So you want to learn how to start a blog and make money online?
It makes sense. Business owners of all levels are using their blogs to create brand awareness and drive traffic to their websites. Freelancers are using their blogs to market their writing services and bloggers are making a full-time income with their blogs.
The best part?
Anyone can start a blog
…and it doesn’t matter if you are an individual, a small business owner or a professional. As long as you have access to the internet, you can start a blog and make money online today.
If you are looking to get into serious blogging, whether for your business or to make money with your blog, this article is for you.
The fact that there are more than 600 million blogs with 4 million blog posts published every day shouldn’t make you think that it’s too difficult to make money blogging in 2020.
With the right tactics, you too can make six-figure income like Jon Morrow, Neil Patel, and many other internet marketers out there.
In my step-by-step guide to starting a blog, I am going to show you how you can quickly and easily create your blog from scratch. I will also show you how to promote and monetize your blog.
So, grab a seat, pick your cup of coffee, and read with me as I walk you through each step.
What You Need to Start a Blog and Make Money Online
Here are the essentials to build a successful blog.
- A niche for your blog or blog topic
- The right blogging platform/blogging site
- A domain name
- A Web Hosting- I recommend Bluehost (I will share with you several reasons later why Bluehost is the best web hosting provider for your blogging needs).
- The right WordPress theme- (I recommend Astra Pro)
- The right WordPress plugins
- The right email marketing service provider
Equipped with these seven things, you can start a blog in less than 30 minutes.
FYI: I’m showing you exactly how I created my blog- jdealmmo.com.
Also, the tools I recommend here are the ones I am using(some which I know more about as well) that helped me to start this blog with ease.
What is a Blog?
A blog is a type of website that is updated with new content regularly. The content is usually written in a conversational style to attract readers and achieve the set goals whether it’s growing a business, creating brand awareness, marketing products on the internet, etc.
In most cases, a blog will have a comment section where readers can engage with the blog owner to strengthen the blogger-reader relationship.
To give you a deeper understanding of what a blog is I will share the 8 common types of blogs so you can choose which the best one for you is.
8 Popular Types of Blogs
Even though you may learn how to start a blog and make money online, choosing what type of blog it should be can be challenging. There are many types of blogs to choose from.
Choosing a blog topic should be one of the honorable things to do first.
Once you have decided what type of blog to create, it would be easier to know the content to produce. I also advise you to stick with one type of blog as that will make your readers get used to your content.
Remember that to attract readers to your blog and keep them coming back once more; you need to share valuable, interesting, engaging, and useful content. And the fact that the blogging field is extremely a competitive one, you must make sure you pick the type of blog that will differentiate you from the millions of blogs out there.
This is why I advise you to take your time before you decide to start a blog.
To help you chose the best type of blog for you, here are the 8 popular types of blogs. These are just a few of the most common types of blogs out there.
As the name suggests, a personal blog is a type of blog where the author shares anything from opinions, passions, unique experiences, etc.
Most of the oldest blogs on the internet are personal blogs.
As you will see, most of them started even before the internet became popular.
The authors of these blogs used to share their daily lives and experiences for people to read. A personal blog is not designed to make money. It’s aimed at connecting the author with like-minded people.
As the name implies, a business blog is set up for business purposes. If you own a business and you want to make it known to the world, drive readers to your website and convert them into paid customers, this is the type of blog you should create.
Usually, a business blog will help you demonstrate your knowledge and expertise in your industry by sharing content related to your field.
With a business blog, you can make money online through the products or services you offer to your readers or direct them to your business website.
An affiliate blog is a type of blog where the owner shares content promoting his own products (or other people’s products or services) to generate affiliate marketing commissions.
Usually, the blog owner will publish product reviews, how-to guides, and tutorials about products or services, including affiliate links within the content.
The aim is to encourage readers to purchase the products or services recommended using the blog owner’s affiliate links. For example, in this ultimate guide about how to start a blog, I will be including affiliate links for products or services I used to start this blog. When you buy or sign up for those products or services using my affiliate links, I may earn a commission.
A niche blog is one with content about specific topics. For instance, fashion, food blogging, training, travel, home décor, parenting, etc.
The good thing about starting a niche blog is that you focus on a specific topic hence making the research a breeze.
A news blog is considered the most costly type of blog to set up. Besides, to be successful in news blogging, you must be ready to put more time and effort to publish content multiple times a day. Also, news blogging requires one to be proficient and truthful with their content. Examples of news blogs are BuzzFeed, TechCrunch, and many others.
A professional blog is purposely set up to help the blog owner make money online. Money is the only goal in this case.
Usually, one uses different monetization techniques such as selling display ads, promoting other people’s products or services, creating and selling digital products, etc.
A reverse blog, also known as a guest host blog, is one whose content is created by the public and not the blog owner.
Usually, a reverse blog will have a team of guest hosts who publish content. Huffington Post is a good example of a reverse blog.
These days, many people are ditching their 9-to-5 jobs in search of remote jobs. This has led to an increase in freelance blogs.
Typically, a freelance blog is one designed by freelancers to offer freelance writing services to other businesses and individuals.
Usually, a freelancer will write about topics provided by the client.
A freelance blog helps freelancers to market their freelance writing skills.
So there you have it. Now, if you are not sure about the type of blog to start, ask yourself the following questions:
- Which type of blog am I comfortable to write about for many years to come?
- Which type of blog am I knowledgeable with?
- Who are the target readers of the blog I am familiar with?
If you can answer these three questions, then you will be good to choose a type of blog for yourself.
Having known what a blog is and what types of blogs there are out there, you must be wondering why you should bother starting a blog.
Why Should You Start a Blog Anyway?
Many people are held back from starting a blog because of the misconception that you need to be a great writer to be successful in blogging. Of course, this is the fear I had before I started this blog. I had no idea about how to choose a niche, a web hosting company, and everything related to blogging.
But today, you are here reading my definitive guide on how to start a blog and make money online. That means you don’t need to be an expert to start a blog.
The only thing you need to be successful in blogging is the passion for your niche/blog topic.
After all, blogging is about sharing your knowledge and expertise with the public. If you don’t have a passion for your topic, you will not be able to research and write content that keeps your readers interested.
If you are still wondering why you should get into blogging, here are a few reasons why you should start doing it now.
Surefire Reasons to Start a Blog in 2020
Make money from home
61% of U.S. customers have bought items online based on recommendations from a blog. So, yes, you can start a blog to make money from home from day one- although it’s not easy.
Many people earn a living blogging through affiliate marketing, creating and selling online courses and digital products, selling services such as online consulting, coaching, writing, etc.
Even though blogging can be lucrative if done correctly, success doesn’t happen overnight. The top bloggers who are making six-figure income have been honing their craft and experimenting with things for years.
It’s free to start a blog
You don’t need some start-up capital to start a blog by the way. With about $100, you can start a blog and make money online.
Now, what business can you start without start-up capital? To start a blog, all you need is a domain name and web hosting.
And the good thing is that with Bluehost, you can get both at $3.95/month (I recommend you to choose the Basic Plan with the 36-month plan when starting a blog. Another good thing about using Bluehost is that you get your domain for free.
