Ever wondered how to start blogging for money? Nowadays there are plenty of ways to start an online business, but start a blog is still one of the best way to get started, especially if you enjoy writing.
If you want to learn how to start a blog and make money thanks to it, keep reading. I’ll guide you through the steps required in order to open your first blog today.
What Is A Blog?
A blog is a regularly updated website that focuses mainly on written content, frequently published in an informal style with the goal to generate traffic and make money online.
In addition to that, blogs have a comment section, where people can interact with the blog owners and ask questions or leave their thoughts.
Interacting with your readers, will help you grow a more loyal community around your blog and help grow further.
You don’t need to be an expert on your topic in order to have a successful blog. Therefore you don’t need any credentials, school degrees or particularly knowledge to start.
In the next section, I show you the steps required in order to create your own blog.
How To Start A Blog To Make Money
Even if a blog is built around a passion or interest you might have, in the 99% of the cases, people want to know how to start blogging for money.
In order to set up a proper blog, ready to make money, there are some 5 required steps to follow:
1. Pick Your Domain Name
2. Choose A Web Hosting Platform
3. Choose A WordPress Theme
4. Publish Your First Post
5. Promote Your Blog
When I first started my blog, I didn’t have any technical knowledge or previous experience of blogging.
Even if you might see the whole process a bit complicated, don’t panic, follow these easy steps and you’ll realize how to start a blog is very straightforward.
Everybody can learn how to start blogging for money, you just need to follow a proven system and put in the required efforts.
Thanks to the fact that I’ve decided to open a blog and learn how to make money online, today I’m able to have my own online business and write this guide for you.
1. Pick Your Domain Name
Every blog needs its own domain, so you’ll need it too. It will be your blog’s address, where people can find you online. My domain name is www.therichmarketer.com.
There are a few ways to find a good blog name and domain:
- Personal Blog: it’s a blog with your name, that might includes different topics related to you and your life.
- Hobbies and Passions: it will be a blog around a topic you are interested in, probably with a domain name that reflects your hobby or passion.
- Experiences: a blog where you talk about specific experiences occurred to you during your life. For example a blog taking about the life o a single mum or of a retired veteran and how they make a living online.
The name of your blog should be descriptive in order to help potential readers to understand instantly what your blog is about just from the name.
How To Choose A Good Domain Name
Once you have some blog name ideas, it’s time to choose a domain name. Once you’ve checked if the domain name is available, choose the right domain extension.
The most common and recommended is a .com domain extension. Anyway .net or .org work as well.
In that case there are other criteria to follow, to make the best possible decision (stop overthinking):
- Readability: the domain must be easy to read and remember.
- Uniqueness: it will be your brand name, therefore must be something remarkable.
- Legal: your domain must not infringe copyright or existing trademarks.
- SEO friendly: it includes keywords related to the main topic of your blog, to rank higher in Google.
Together with the domain, you’ll need to select a blogging platform and the hosting service.
The combination of blogging platform & web hosting I personally use (used by thousands of blogger) is a WordPress blog, hosted by SiteGround.
WordPress is the most popular CMS (Content Management System) used online from bloggers all over the world, because is very easy to use and it offers a lot of possibilities to personalize your blog.
2. Choose A Web Hosting Platform
In order to make your website accessible to other people on the Internet, you need to host it somewhere. A web hosting service keeps all your website files safe and secure on its own servers and it makes sure that people can access your blog, by clicking on a link or typing in your URL.
As mentioned before, your blog, in order to exists, needs a CMS and a hosting platform.
When choosing a plan from a web hosting company , both blogging and hosting platform are usually packaged together.
This is the case of SiteGround and that’s way I consider it the best WordPress hosting to create a blog.
How to Sign Up For SiteGround
Go to the SiteGround website and choose “WordPress Hosting”.
Starting a self-hosted WordPress blog is super easy with SiteGround, thanks to the simple 1-click WordPress install.
Once you’ve clicked, these are the steps to sign up on SiteGround and open your account:
- Choose your hosting plan: choose between 3 different plans, based on your needs. All plans include domain registration (a cost less to start your site). If you are seriously thinking about starting your online business and therefore growing your blog, go for the GrowBig plan, you can lock the best discounted price for 36 months.
- Choose the domain: SiteGround is helping you, showing you all the possible combination and domains currently available. Aim always for a .com domain if available.
- Review & complete: Once you choose your plan and register your domain, check again your information and proceed to checkout. You can choose to host your website on different servers, choose the one closer to your target market.
Congratulations, you’re ready to build your own blog now!
Just to recap, what you should be looking for in a web hosting company is:
My answer to all of these requirements is SiteGround. You can check my SiteGround review for more.
