while making money online. Which will also help to prevent burnout or loss of interest over time. You must also be willing to learn more about that niche to produce helpful and insightful content about it.
- Secondly but equally as important, your niche should have a high audience revenue potential. Or in simpler terms, it must have a large audience of people interested in it, meaning many people searching online daily pertaining to your niche. It should also have ample medium to high-priced products and services that you can promote on your blog to make money.
There are many niches to start a blog with, you just have to be creative in choosing one that is based on your passions or interests with a high audience revenue potential but is not too competitive. It should also not be too broad and shouldn’t be too narrow as you may want to blog on other topics within your chosen niche.
Ask Yourself These Questions to Determine a Good Niche to Start a Blog In:
- What do you enjoy doing on a daily or frequent basis?
- What interests or dreams you had growing up that still motivates you today?
- What are your favorite current hobbles or hobbles that you want to start doing?
- What deeply held values do you have?
- What achievements made you feel extremely proud in recent years?
Here Are Some Profitable Blog Niche Examples to Start a Blog With:
- Remote work tools (A niche that takes advantage of a growing yet permanent trend)
- Video and recording equipment (A niche that intersects multiple markets such as tech, content creation, etc.)
- Credit cards (A “smaller” niche in the broader finance space)
- Expensive sports/hobbies (Sports such as golfing, paddleboarding, etc. that require higher-priced equipment to play)
- Home gym equipment (A niche in the broader self-improvement space)
2. Blog Hosting, Domain, and Creation (Installing WordPress)
Hosting Your Blog
Next is picking the right hosting to start your blog with so that people can safely access it on the internet. Bluehost is the best WordPress hosting service for beginners. I got started blogging with Bluehost as it is the best cheap blog hosting service to start with and is easy to utilize because of ample documentation and tutorials both in written and video forms.
Bluehost also has very good customer service which will come in handy just in case you need any assistance when starting your blog. Along with its low cost of entry, below are the key reasons why experts recommend Bluehost as the ideal hosting plan to start a blog with.
#1 Blog Hosting for Beginner Bloggers
Save 72% off regular price
Why Choose Bluehost for Your Blog:
- A free domain name
- 24/7 Customer Support
- 30-day money back guarantee
- WordPress is excellently integrated
Choosing Your Blog’s Domain Name
When you are selecting a plan and going through the sign-up process with Bluehost, you will be prompted to enter a domain name.
How to choose a good domain name for your blog:
- The domain name should accurately represent what your blog’s niche is about while being brandable and broad enough so you can expand to other related topics in the future
- The domain should be a .com TLD
- The domain name should also be short, easy to spell, remember, and say (about 12-13 characters max and containing about 2-3 words max, but preferably 2 or less).
The next step to starting a blog is to install WordPress. WordPress is the best and most popular content management system that is used by an amazing 43.2% of all websites on the internet - it’s just that good and easy to use when starting a blog. WordPress is free, open-source, and allows you to create beautiful blogs within minutes. There is also ample free documentation and tutorial videos that will guide you through each step like the videos provided below.
Step By Step Hosting, Domain, and WordPress Installation Tutorial Video
Use the step-by-step tutorial video below that will take you through the signup, domain entry, and WordPress installation process to start your blog with Bluehost.
3. Blog Structure and Design
Once you have signed up for hosting, entered a domain, and installed WordPress, log in to the backend of your blog to start structuring and designing it to your liking.
But before you start to structure and design your blog, there are a couple of things you must do first.
- The first is to go to Settings -> General to enter your Blog’s “Site Title” (name) and “Tagline” as well as change the “WordPress Address (URL)” and “Site Address (URL)” to HTTPS from HTTP if not already done by default. You may have to log back into your blog after changing its URL to HTTPS.
- The second is to go to Settings -> Permalinks to make sure you have “Post name” selected as your blog’s URL structure if it is not already selected.
When you start a blog, its structure should consist of static pages, primary pages, posts (articles), categories, and URLs which are all very important as they determine how you organize your content
5 Important Static Pages You Should Start a Blog With
- About Us
- Terms of Service
- Contact Us
Primary pages are the top-level pages of blogs that you see in the nav bars or menus at the top of blogs. These top-level pages help you categorize and organize the content of your blog for your visitors and search engines such as Google.
Primary Pages You Should Start a Blog With
- Home Page (linked to your blog’s logo in the navbar)
- Other top-level pages you choose to create for better categorizing of your blog
Posts and Categories
WordPress uses the term posts which are the individual articles you will create on your blog. Each post should be assigned to at least one or the multiple categories they fall under. You should then use these categories to show posts on their corresponding primary pages to better organize and categorize your blog.
URLs & Permalinks
A URL is the address of a page, post, or asset on your blog. It allows those pages, posts, and assets to be uniquely found and accessed on the internet. A permalink is the “slug” that shows at the end of the URL.