Well, of course, if you want to speed up success with your blog, you can invest some money into it in the early days by choosing premium themes and plugins instead of the free ones, but this will not cost you too much.
Grow your business
Regardless of the type of business you run, you can grow it using your blog.
- 57% of marketers say they’ve attracted customers through blogging.
- Small businesses with blogs have reported 126% more lead growth than those who don’t have.
- 81% of U.S. online buyers have made a purchase based on recommendations from blogs.
So as you can see, having a blog can help grow your business quickly.
Join the community
Blogging is such a huge space with bloggers of all types from all over the world. When you write a blog post and share it with the world, people comment, like and share it. You also read other blog posts by other bloggers. This way you connect with like-minded people.
You become your own boss
How does it feel to have a flexible schedule and freedom to work from home spending time with your family? You do something you are passionate about.
When you start a blog, you will have all the freedom you wanted but you must be disciplined enough to see success.
Learn new skills
When I started this blog, I never thought I’d learn a lot of skills and turn blogging into my full-time income-generating stream and career.
Blogging can help you learn many new skills than you can imagine.
For instance, after I started this blog, I have learned:
- How to use WordPress to design different blogs.
- Web hosting
- Content management
- SEO best practices
- Email marketing
The more you research and write content the more you learn and implement new things.
Build your brand online
The more you write about your chosen topic, the more you become an expert in it and the more you establish yourself as an authority in your industry. And this ultimately helps to build your brand online.
By providing valuable information to your readers, you set yourself apart from the competition. Your blog will become a go-to resource for many people searching for information related to your topic.
A Word of Caution!
Before I take you through my step-by-step guide to start a blog and make money online it’s important to let you know that there are many drawbacks to starting and running a blog.
It’s not a get-rich-quick scheme. And getting into blogging without preparing yourself can be frustrating in the end.
So to help you get into blogging without the right mindset, here are the bad sides of blogging.
Running a blog is no easy task
If you get into blogging based on the advice shared by successful bloggers out there, you may think that running a blog is easy but that’s not the truth. Many don’t share what happens behind the scenes.
Behind the beautiful homepages and blog posts, you read is huge hard work coupled with long working days.
To see success with your blog, you must be prepared to work more hours especially in the early days of your blogging journey. This means that you will have to work even on weekends and evening hours.
Blogging isn’t your quick route to make money
There are many creative ways to make money blogging; that one I can’t dispute but if you want to start a blog and make money online fast, then you should reconsider your thoughts.
It takes time and hard work to see success in blogging. You will have to experiment and try different strategies and techniques to determine which one works the best.
Your income will not always be fixed
You can make a living blogging; that’s a fact, but you must be prepared for hard times as well. So, don’t quit your full-time job too fast because your income is not going to be fixed always. Some months will pass without making anything. It’s better to get into blogging prepared and with the right mindset.
Blogging is a lonely endeavor
If you’ve decided to enter into blogging, then be prepared to spend many hours without the company you used to have when working full-time unless you are starting a blog as a side hustle.
In fact, some bloggers have opted to rent a co-working space and some work in coffee shops.
The bottom line…
Although anyone can start a blog and make money from home, it isn’t without its pitfalls.
It is, therefore, important for anyone thinking of starting a blog to consider both sides of the coin before wearing the mask.
The good thing is that many people are looking for information on the internet. If you can target the huge number of potential readers then starting a blog could be a lucrative venture for you.
Ready to start your own blog now?
As mentioned earlier, anyone can start a blog. Whether you are a freelance writer, a business owner or you are looking to make money blogging, the process is as simple as:
Decide your niche and blogging platform, choose a web hosting company (I recommend Bluehost– it powers more than 2 million websites around the world and is also recommended by WordPress), and you are good to start your blog.
So, just how do you start a blog in 2020?
Let’s dive into it.
Step 1: Chose a Profitable Niche for Your Blog
It’s one of the most important steps on how to start a blog and make money online. Many people have been forced to rethink their blog niche after trying hard without succeeding with blogging.
So, pay close attention to every bits and piece I’m going to share here.
When it comes to choosing a niche for your blog, the good news is that there are endless options. However, the bad news is that not all niches or blog topics are viable. Some niches will always fail to generate good returns regardless of how proficient you are or how much time and effort you put into them.
So, you need to know how to pick a winning blog niche.
Here is the thing…
Most people who start a blog without succeeding aren’t dumb or lazy. Oftentimes they fail because they choose the wrong niche.
As a rule, you must choose a topic you enjoy writing about and has your interests.
But that’s not all if you are looking to start a blog to drive more traffic and generate leads; you need to choose a promising niche.
It’s not easy to choose a winning blog niche. I’ve been there, and I understand it. But don’t worry. I’m going to show you exactly how to pick a profitable niche for your blog.
It is just as simple as answering a few questions correctly and you are good to pick your blog niche.
How to Choose The Right Niche For Your Blog
Ideally, a niche is the topic your blog posts will be based on. In simple terms, it’s the topic you will be writing about. Digital marketing, search engine optimization, blockchain, weight loss, etc. are good examples of niches.
Many people make a mistake to choose a niche simply because it has a higher chance of generating income.
Always choose a niche that has your interests. A blog topic you will love to write about for many years to come.
So here are the questions to ask yourself before choosing a niche for your blog.
Question 1: Are there many people interested in this niche?
Remember that, it’s not your blog. Even though you own the blog, the content you write is for your target readers. There is no point in choosing a niche you love if no one’s interested in it.
So, start by figuring how whether there are many people interested in your niche.
In this case, you will need to do a little leg walk.
First, enter your chosen niches into Google Trends
The quickest way to find out whether a niche has huge interests is to use the free Google Trends tool. This will help you determine:
- Whether your niche has many searches on Google.
- Whether the interest in your niche is increasing or decreasing.
Well, Google Trends too may not give you in-depth analysis, but it’s a good starting point. Besides, it’s the quickest and easiest way to start.
The process goes like this:
- Choose main search terms for your niche
- Enter them into Google Trends.
Let’s use “weight loss” as our niche and see the results on Google Trends.
As you can see in the image above, even though interest in weight loss has never been stable, it’s still a promising and popular niche. From Jan 5 to 11, 2020, the interest went to as high as 97 which is a clear sign of the popularity, the niche commands, given that a value of 100 is the peak popularity and 50 means the niche is half popular.
You can also compare your chosen niche against other potential niches by clicking the Compare button.
Take a look when we compare weight loss against other potential niches like pets, digital marketing, and search engine optimization.
From our comparison of the popular niches, it’s safe to say that weight loss is the most popular niche, followed by pets then digital marketing in 2020. This means that, if you are planning to start a blog and make money online, then you have a good starting point there.
Use keyword research tools for further assessment
Assuming you have found the popular niches using Google Trends, you need to take your keyword a step further.
Note that Google Trends doesn’t provide information about the search volumes for certain keywords.
These tools are also easy to use and free.
The good news is that these tools will suggest other keywords related to your niche so you can explore your niche further.
Generally, you want a niche with many searches per month. If no one is searching the main terms in your niche, then you will struggle to make money from it.