3. Choose A WordPress Theme
It's time to design the look and feel of your blog.
Once you've got your hosting and domain, the next step is to choose a theme that will represent the face of your blog.
Even if you can choose between hundreds of free themes directly inside your WordPress dashboard, I strongly recommend you to spend some money and get a premium theme, thanks to which your blog will look more professional and will stand out from the competition.
Apart of that, premium themes give you much more flexibility and possibilities to personalize the layout of your blog.
Remember that a good design builds trust in your readers' mind.
Envato Market is a collection of themed marketplaces, where creatives sell digital assets to help bring your ideas to life.
It has more than 47.000 WordPress themes and templates.
How To Choose A Good WordPress Theme
It’s easy to get lost at the beginning when choosing a theme, but remember design isn’t just about how your blog looks. The easier it is to navigate and read, the better your blog will be set up for success. Therefore the more chances to make money blogging.
When choosing a theme, try to stick to these characteristics:
- Simplicity: the easier it looks to read, the better. Don't compromise on legibility and usability, the goal is to keep readers as longer as possible on your blog posts.
- Responsiveness: It must be responsive at the same time from desktop and mobile. Google also tends to favor mobile-friendly websites and ranks them at the top of the organic search results.
- SEO friendly: the code of the theme must be optimized for search engines, otherwise it could affect your rankings. Check the reviews and ratings to make the right decision based on your needs.
- Supported plugins: it's very important that your theme will support the most important plugins. These add-ons gives extra functionality to your blog, in order to perform better.
How to start blogging for money? Start by choosing the right theme for your blog.
If you already have a blog you can check my favourite WordPress page builder. It will help you boost your conversions by creating outstanding landing pages.
4. Publish Your First Post
The main reason why people will discover your blog and potentially come back to read, depends from the type of content you' re blogging.
If you help people solving their problems, people will care about what you have to say.
When starting out you might be confused and don't know what to write for your first blog post.
Remember what I mentioned before? You will need to be seen as an expert in your field, therefore is very important you choose your niche carefully, something you are interested about or where you have some knowledge to share.
Why Choosing A Niche Is Important
Based on your niche you'll plan your content calendar, decide on design, and know how to market your blog to the right audience.
If you want to make money from blogging, you should do a research to see if there is a market demand for your niche.
To understand if a niche is profitable or not you should answer the following 4 questions:
- Are there always offers to promote?
- Are customers in this niche known to buy?
- Can you market to this niche in a profitable way?
- Do you like this niche?
Once you've established the niche you're going to be blogging about, you will start generating blog post ideas by doing a keyword research. This is what will bring you new readers.
Create a simple editorial calendar based on all the keywords you select. Try to stick to it and be persistent, aim for at least 1 blog post a week at the beginning. After 3 to 6 months, start to publish 2-3 times a week or more if you can.
How To Write A Blog Post
Go to the left menu of WordPress and hover the mouse on “Posts”. Then Click on "Add new".
You are now on the post editor screen. Enter the title of your post in the top box and then the body text in the lower box.
You can add images, videos or any other graphic design. Try to use a combination of headers in order to give a logical order to your text.
All the text, including the title, should reflect the keyword you choose for the blog post.
Once you have finished your post just click the “Publish” button.
Set The Main Pages Of Your Blog
Even if is not directly connected with the daily activity of a blog, it's very important to set basic pages to make your blog look legitimate.
The most important pages you must have are:
About page is the core of your blog, not only to introduce yourself and tell your story, but also to explain your value proposition. People need to understand who is your blog for and why they should listen to you.
Contact page is needed to be in contact with the rest of the internet and give a channel to communicate with your readers or with possible partners for future online business opportunities.
Disclaimer page makes people aware that what they read on your blog is based on your own personal opinions and experience, therefore you don't take responsibility for the results they might achieve following your tips. At the same time you inform your audience how you are monetizing your blog, for example by using affiliate links (by the way this is my disclaimer page).
5. Promote Your Blog
Another important part, when learning how to start blogging for money, is to understand the importance of promoting your blog.
You probably should spend more time promoting a post than you did writing it.
So how do you drive traffic to your blog now?
Obviously there are plenty of options to promote your blog posts. Anyway try to focus on one of those, especially at the beginning, otherwise you'll end up wasting your energies.
Where To Promote Your Blog Posts
These are some of the channels you can leverage:
- Social Media: start by posting your blog posts on your personal profile and then create your social media pages on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Instagram. Try to be creative and see what works on each platform. If you feel comfortable recording videos, then YouTube could be the best channel to drive traffic to your blog.
- Forum or Groups: participate in the discussion inside forums related to your niche and join groups on Facebook, LinkedIn or Reddit, where you can find people within your target, having the same interests.