Therefore, they must be set properly when publishing a page or article. For example, your blog’s terms of service page URL will be “yourblog.com/terms-of-service” of which the permalink is “terms-of-service” (we will discuss this more in step 5). When you create a page or post in WordPress you will be prompted to enter a permalink.
We strongly recommend you check out the structure of other blogs such as their pages, posts, categories, URLs, navbar, footer, and overall blog structure to get a better understanding of how you should uniquely structure your blog.
Now it is time to start designing your blog.
We recommend you start with the best free theme by consensus called Astra. Astra is also compatible with top-page builders such as Elementor. You can install the free version of the Astra theme from your WordPress dashboard by going to “Appearance” which will take you to the “Theme” page, then click “Add New” and search “Astra” in the search bar. Below in the results, you will see the Astra theme which you can install via the “Install” button.
Elementor Page Builder
Elementor is one of the best drag-and-drop page builders for WordPress if not the best. It is also free with ample features that allow you to create unique blog designs. You will be using Astra as your base theme, then install Elementor on top to completely customize your blog to your liking and needs. Like Astra, you can install the free version of Elementor from your WordPress dashboard via the “Plugin” page instead of the “Appearance” page following the same method as installing Astra above.
How to Design a WordPress Blog with Astra and Elementor Tutorial Video
This step-by-step tutorial video linked below shows you exactly how to set up your blog from start to finish. This includes installing WordPress, setting up the structure and design, adding content, etc. using the free Astra theme and Elementor page builder.
Use this step-by-step YouTube tutorial video below to completely set up and design your blog. You should use the video as a guide to create your own unique blog structure and design pertaining to your niche rather than just copy it exactly.
After signing up for Bluehost, choosing your domain, installing WordPress, and logging into your blog via the tutorial video at the end of step 2, start watching this tutorial video at the time of 7:46 to begin structuring and designing your new blog with Astra and Elementor.
A WordPress plugin is a piece of software that you can install on (plug into) your WordPress Blog. Plugins add new functionality or extend existing functionality, allowing you to create virtually any kind of blog.
Therefore, when you start a blog, you should install these free vital plugins for optimal performance and functionality. You can search each Plugin on YouTube, and there will be a tutorial video showing you how to install and configure them on your blog for free.
Note that you do not and probably should not try to install and configure all these plugins at once. The beauty of WordPress is you can install these plugins over time as you need them. Therefore, I have ordered the plugins below in terms of their necessity to start a blog.
Vital WordPress Plugins to Start a Blog With
- Yoast SEO (Helps your blog rank higher on search engines like google and creates an XML sitemap for it)
- Akismet Anti-Spam (The official anti-spam plugin made by WordPress)
- WP Super Cache (Helps the pages of your blog load faster)
- Elementor Page Builder (Allows you to design a unique and beautiful blog)
- ShortPixel Image Optimizer (For optimizing the images of your blog by reducing their sizes while maintaining the same quality)
- WPCode (I use this plugin to add code snippets and scripts such as the Google Analytics Script to the headers of my blogs)
- WP Forms (Ideal for your blog’s contact page form)
- Jetpack by WordPress (I use it mainly for tracking my blog’s statistics)
Optional but Recommended WordPress Plugins to Start a Blog With
- UpdraftPlus (Allows you to backup your blog on a regularly scheduled basis)
- Wordfence Security (A great security plugin I used on my WordPress Blogs)
- wpDiscuz (The #1 WordPress Comment plugin for adding a comment section to your blog’s pages)
- WPS Hide Login (I use this plugin to protect the login pages of my blogs by changing the default login URL to prevent unwanted access to it)
- User Role Editor (If you plan on having multiple users, this plugin will allow you to create custom user roles and control what that person can or can’t do on your blog)
Websites That Will Help You Design Your Blog
Adobe Express Logo Maker (Free)
Adobe Express Logo Maker is one of the best free logo makers to use. It is straightforward to use allowing you to create a cool starter logo for your blog. Once your blog is getting traffic and making money, you can then utilize a freelancing site like the one below to later create a more detailed and dynamic custom logo.
Fiverr is a freelancing site that is best for blog design-related jobs you want to get done by more skilled individuals for a fairly cheap price. This includes logo creation or finding HTML and CSS developers to add custom designs such as content layout design, buttons, gradients, etc. to your blog.
Free Stock Photo Sites
Use this article containing the best free stock photo sites to find beautiful and engaging images you need for designing your blog.
4. Content Creation for Your Blog
There are many different factors to starting a blog but creating content for that blog is arguably the most important one of all. Once you have completed installing WordPress, structuring, and designing your blog, you can now start to add content articles or posts as WordPress calls them. But what type of posts should you create? And how do you come up with ideas for them?
Type of Posts to Create: Informational or Purchase Intent?