Question 2: Is the niche profitable?
From the homework above, you must have known two things:
- Whether you should choose the niche
- Whether many people are searching for related terms in Google
But that’s not all; you also need to check whether you can make money from the niche.
Well, from my experience, anyone can make money from pretty any niche provided many people are interested in it and if one is creative enough.
But sometimes it can be too difficult to make money with any given niche. So, it’s important to ascertain whether it’s possible to make good money with your chosen niche or not.
Note that some niches are more lucrative than others.
So to determine how profitable your niche is, you need to research further (Which isn’t hard anyway).
Take a look at other blogs in your niche
Are there other blogs in your niche? Are they making money from that niche?
Check popular blogs in your niche to see what monetization strategies they are using.
- Are they displaying banner ads?
- What other ads are they displaying?
- Are they promoting other products via affiliate links?
- Are they selling their own product(s)?
Having answered all the questions above, you will be able to tell whether your niche has many monetization opportunities.
Head over to Amazon
Amazon can offer you tons of monetization ideas.
Check for popular products in your niche on Amazon. Are they selling well?
If more people are interested in the products, you will see how they are purchased on Amazon. You can then:
- Write blog posts promoting those products and earn commissions or
- Create similar products and sell them on your blog. This is in the case of eBooks, and other digital products.
Take your research to popular affiliate programs
Just make sure you can find valuable products that people interested in your niche will love to buy and promote them in your blog.
Check whether you can make your own products
This is perhaps the most involving method, but the rewards are worth the effort especially if you create high-quality products that many people will love to buy.
For instance, you may want to check whether you can create tutorials in the form of eBooks in your niche and sell them on your blog.
Question 3: How much knowledge do you have about your blog topic?
As a rule, if you want to start a successful blog, you should be able to write valuable blog posts- this is a proof that you have ample knowledge about your niche.
After all, if you have little or no knowledge about your chosen niche, then researching it will be a hassle let alone writing blog posts.
You want to choose a niche you will not get tired of writing about. Something you can write accurately and confidently.
People who come to read your blog posts expect that you have experience in your blog niche. After all, who’d want to learn how to drive traffic to his website from someone whose website doesn’t have traffic?
Even though in some blog niches readers won’t expect you to have formal qualifications, in certain niches, they will love to see that you have the knowledge required to write about them.
Question 4: Does the niche have a longer lifespan.
Some blog owners have been forced to choose a different niche after six months of blogging.
The first niche they picked became obsolete even before the plane could take off.
You need to pick a niche that is long-lasting- one that is not going to decrease in popularity any time soon.
To tell whether a niche is going to last, take a look at the period is has been around and observe its trends so far.
Some niches are hot when they are still new but they nosedive in popularity fast.
Question 5: What’s the state of the competition in your niche?
Of course, to start a blog and make money online, you will have to outshine the competition to win the hearts of your target audience.
After all, how can you win a tournament if there are no competitors on the ground?
Don’t be deceived to choose a niche that doesn’t have much competition or one with no competitor at all.
And if a niche has too many competitors, you can turn them into your collaborators by guest posting on them.
Question 6: Can you produce evergreen content in your chosen niche?
To succeed with your blog, you need to produce evergreen content regularly.
Evergreen content is those blog posts that people will find useful regardless of the date and year they were published.
The good thing about publishing evergreen content is that you will not need too much effort to produce new blog posts regularly. Your evergreen content will keep or bringing repeat traffic for you.
If the niche you choose will require you to publish new blog posts regularly, figure whether you have the muscles to give your niche the justice it deserves.
In summary, to choose a winning blog niche you need to consider its:
- Can you make money from your niche?
- Does the niche has a longer lifespan?
- Are there enough affiliate programs for your niche?
- Does the niche has a reasonable competition?
- Are there many people searching for terms related to your niche?
- Can you write a blog post on the niche for many years to come?
- Do you have enough knowledge about your niche?
- Can you produce evergreen content in your niche?
I think up to this far, you can find the perfect niche for your blog.
5 Most Profitable Blogging Niches to Choose in 2020
Here are the 5 hot blogging niches of 2020. Note that these are only a few of the best blogging niches to make money from. There are many out there.
Do thorough research to know them.
Technology is evolving every day. And people are looking to stay at par with the development trends in technology.
That’s why technology is and will still be the hottest blog niches even for many years to come.
If you have a passion for the latest gadgets, you like to keep your nose inside the rubbles of the internet to sniff the latest tech, technology is your best niche.
Start a tech blog and educate your audiences everything tech.
Bringing up kids is no easy task, especially in today’s busy world. Parents are looking for tips on how to raise healthy and responsible kids online.
The good thing about the parenting niche is that you can sub-divide it into sub-sections like toddlers, preschool kids, etc.
Note: You need to provide authentic information if you want to become successful with this niche. So, make sure you are knowledgeable about it and you have experience in this niche.
iii. Digital Marketing
Technology continues to advance at a lightning speed and the digital space is growing fast. This has led to an increase in demand for digital marketers.
And as competition in the business world continues to get fierce, companies are looking for ways how to stay relevant and on top of their competitors.
You may start a digital marketing blog and educate your target audience on how to do business via the website or how to take advantage of social media, and search engines to promote products or services, etc.
The good thing about this niche is that you not only make money but you also learn how to apply it yourself as you educate your blog readers.
iv. Finance and Investment
There are almost endless ways to make money that even the experienced money makers haven’t explored them all.
You can research more on these niches and provide meaningful information to your readers on how to make money and invest.
If you are familiar with the stock market, personal finance, foreign exchange, this should make your perfect blog niche in 2020.
Living disease-free is no easy task.
A person who is healthy is a happy person. Staying healthy cannot be underrated.
The rate at which fitness places are developing shows how people are willing to pay to stay healthy.
If you are a nutritionist, a fitness trainer or you are good at coaching people on how to exercise the right way, you may consider starting a health and wellness blog and start educating your readers about health-related topics.
Step 2: Choose a Good Blog Name
The second step to start a lucrative blog is to choose a good blog name. Choosing your blog name isn’t a difficult task if you already know your niche or blog topic.
As a rule, your readers should be able to tell what your blog is all about just from reading your blog name.
Unable to choose a good blog name? Here is an easy guide I prepared on how to come up with a blog name.
Once you have your blog name, chose your blogging platform, and domain name.
Step 3: Choose the Right Blogging Platform/Blogging Site
In a bid to start a blog and make money online, many bloggers have researched many questions, especially when choosing a blogging platform for their blogs.
Some of the questions I get asked every so often include:
- Which is the best blogging platform for making money?
- Can I start my blog with a free blogging platform?
- What are the most popular blogging platforms?
- Is WordPress the best blogging platform for new bloggers?
You must have several questions concerning the same but I will show you how to pick the right blogging platform for your blog.
There are many free blogging sites out there for new bloggers and content marketers looking to test their ideas before they can start serious blogs.
So, which is the best blogging platform?
Get the answer to your question right below.
Tips for Choosing the Right Blogging Platform Or Content Management System
Know Your Target Readers
The people you are target will play a huge role when choosing a blogging platform. For instance, if you are targeting teenagers, Tumblr would make the best blogging site for you.