- Guest posts and blogging on Medium, Quora or LinkedIn: Guest blogging on other related blogs is the best way to connect with an already established audience. Request other bloggers to post for them and insert a backlink pointing to your website. You should consider doing the same on your blog. Repost your blog posts on Medium or LinkedIn, or answer questions on Quora and driving traffic to relevant blog posts.
- Email list: try to build an email list on your website, by offering a lead magnet in exchange for the people's emails. Every time you publish a new post, send a broadcast email informing your audience about the new post and inviting them to sharing it on their social media.
Make Money Blogging: 5 Actionable Ways
I believe you're serious about opening a blog and you want understand how to start blogging for money.
There are quite a few options that bloggers can use to make an income from their blogs.
At the beginning anyway it shouldn't be your first priority, otherwise you'll end up not writing good content for your future readers.
That's why, monetization is the last step when learning how to start blogging for money.
Blogging could bring you a lot of money in the long-term, therefore if you want to succeed as a blogger and make money thanks to it, you need to be persistent through the years.
How To Make Money Blogging
This is probably where many bloggers begin their career. Join ad networks, the most important is Google Adsense.
By placing a little snippet of code on your website, Google will show relevant ads to your readers meanwhile they scroll through your content.
If some of them click on the ads banner, you'll get a commission.
Anyway, this kind of advertising doesn't become very profitable until you're driving close to a million monthly readers, so it's not something to focus on in the short-term.
2. Affiliate Marketing
By promoting other's people products or services related to your niche, you can start earning a good amount of money.
You can join affiliate networks or private affiliate programs. After that, you place affiliate links along your content to send traffic from your blog to the affiliate offer.
Every time someone will buy, after clicking the link on your website, you'll get paid a commission (20% to 50%).
The most common affiliate network is Amazon but the commissions they pay are very low (3% to 10%).
If you wish to know more check out my affiliate marketing beginner's guide.
That's the way I started monetize my blog and it's what keep me posting quality content for free on my blog.
3. Sponsored Content
For sponsored content we intend when a brand, company or individual pays you a fee in order to get their content in front of your audience.
This can be a very lucrative way to start blogging for money.
Anyway, you'll not so easily get offers until you're a bit more experienced and your blog get consistent traffic. Otherwise no one won't pay you money for that.
Want to start earning from your blog right now? Start by selling services, it's going to be your lowest effort option by far.
If you have a skill that you can sell as a service you're ready to start. Prepare yourself to go out and start pitching potential clients. Some of the skills you could sell:
- Paid advertising campaigns
- Social media management
- Video Making
- Virtual assistance
- and so on...
And if you want to try out some of the websites where freelance clients are already looking for talented help, you can check out UpWork, Freelancer.com or Fiverr (I use it to buy freelance services for my business).
5. Online Courses
If you can help a handful of your readers solve a real problem they're encountering, you'll surely find some of them available to pay to get the course or getting direct coaching from you.
Once you have some experience that others also want to learn, it's relatively easy to package your best tips, strategies and tactics into an online course where people can pay for access to accelerate the learning curve.
For example a course about: how to start blogging for money?
What's great about online courses as a monetization option for your blog, is that you don't need a huge audience in order to start earning.
To host your online course you could use a platform such as Kajabi, Teachable or Podia (the most affordable option).
Should You Start A Blog?
What's the biggest misconceptions about starting a blog?
It's that you need to be a great writer to be successful. This is actually far to be true. Let me explain.
People read blog sites to get a personal perspective on things, that's why most bloggers write in an informal or conversational style.
At the same time, blogging can be one of the most profitable online businesses with very low costs, if you do it the right way (even if part-time).
And the best part is, the handful of hours you put into writing a blog post today can make money for you long into the future (ever heard about passive income?).
If your goal is to build a sustainable business online or develop your personal brand, then you should highly consider starting a blog.
Ok, but where to start? Let me show where you can learn how to start blogging for money.
Recommended Resource To Start A Make Money Blog
I'm part of an online community called Wealthy Affiliate.
WA is the biggest online community for affiliate marketers and moreover is an all-in-one platform for aspirant digital entrepreneurs.
You can open your free account on Wealthy Affiliate and get started with your online business.
What you get inside?
- Step-by-step training: how to setup your website or blog from scratch and build a profitable business.
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After you go through all the free content (10 lessons included), you'll get a special offer during the first week.
If you want to join me and other 1.2 million people and become a premium member of the community, you'll get as well a 1-to-1 support from me.
Hope you enjoyed this guide and that you find some value in it. Please share it with your friends or other people interested to open a blog.
If you have questions about how to start blogging for money, please leave a comment below, I will do my best to answer all of your doubts.