There are generally two main types of posts you will find on niche blogs. The first is informational posts such as answering popular, yet underserved questions people ask or “how-to” about the various aspects of a niche. The second is purchase intent posts such as best product for this or general product reviews based on the niche.
Informational Posts Are Ideal When Starting a Blog
Creating informational posts over purchase intent posts is the best way to start a blog in your chosen niche. There are many factors as to why this is the case. The obvious one is that informational Posts provide great value to the visitors of your blog as you are most likely answering or solving a problem they have.
Additionally, informational posts are more likely to be shared allowing your blog to naturally acquire more backlinks and rank better on search engines such as Google. They are also generally less completive to rank for and are all fairly passive as they won’t require a lot of updating though this depends on your niche. Lastly, informational posts can be monetized in a more organic multifaceted way than direct purchase intent posts. For example, let’s analyze the two keyword examples below in detail:
Example of an Informational Article Keyword
- Is a sofa bed comfortable?
Example of a Purchase Intent Article Keyword
- Best sofa bed
Firstly, writing an informational post about “is a sofa bed comfortable?” is the better choice because you will most likely never rank on the first page for a “best sofa bed” purchase intent post because it is so competitive.
Secondly, “is a sofa bed comfortable” is a helpful informational post therefore, you can possibly rank well for it as it is far less competitive. Moreover, it is good for growing your blog’s authority as it is sharable informational content that can also properly be monetized with both ads and affiliate links (more on this in step 6).
In short, start your blog with majority helpful and accurate informational posts with a few purchase intent posts sprinkled throughout. When your blog starts to rank well and gain authority then you can look to add more purchase intent posts.
Keyword Research for Your Blog
Now that you know what type of content to add to your blog, it is time to do some keyword research. This is an important step that allows you to find good informational keywords to create posts about. A good keyword should have decent traffic or people searching for it every day on search engines like Google but not be too competitive so that you can rank well for them.
Use these free keyword research tools and videos to come up with at least 10 to 15 good informational post ideas based on your selected blog niche:
Free Keyword Research Tools for Starting a Blog (Tutorial Videos Included)
Keywords Everywhere (Great for overall Keyword Research)
Answer The Public (Great for finding informational blog post ideals)
How to Do Keyword Research for Your Blog Tutorial Videos
How to Create Great Content for Your Blog
Notice that I didn’t mention the word write and rather used create throughout the last section. This is because when it comes to creating content for your blog, you can either choose to write them yourself or pay someone else with more expertise about that topic to write them for you.
Whether or not you choose to write your posts, you should first read through this list of factors to understand how to write great content for your blog and watch the following informational video to get a good understanding of what makes a great blog post.
How to Write a Good Blog Post
- Start with an engaging post title derived from its keyword.
- Structure your posts with introduction paragraphs followed by well-organized section headings and subheadings including a conclusion.
- Write engaging informational paragraphs that address each Heading and or subheading in great detail.
- The content in each post should be original and never plagiarized.
- Your posts should also be informative and captivating.
- Your blog posts should focus on being concise and to the point contrary to the belief that the longer the post the better. The length of your posts should depend on the topic you are writing about. You shouldn’t just write long-form posts because you think that’s what will rank better. Instead, focus on creating accurate content that covers what the reader needs to know about that topic.
- Remember to break up the content into small paragraphs as this is better for your reader's experience.
- Use good featured images that represent the content, mood, or theme of the post.
- Thoroughly edit your posts once you or your writer are done writing them. A great free tool for clearing up the errors in your posts is Grammarly.
How to Write a Good Blog Post Tutorial Video
Once you understand how to create great informational posts for your blog. Use those 10 to 15 keywords you found earlier to create the first 10 to 15 posts that you will launch your blog with. If you opt not to write the articles yourself, we recommend using UpWork which is a professional freelancing site to find good knowledgeable writers with expertise pertaining to your blog’s niche.
5. Getting Traffic to Your Blog
At the start, traffic to your blog will be minimal and can take a bit of time (possibly months) but do not get discouraged as this is normal. Over time if you continue to publish informative and relevant posts frequently you will start to gain traction.
The first and most important step to getting traffic to your blog is to do good keyword research to find high volume low competition keywords. Then use those keywords to create engaging, accurate, well-structured long informational posts that provide value to your potential blog visitors.
Optimize Your Blog for Search Engines (SEO)
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the quality of your blog to increase its quantity of free traffic via search engines such as Google, Bing, etc. The better visibility your pages have in search results, the more likely you are to acquire increased traffic which will lead to better monetization.
To optimize your blog for search engines, the pages and posts of your blog should include these fundamental elements:
- Header Tags – In the WordPress editor by default the title of your pages and posts utilize H1 tags. You should, however, wrap the following section headings and subheadings in H2, H3, H4, etc. tags.