If you are looking to get into serious blogging, WordPress, Shopify, Joomla, Blogger, Wix, etc. are the best blogging sites for you.
As a rule, the platform you choose should have enough features to help you create a blog that delight and engage your target audience.
Of course, if you want to make money, you should spend money. And even though there are quite a number of free blogging platforms like Blogger, Tumblr, and many others, if you are planning to start a blog and monetize it, these might not be the right platforms to choose from.
The good news is that even though paid blogging platforms are slightly costly, you can use WordPress and spend a few bucks on third-party hosting, plugins, and theme designs.
Ease of use
No matter how good a blogging platform might be, if you cannot use it effectively, it’s not worth your time.
Always choose a content management system you can set up easily, add images and other elements into your blog post without too much coding knowledge.
Search engine friendliness
These days everyone in the blogging field wants to appear on the top pages of SERPs. If your blogging platform isn’t optimized for search engines, you are going to sweat to make your blog post visible to your target readers.
Check to see whether your blogging platform is designed with SEO in mind before making your final decision.
If you are unsure which blogging platform to use for your blog I would recommend you choose WordPress. WordPress powers 34.6% of all websites on the internet. The most popular and successful site you know (Smart Blogger, TechCrunch, Mercedes-Benz, etc. are all powered by WordPress.
WordPress is also easy to use and is optimized for search engines. So if you are looking to create a profitable blog, then look no further than WordPress for your content management platform.
When choosing WordPress as your preferred blogging site or content management system, you also need to know the two options available: WordPress.com and WordPress.org. The two items sound similar but there are some noticeable differences between them.
WordPress.com vs WordPress.org – Which One is the Best Option for You?
If you are looking to start a blog and make money with it, then choose the self-hosted WordPress.org.
A blog is a representation of your business on the internet and so you need to have full control. It’s, therefore, important to hose your blog with a self-hosted platform.
Even though WordPress.com is a powerful content management system, it’s sometimes restrictive when it comes to adjusting settings or picking a custom domain name.
For instance, when you host your blog with WordPress.com, your URL will appear like yoursite.wordpress.com.
And if you decide to use a custom domain name with WordPress.com, then you will have to spend some extra money.
Also, WordPress.com lacks sufficient monetization and analytics features. Besides, the CMS does not work with third-party plugins and themes.
The good thing about WordPress.org allows you full control and freedom to download third-party plugins and themes and tweak your settings the way you want. There are also numerous monetization and analytics options and many other useful features as well.
Step 3: Choose a Domain Name
When I was new to blogging, choosing a domain name was the step that could take me forever until I came to learn the following tips.
How to choose a domain name for your blog
Consider the price of the domain
When it comes to choosing a domain name, you can either use Namecheap or Bluehost. With Namecheap, you choose your domain name and register it at a fee (usually less than $10/yr.).
With Bluehost web hosting, you get a free domain name for the first year.
Use your personal name as your domain name
You can either register a custom domain name or use your personal name as your domain name. There are many popular blogs with personal names as the domain names, for instance, neilpatel.com and many others out there.
The good thing about choosing a personal domain name it offers you more flexibility than a niche-specific domain name. You can write about any topic with a personal domain name than with a niche-specific one.
When it comes to domain extensions, there are quite a number of them from .com, .us, .org, .ac, .sport, etc.
However, I recommend you to go with .com as this is the top-level domain that’s likely to work well with most search engines.
Other things to consider when choosing a domain name include…
- It should be short & simple– A short and simple domain is easy to pronounce and remember.
- Include keyword in your domain– Well, this is not a must but doing it will help to boost SEO.
- Avoid numbers– Just don’t use numbers in your blog domain.
Step 4: Register Your Domain Name With a Web Host
Now that you have picked you’re equipped with your blog name and domain name, it’s time to register it and get your blog online.
Don’t worry, I’ll show you how to do it with Bluehost. Besides, it’s easy to register a domain name.
A web host is where your blog’s files are housed. Usually, your web hosting company will have a direct impact on the performance of your blog, so you need to choose your web hosting company wisely.
I recommend Bluehost because of the following reasons:
- It is recommended by WordPress
- It is reliable and affordable
- It offers 99% server uptime
- Offers numerous hosting plans to choose from
- 1-click WordPress installation
- Has 24/7 customer support
- You get free SSL certificate
- High-speed servers
- Easy cPanel dashboard
- Beginner-friendly dashboard
- Top-notch security
Registering your domain name should take you less than 5 minutes.
Follow the steps below to register your domain name and set up hosting.
- Head over to the Bluehost and click “Get Started Now” button
- Select a hosting plan
Once you are in, select a hosting plan.
Bluehost offers 4 types of hosting plans: Basic at $3.95/mo, Plus at $5.95/mo, Choice Plus for $6.95/mo, and Pro for $13.95/mo; all with different features.
Because you are just starting your blog and you may not have enough budget, you may choose the Basic Plan $3.95/month (many bloggers out there will push you to choose the highest hosting plan because they want to earn more commission but I choose to allow one to decide which plan to choose). You can always advance to higher plans and enjoy advanced features like Domain Privacy & Protection, Site Backup with CodeGuard Basic, etc.
If you can, choose the highest hosting plan with the most advanced features.
Just click the “Select” button to choose your hosting plan.
- Choose your blog domain name
Next, choose the domain name of your blog. Your domain name is your website’s address- usually with the dot com extension.
As you can see in the image above, you can either create a new domain (If you haven’t created it yet) or use a domain you own (If you already created one with other domain registrars like Namecheap.
I assume you have created one yet, so let’s go with the first option. In my case, my domain name is jdealmmo.com. You may also choose to skip this step and choose a domain later is you can’t decide one yet.
After choosing your domain name or skipping this step for later, you will get into the final step. Assuming your domain name is available.
- Creating your Bluehost account
Enter your account information including your name, email address (make sure you use your latest email address as this is where you Bluehost login credentials and account information will be sent).
You can choose to sign in with your Google account.
- Choose the right hosting package
Your account plan will depend on the amount you wish to pay and for how long.
In this case, I recommend you to choose Basic 36 Months Price. This means you will have hosted your domain name for the next 3 years after which you will renew your hosting package again by paying.
You will notice that Bluehost doesn’t offer monthly payments but offers options for up to 3 years upfront.
- Choose package extras
Here, you can skip all but pick the Domain Privacy Protection
For the Bluehost SEO tools and other extras, I will show you how to get free and affordable plugins and tools later on this guide for purposes of security and search engine optimization so you don’t have to pick them at the moment.
The good thing about the Domain Privacy extra is that it safeguards all your private information including your name email, phone number, and address).
If you picked a higher hosting plan (Choice Plus Plan) the Domain Privacy Protection will be shown as “Free”- check the screenshot below.
The total is the amount you are going to pay for your web hosting that will last for 3 years. If you choose 24 or 12 months the price will go down. You will also get a 30-day money-back guarantee.
In case you aren’t satisfied with Bluehost web hosting within 30 days after registering your domain, you can always ask your money back- although I assure you Bluehost won’t disappoint you because it’s the one I use.
Next, you check out by…
- Entering your billing information
Enter your billing information and make sure you tick the box that you have read and agreed to Bluehost Terms of Services and then click the “Submit” button
You have successfully purchased a web hosting and domain for your blog. This is the first step on how to start a blog and make money online.
Having completed the initial sign up process, let’s proceed to set up and optimize your blog.
Bluehost will send you a welcome email and a digital receipt to the email you registered your domain with.
Step 5: Install WordPress
After purchasing a web hosting plan, the next step is to install WordPress on Bluehost. Installing WordPress is also quick and super easy with the Bluehost 1-Click WordPress installation process.
With Bluehost, you can install WordPress in two ways: Through the Bluehost Marketplace or My Sites.
How to Install WordPress Using Bluehost’s Marketplace
- Head over to your Bluehost cPanel account.
- Go to the Website section and click the Install WordPress button.
- Choose your domain name. You will notice a field next to your domain where you can either leave it blank if you want your site’s main page to be your blog.
- You may also choose to change your email address, username, and password by clicking “Advance options”.
- Go through the license and service agreements and tick the boxes to show that you have read and accepted.
- Click the Install Now button
How to Install WordPress Using “My Sites” Option
- Again, log in to your Bluehost account or go to my.bluehost.com/hosting/app#/
- Click the My Sites tab on the left side of the side menu.
- Click the Create Site button in the top-right corner.
- Enter your blog’s information – Blog Name and Tagline. You can just enter anything related to your blog and change it later so don’t dwell too much time on this.
- Click Next and choose your domain name from the drop-down list.
- Choose the directory and click Next to install WordPress on Bluehost. Don’t install the Bluehost’s recommended plugins because I will show you how to install WordPress plugins later in this guide.
- Bluehost will complete the WordPress installation process and your WordPress blog will have been created. You will also get your login details so you can start working on your blog.
How to Access Your WordPress Dashboard
Now that your blog is set up, you can access it by either clicking the Login to WordPress link displayed together with your log in details or go to your web browser and enter the following:
This will take you to your WordPress login page where you can enter your blog’s username and password.
It’s that easy. So, the next step is to customize your WordPress blog by choosing a good theme.
Prefer to learn in video format? Check out my free video course on how to start a blog:
Step 6: Choose a Beautiful WordPress Theme
Before you choose a WordPress theme, it’s worth noting that nothing is important than your content.
Perhaps you are wondering why I say so.
Here is the thing: No matterbeautiful, attention-grabbing or expensive your theme is if your blog content sucks, no one will come to read it and neither will you make money blogging.
The good thing is that you can always beautify your blog later. So focus on making it functional first.
Let’s keep going.
How to Choose a WordPress Theme For Your Blog
Usually, the “theme” of your blog determines how it appears to the world.
There are thousands of themes to choose from out there- both free and premium options.
Don’t think that having too many theme options is a good thing, sometimes this can make it difficult to choose the right one for your blog.
To help you choose the right theme for your blog, here are a few pointers to guide you:
- Simplicity: Ideally, the purpose of starting a blog is to publish useful content for your target audience to read and understand. Not all themes will allow you to achieve this. And no matter how beautiful a WordPress theme is if it doesn’t allow you to share your thoughts and engage with your target readers effectively, it’s not worth your time.
As a rule, choose a WordPress theme that’s easy to use.
- Mobile-responsive: These days, users consume content via their phones. Besides, Google rewards mobile-responsive sites by ranking them better in the organic search results.
For this reason, it’s important to choose a theme that displays well on desktop and mobile devices.
To check whether a theme is mobile-responsive, copy and paste the URL of the theme’s demo page into Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test page.
Check out for major red flags such as text too small or content wider than screen.
- Cross-browser compatibility: Differentpeople will access your blog using different devices on different browsers. And even though developers test their themes before releasing them to the market, small mistakes are prone to slip through. So, test different themes on different browsers to clear the doubt.
- Supported plugins: Plugins give your blog extra functionality and if you are using WordPress, make sure you choose themes that can work with all popular plugins. You can inquire about this from the theme’s developer.
- Search-engine friendliness: Search engine optimization involves all the processes involved in making sure that your blog can be found when people search for terms related to your blog content.
Some themes use complex code that search engines can’t interpret easily. It’s not always easy to inspect a theme’s code, but always check whether it is indicated SEO friendly.
- Support: You will at some point in time encounter problems and want to seek help with your theme from the developer. As a rule, your theme’s developer should be able to offer support. It’s important to note that many free themes always lack sufficient support. So, you need to choose your theme wisely.
- Check reviews and ratings: Usually, reviews and ratings can help you determine how good a theme is. And the good thing is that people will always leave comments on a theme based on how powerful or sucking it is. Make sure you choose one with good reviews and ratings.
With that, I recommend you to choose Astra Pro. It’s one of the best premium WordPress themes I use. It’s a powerful theme that allows you to customize your blog easily and you can use it to create your online store as well.
You may also consider Elementor Pro if you are looking for an advanced page builder that allows you to customize your blog design the way you want.
There are more theme options out there so you want to pick a theme that best fits your blogging needs.
Once you’ve decided on your theme, let’s see how to install it.
But before that….
Download it first.
How to Install WordPress Themes
Follow the steps below to install your WordPress them of choice.
- From your WordPress dashboard, click Appearance in the navigation pane on the left hand.
- Go to Themes
- Click Add New button
Once you are inside, you have two approaches to install your theme:
- Search installed themes…from WordPress.org’s directory, or
- Install your WordPress theme… from third-partywebsites.
Here are the exact approaches to do it:
Approach #1: Search your theme from the WordPress.org theme directory.
Here is how it goes…
- Search the theme by entering its name
- Click Activate button
Approach #2: Install your theme from third-party websites
This applies if you downloaded a third-party theme like Astra Pro
- Hit the Upload Theme button
- Click Choose File button
- Selected your saved third-party theme from your computer- it should be in zip format.
- Click Install Now button
Once done, click the Activate button and then customize your theme by going back to the appearance section.
Step 7: Install Suitable WordPress Plugins
WordPress offers plugins (free and freemium) for virtually everything.
The good news is that you don’t need coding skills to install a WordPress plugin of your choice. And while there are tens of thousands of WordPress plugins out there, you don’t need them all.
Installing too many plugins can hurt your blog’s loading speed.
You must have read articles with: “Best WordPress Plugins”, “Essential WordPress Plugins”, “Must-Have WordPress Plugins”, etc. but the truth is that there are no such plugins like these ones.
Sometimes these are sweet words used by affiliate bloggers to entice you to purchase plugins they recommend so that they can earn a commission.
The thing is:
There are specific types of WordPress plugins you undeniably need, but not as many affiliate bloggers put it.
Any time you come across such articles, tutorials or blog posts, choose with caution.
Below, I will share with you the six types of WordPress plugins you shouldn’t miss in your blog.
Of course, these are based on my personal experience and the fact that I use some on my blog and some for my clients’ blogs.
So, you may find a different plugin apart from these ones.
So here are the six types of WordPress plugins and the recommended plugins for each category.