- Permalinks (Very Important): When you are creating a page or drafting an article in the WordPress editor for your blog, you will be prompted to enter a permalink which is the “slug” of a page or post that shows at the end of the URL. For example, if you had an article titled “How to Bake Cookies”, its URL would be “yourblog.com/how-to-bake-cookies” and the permalink is “how-to-bake-cookies”. Therefore, you should make sure each page or post has a defined and unique permalink. Watch this video to get a better understanding of WordPress permalinks:
- Categorization – When you are done drafting articles in the WordPress Editor, categorize them into specific categories that they apply to. This will allow you to better organize the content of your blog and improve user navigation and experience.
- Install a free SEO plugin – Installing an SEO plugin will help you improve and manage your blog’s SEO and create a sitemap. Yoast SEO Plugin is best for beginners, but I use Rank Math SEO plugin for my blogs as I find it allows you to go deeper into analytics and content optimization
Starting a Blog Checklist – Things to check before launching your blog
- Check that your blog’s pages and posts have the proper URL structure and are fully accessible.
- Check that the pages and posts of your blog are properly interlinked.
- Make sure that your blog images have proper alt text.
- Test that your blog functions properly and looks good on different devices/screen sizes of desktop, tablet, and mobile.
- Test that your blog functions properly on different web browsers including Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Microsoft Edge.
- Make sure that your blog’s means of contact including the contact page functions properly.
Submit Your Blog to Search Engines
Submitting your blog to search engines is a great way to let them know that your blog exists on the internet. Doing this will also notify those search engines to crawl the content of your blog regularly as you updated and add more content.
How to Submit Your Site to Google Tutorial Video
*Use step 3 of this tutorial video along with the WPCode - Insert Headers & Footer Plugin recommend in step 3 to quickly and effectively submit your blog to google.
Strategies to Get Traffic to Your Blog
These strategies below can also help get visitors to your newly started blog.
- Post engaging and relevant content to your blog regularly.
- Start a YouTube channel for your blog if applicable.
- Write helpful and insightful relevant posts or comments on Reddit, Quora, and other blogs related to your niche making sure to include a link to an article from your blog that supports the discussion.
- Create social media accounts for your blog such as Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram. Select the social media platform(s) that best fits your blog’s niche.
6. Making Money With Your Blog
Once you have completed the creation of your blog and it starts to receive visitors, you can now start monetizing it to make money. However, it is important to note that because making money with your blog is strongly correlated to the amount of traffic it receives, it can take time to start seeing a steady stream of income.
Therefore, don’t expect to start making money right away as it could take three months to six months before you start to get more and more traffic to your blog resulting in increasing income as the months go by.
You must remain consistent, dedicated, and most importantly never give up. You must also not burn yourself out. It is important to work smart in addition to working hard. So, try to post regularly as you go on with your daily life. Once you start developing a large enough audience, you will start to earn more and more income using the monetization methods below.
Blog Monitorization Methods
You should start monetizing your blog with ads soon after publishing it. We recommend you start with Ezoic. Ezoic is a Google award-winning platform for publishers. Using this ad platform, you can start monetizing your blog right away as they do not have minimum traffic requirements.
Affiliate marketing is a commission-based method to get paid for helping companies sell their products or services. When a visitor to your blog clicks on an affiliate link in your post (you refer them), they are sent to the affiliate program’s blog, where if they purchase through your link, you will get a commission for that purchase at no additional cost to your blog’s visitor. Therefore, if you get ample traffic to your blog, affiliate marketing can be quite lucrative.
But you should wait until you start to see some traffic to your blog before applying to affiliate market programs. This is because some affiliate programs required that you make a certain number of conversions within a certain amount of time after signing up. You must also disclose to your blog's visitors that you are an affiliate with that company.
Your Own Products and Services
As your blog’s traffic increases, selling your own products and services related to your niche is another great way of monetization. You can place visual images or designs similar to ads in your blog’s posts and or sidebar that links to your product or service.
Another great way to monetize your blog is to sell your own digital products. Digital products such as eBooks, courses, etc. have little to no overhead or shipping costs, making them a great source of passive income.
Paid memberships offering exclusive content are another way of monetizing your blog. You could offer unlimited downloads of digital goods, free consultations, a private network or forum where community members can converge, and private content available to members only.
How to Start a Blog and Make Money: Final Thoughts for New Bloggers
If you follow these detailed steps that show you how to start a blog from scratch, you can increase your monthly income over time and even sell your blog for large sums of money. However, it is important to note that results will vary from person to person and niche to niche. But the key factor is to never give up and keep trying while also learning and implementing new blogging strategies along the way.
You should also remain consistent in posting frequently, improving, and promoting your blog. This method of making money online by blogging is very doable, requires low monetary investment upfront, and can be quite lucrative over time. I hope that you now you feel confident to start a blog of your own.