Categories of WordPress Plugins Your New Blog Shouldn’t Miss
Jetpack is perhaps not a new word for you if you have been following WordPress news. This is one of the most popular WordPress plugins developed by Automattic, the company that owns WordPress.com.
Jetpack can be used on a variety of blogs and websites from business to magazine websites, and many others.
When you install Jetpack, you rest assured of your safety against spammers, malware, and brute force attack. This means that your blog is secured against unwanted intrusions. Besides, you can manage multiple blogs from one dashboard with Jetpack
Akismet is also another powerful WordPress plugin to safeguard your blog against spam.
If you aren’t aware, spam can hurt your blog and backend files. That’s why it’s important to have an anti-spam plugin like Akismet which assesses all comments and contact form submissions to determine how harmful or safe they are.
The good thing about this WordPress plugin is that it examines your blog automatically and omits content that is much like spam.
When your blog loads slowly, many people will come and bounce back which ultimately affects your Google rankings. Google favors blogs that load content fast.
MaxCDN is also another site speed plugin that improves the speed of your blog.
WP Super Cache is a product of Automattic, thecompany behind WordPress. It’s also a simple WordPress plugin suitable for speeding up your blogs load time.
Social Sharing Plugins
Social Snap or Sumo
If you want your blog posts to generate more social shares or you want to capture emails of your target readers, then you need these WordPress plugins. Of course, to grow your blog following, people should be able to share your blog posts with their friends and followers.
With Social Warfare, you can integrate social sharing buttons on your blog posts to make your content shareable. The thing I like about this WordPress plugin is that it’s lightweight.
Easy Social Sharing is also another WordPress plugin that enables content sharing. Making your content shareable is beneficial when it comes to growing the reach of your audience. And with this plugin, you can make your content shareable on up to 18 different social media channels.
Usually, it’s important to keep your blog backed up regularly to stay safe in case there may come any technical difficulty. And even though you will put in place tight security measures, technical hitches and attacks are inevitable. In case the worst scenario happens you want to get back your blog content.
Think about what could happen if your blog got hacked today. Having a back for your data is always helpful and that’s where the UpdraftPlus WordPress plugin comes in.
The thing I like the most about this plugin is that it backs up content to the cloud either in Google Drive, iCloud, Dropbox, OneDrive, etc.
You can restore your blog even after an attack with a single click.
To start a blog and make money online, your content must be high-quality so that people can engage. Also, your content must be findable by searchers on search engines. The Yoast SEO plugin helps you to optimize your blog posts with relevant keywords so that search engines can find and rank your content better.
Mailing List Building Plugins
OptinMonster is a mailing list building plugin that will help you capture emails of readers with its rich tools to increase your subscriber list. With this plugin, you can include exit-intent popups to attract your readers with a custom offer immediately when they are about to go away.
ConvertPro is also another well-known WordPress opt-in form plugin to help you collect email addresses of your readers so you can continue to engage with them even after leaving your site. The plugin has drag-and-drop features so you can create pop-ups easily.
WP Subscriber Pro is a plugin developed by MyThemesShop and comes with plenty of useful features to help you build an effective subscriber list.
The good thing about this plugin is that it allows you to do acute targeting and you can integrate it with GetResponse.
With this plugin, you can include a custom opt-in form at the top or bottom of your content area. Another good thing about this plugin is that it works well with most popular caching plugins such as WP Super Cache & W3 Total Cache.
Thrive Leads is one of the amazing WordPress email list plugins out there. The plugin lets you design and add opt-in forms via its drag-and-drop editor. It also has more than 60 templates you can customize or create an effective opt-in form from scratch.
Google Analytics Plugins
MonsterInsights is a powerful Google Analytics plugin for WordPress. With this plugin, you can set up Google Analytics and monitor your blog traffic easily. The good thing about this plugin is that no coding skill is required.
Google Analytics Dashboard for WordPress
A free Google Analytics plugin you can track your relevant analytics data right from your WordPress dashboard. You just need to connect the plugin to your Google Analytics account and start tracking your blog data.
With Analytify, you are relieved from the hassle of adding your Google Analytics tracking code to your site. You just need to install Analytify then validate it with a one-click and the code will be added automatically.
If all the above Google Analytics plugins aren’t suitable for you, then Google Analytics Events might be the suitable one for your blog. This plugin allows you to implement Events code-free. It also lets you install your GA tracking code.
The good thing about this plugin is that it’s free but to get more features you will have to upgrade to a Pro account.
I hope you have picked suitable plugins for your blog so it’s time to install them now.
Note that you don’t need all of them at once. Just pick the suitable ones because having too many plugins can slow down your site loading speed.
How to Install WordPress Plugins
Hoping that you have found the types of plugins you need, here are the steps to install them.
Nothing complicated here. The process is the same as you installed and activated your WordPress theme.
- From your WordPress dashboard, click Plugins in the navigation pane on the left hand.
- Select Add New, and then follow the two paths below.
- For third-party plugins (like Convert Pro and others), click the Upload Plugin button,
- Use the Search plugins option to find a suitable plugin from the WordPress.org directory.
Now here is are the steps to follow for both approaches.
First Approach: To Install a Third-Party WordPress Plugin
This applies to WordPress plugins you downloaded from a third-party website. Click Upload Plugin then follow the steps below.
- Click Choose File – This will take you to the location where you saved your downloaded plugin.
- Select the plugin
- Click Install Now.
Second Approach: Install Plugins from WordPress.org Repository
- Search the plugin from the WordPress.org directory
- Click Activate
It’s that simple. No sweat, no scratching of the head.
Now let’s see what we are to do next…
Step 8: Set Your Blog Up for SEO Success
You must have read about (and if not then be prepared: on-page SEO and on-page SEO, search intent, keyword research, and everything required to rank better in the search engine results pages.
Here is the naked truth:
I am going to show you the SEO basics so you can set up your blog for SEO success.
First things first…
Make your blog findable by Google
This is also simple. You just need to keep the following unchecked.
Check the image below.
To make your blog visible to search engines, you must make it indexable.
- From your WordPress dashboard, go to Settings in the left-hand navigation pane.
- Click Reading
- Keep the ‘Discourage search engines from indexing this site” box unchecked- it’s usually unchecked but just make sure you confirm.
Create an XML Sitemap and Submit it to Google
What are XML sitemaps?
An XML sitemap is a list of all your important pages and content on your blog. Usually, a good XML sitemap will help Google to find and crawl your pages and understand your blog structure.
This is especially important for a new blog or one with few backlinks. A sitemap will make your content discoverable by Google.
It’s pretty simple so don’t get scared.
I will show you how to create a sitemap and submit it to Google Search Console.
How to Create an XML Sitemap
I will use the Yoast SEO plugin in this case. I hope you installed and activated it.
- From your WordPress dashboard in the left-hand navigation pane, go to SEO
- Go to General then select the Features tab
- Confirm that the switch in the XML sitemaps option is toggled.
Check the image below.
You’ve now created an XML sitemap for your blog, but we have to submit it to search engines. So hang on there.
While still in the dashboard of your WordPress, in the Yoast SEO plugin, we will have to copy the URL of your sitemap.
Follow these steps.
- Next to XML sitemaps, you will see a question mark icon, click on it then
- Click the See the XML sitemap
A new tab will open with your sitemap.
Your sitemap will look like the image below.
Copy the link in the address bar and save it somewhere because I will show you how to submit it to search engines via Google Search Console.
How to Submit Your Blog XML Sitemap to Search Engines
Here is how to submit your sitemap to search engines. I will use Google because it’s the most popular search engine. Note that the submission steps different from one search engine to another.
How to submit your sitemap to Google Search Console
- Sign in to Google Search Console using your Gmail account
- In the left-hand pane where it says Add property, add your blog to Google Search Console- in case you haven’t added it yet. You will follow the steps to add your blog. If you did it already, skip this and go to the next step.
- Click Sitemaps below Index
- Paste your sitemap URL in the Add a new sitemap section and hit Submit.
You have submitted your XML sitemap to Google Search Console successfully.
Just check below where you have submitted your sitemap, where it says Submitted sitemaps in the Status column,it will indicate Success in green.
For Bing, you will use Bing Webmaster Tools to submit your XML sitemap to Bing.
Edit Permalinks Structure
WordPress assigns a new blog a default permalink structure that looks like yourdomain.com/?p=123 which is not user-friendly and you must edit it before you start creating content.
Doing it afterward can hurt your SEO.
How to change the permalink structure
- Go to Settings, in the left-hand navigation pane inside your WordPress dashboard.
- Click Permalinks in the drop-down menu or just point to Settings navigation pane and choose Permalinks.
- Under Common Settings, check the Post name option (see image above)
Once you do that, your links will look clean and without a combination of characters and those are the friendly URLs your readers will love to see.
Google also likes a clean link structure as well.
Step 9: Create Pre-Launch Content
There are two main types of pre-launch content you should have in your new blog: Static and Dynamic content.
I will explain what each type entails.
Static content is one that doesn’t change, or should not be changed very often. Your new blog should have a few essential pages to show your readers the tools they need and any essential information they may want to know about your blog.
This is where you will create the top-level pages like About us, Contact, Home Page, etc. I am going to talk about a few of the most essential pages right below here. But before that, let’s take a look at the other type of pre-launch content.
This is your blog where you will be creating and publishing informative blog posts to engage your visitors and keep them coming back for new blog posts.
As a rule, you should be creating new blog posts regularly to keep your visitors engaged.
With that, let’s take a look at the most important statics pages to include in your new blog.
But before that, allow me to show you how to create a new page in your new blog.
How To Create Important Blog Pages On WordPress
Here are the exact steps to create a page on WordPress and add it to your homepage menu.
The good thing about WordPress is that you do everything under one dashboard.
To create a page:
- Go to your WordPress dashboard
- Click on Pages
- Click Add new
- Enter your page name
- Write the content
- Make sure everything is correct then click Publish at the top-right corner
Note that when you publish your new Page, it will still not display in your homepage menus.
So you have to add every new page to your homepage menus.
After creating all your essential pages go to your WordPress dashboard once again.
- Click on Appearance
- Click on Menus
- You will be taken to where you can add all the pages you have created to your main menu.
- Select them all (below Add menu items) and then click Add menu
- All the pages you add will appear below Menu structure
- Arrange your pages according to how you want them displayed by dragging.
- Click Save Menu.
Your pages should appear in your homepage menus.
What are the essential pages to add to your new blog?
I will talk about 6 of them but you can choose to start with a few.
6 Important Pages Your New WordPress Blog Should Have
This is the most important page for all websites and blogs on the internet. This is where you tell your readers what your blog is all about. You can also talk about the people behind the blog if it’s a business blog.
Usually, the About Page helps to build trust among your readers because they will know who is behind it and you can also share your mission and vision.
Sometimes bloggers call it “About Us” or “About Me”.
People who come to your blog, whether your readers, advertisers, potential business partners or anyone else may want to contact you in case of questions or any inquiries. Your contact page is where you include your contact information including your email address, phone number and the time people can reach out to you.
You can also just add a contact form if you wish to keep your contact information private.
If you want to start a blog and make money online with it or link to external resources, then you must have a disclaimer page.
You can tell your readers how you make money from your blog. For instance, if you earn affiliate commissions or you display banner ads, you should let your readers know that.
Part of what makes readers trust you is staying transparent. As you can see, in my blog I have a disclaimer page as well.
If you are monetizing your blog, you definitely will be collecting data about your readers.
You need to tell your readers the kind of data you collect, reasons for collecting the data, and how you intend to use it.
Terms of Service Page
This also another important page if you intend to use your blog as an online store or you will sell your services.
Your service page is your legal document and so it’s important that you get a lawyer to help you in creating one.
Start Here Page
Sometimes it’s good to give your readers a starting point instead of giving them a hard time figuring out where they should go immediately they come to your blog.
A Start Here Page is meant to introduce new users to your best blog post. For instance, if you are planning to everything about blogging, then you could have a Start Here Page where you introduce your readers to blogging before they can proceed to other content in your blog.
Step 9: Write Your First Blog Post!
You know what?
Up to this far, you deserve to treat yourself with your favorite drink because you have achieved a great milestone. You have completed the framework of your blog; it’s time to publish your first blog post.
Now, this is the fun part of the whole process of starting a blog.
You convert ideas in your head into words on the screen and then share them with the public.
Note that in everything you do, always keep your niche and target readers in mind.
And because you want your blog to be the go-to resource, then you need to publish great content.
Before you start writing, you need to research topics in your niche that are bound to go viral.
Statistics have revealed that video content will drive 82% of the global internet traffic by 2021.
So make sure you include photos, audio, video, and other visual elements in your blog posts.
In case you are wondering how to write your first blog post in WordPress, here are the steps to follow.
How to Write a Blog Post in WordPress
- From your WordPress dashboard, in the left-hand pane, go to Posts and then click Add New
- Add your title/headline, write your posts, add images, audio, video, etc. choose your category, etc.
Remember to keep your blog posts original and use original photos.
Step 10: Promote Your Blog to The World
Here is the bitter truth:
When your blog is new, no one will pay attention to it. No matter how great your content is if you don’t promote it no one is going to know if your blog exists.
Promoting your content is perhaps the hardest part of starting a blog.
But you don’t have any exit plan. After publishing your first blog post, you must make your target audience know about it.
That’s why I recommend you to write less and promote more.
Remember that part of your reasons for starting a blog was to drive traffic, create brand awareness, or you wanted to establish yourself as an authority to your niche.
So how do you achieve this?
You achieve this by promoting your blog posts.
And if you are wondering how to promote your blog posts, here are some tips to help you.
Use the People Around You
Who are the people around you?
Your classmates, family members, friends, and close confidants are the best starting place to promote your blog to.
Tell your friends that your new blog is up and running, ask them to share your blog posts with their friends. Do the same for your family members. And once they promote your blog, thank them.
Take Advantage of Social Media
Look, there are 2.50 billion monthly active Facebook users. Take advantage of these users to make your blog known to the world.
Note that, even though there are tons of social media channels, you don’t need them all. After all, you can’t make use of them effectively. So I recommend you to use the popular and most powerful social media networks (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram).
Share each new blog post on your social media channels regularly.
The good thing about Facebook and Twitter is that you can share your status together with a link back to your blog. This way, your followers can share your blog posts with their friends automatically hence increasing traffic to your blog.
It’s also important to understand that different social media platforms are suitable for different types of content. For instance:
- Twitter works well with blog posts, news, short statuses, and GIFs.
- Facebook works great with curated content and videos.
- Pinterest is a suitable social media platform for visual content, infographics, and step-by-step image guides.
- Instagram is for high-quality images, Stories, and quotes.
- LinkedIn is for sharing career news and professional content whereas
- Reddit is a comment platform.
As you can see, promoting your blog posts on social media is involving. But you don’t have to sweat. There are plenty of automation tools out there to manage your social media within a given period. In fact, some tools are designed with features that enable them to cross-promote your blog posts across social media channels.
The best thing about starting a blog is that you can collaborate with other bloggers in your niche. Guest blogging is one of the fantastic ways to promote your blog. Here is a definitive guide on how to do guest blogging the right way.
Post Content on Medium, LinkedIn, Quora, and Others
Another good thing about starting a blog is that you can do a lot of things for free. For instance, you can promote your blog by posting on Medium or answer questions on Quora and still drive traffic.
If you want to target business professionals in your blog posts, you can take advantage of LinkedIn.
The idea is to look for potential places you can promote your new blog without making a dent in your wallet.
Create an Email List
Remember I asked you to pick emailing list building plugins?
This is where you are going to need them more than ever.
…and let me be honest with you.
If there is one mistake I did, then it must be to start collecting emails late.
Yes, I ignored email marketing when I was starting this blog and I don’t want readers to make the same mistake.
So, immediately your blog is up and running and you have few blog posts published, start collecting those emails.
Creating an email list will help you to continue engaging with your current blog readers as you continue attracting new ones.
Once you collect their emails, you will always notify them when you publish new blog posts and that generates repeat traffic.
Well, email listing building is a huge topic so I will talk about the email marketing basics.
i. Choose a Good Email Marketing Service
There are many email marketing companies out there including Aweber, ConstantContact, GetResponse, MailChimp, ConvertKit, Drip, and many others.
However, because you are getting started, you need to use a service that won’t break the bank- of course, you will upgrade to more powerful services when your blog starts to generate income.
Here, I would recommend you to choose MailChimp. This email marketing service provider is free for up to 2,000 subscribers.
You can decide to upgrade to MailChimp premium plans after hitting the limit or switch to a different email service.
ii. Include an Optin Form at Strategic Places on Your Blog
I recommended you to install an email list building plugin earlier on this post. This is the right place to use it.
Regardless of the email list plugin, you chose (OptinMonster, Thrive Leads, WP Subscribe Pro, or Convert Pro), make sure you add opt-in form at strategic places on your blog.
These include: In your header, sidebar, on a landing page, on your About Page, in pop-ups, inside your blog posts, etc.
iii. Entice Your Readers to Give You Their Email Addresses
In his writings, Jon Morrow says “give people a reason to surrender their email addresses by offering an ethical bribe or a subscriber bribe”.
Yes, you are free to bribe your blog readers, but the ethical way.
Note that even if you produce useful content, most readers will hesitate to surrender their email addresses to you.
So, you need to give them a reason to do it.
That’s where you need to use lead magnets, free gifts or content upgrades.
When starting, don’t try to get too big and creative, a one-page PDF checklist is just enough for the start.
Once you have ethically bribed your blog readers, they will start surrendering their emails to you at will.
Now, let me show you how you can start making money with your blog.
Step 11: Monetize Your Blog
You must be excited now that your first blog post (2 or even three) is live and congratulations on the huge step you have taken so far.
Before I let you go, I must show you how you can start generating income with your blog. But wait, you might be wondering why I am talking about monetizing your blog as the very last step in my guide on how to start a blog and make money online.
Of course, the last thing everyone needs is money and don’t be deceived, many bloggers will tell you that don’t focus on the money but will fill their tutorials with affiliate links- which means they are earning commissions when people purchase products they mention on those tutorials.
However, if you are getting started blogging, focus on finding readers, building relationships with them, delivering value to them, and then sell your online courses or ask them to use your freelance services later.
I must have made a mistake to not tell you that blogging is not a get-rich-quick scheme, but it pays big in the long run. You just need to be patient and consistent.
With that, let’s see some of the best blog monetization methods.
8 Ways to Make Money Blogging
A word of caution: While all of the blog monetization techniques I am going to share below have been tried, tested, and proven to be effective, not all will work for your new blog.
Try to familiarize yourself with at least two and implement them. Don’t be too greedy to implement everything I will talk about here. Things may go south making you give up soon.
What’s the Right Time to Start Monetizing Your Blog?
Honestly, there is no right or wrong time to start monetizing your blog. Besides, there is no exact number for how much traffic or how many subscribers you should have to make money blogging. What matters is what you offer and how you offer it.
Nevertheless, there are two things that are for sure, important when it comes to earning income from your blog:
- Drive steady traffic: Contrary to what many bloggers believe (that to make money online, you need tens of thousands of visitors), you only need to get steady traffic to make money with your blog.
- Get quality subscribers: Also, you don’t need millions of subscribers to make money blogging. All you need is a subscriber list that engages with your content effectively.
With that, here are ways to make money with your blog.
Selling Your Services
Freelancing is one of the best blog monetization techniques out there. In fact, most of the bloggers making six-figure income were once offering freelancing services to clients.
Assuming that you have included a Hire Me page in your blog (and if not, then add it now if you intend to offer freelancing services with your blog).
Now, publish samples of the type of work you do and start pitching freelance clients.
If you have a skill like writing, developing, SEO, marketing, virtual assistants, and many others this is the right time to offer your skill in exchange for money.
Join Affiliate Programs
Another way to make money through your blog is to join affiliate programs (affiliate marketing).
With this blog monetization technique, you join an affiliate program/network, get a special tracking link from the company, and promote the company products by placing the tracking link within your blog posts or inside emails you send to your subscribers.
When your readers, click your tracking links and purchases the products you recommend, you earn a commission set by the company.
Usually, affiliate marketing involves three key players:
- The affiliate (Yourself).
- The merchant (The company that produces the products).
- The affiliate program (The program that facilitates affiliate marketing).
Some of the major affiliate networks include Amazon, Commission Junction, ShareASale, Udemy, Flexi Jobs, etc.
To make money with affiliate marketing, you can either write reviews, how-to tutorials, or guides about products or services you know or you have used.
Sponsored content is when brands pay you a fee to have their content published on your blog. The company may either write the content or you do it yourself on behalf of them.
Note that getting sponsored content clients is no easy task because the sponsors are going to make sure you have enough traffic and people are clicking through before they partner with you.
To be successful with sponsored content, you need to align your content with your target audience. It will take longer though to start making money with this strategy.
Create and Sell Online Courses
If you have a skill you can pass it to others, you can create an online course and sell it to people who want to learn the skill as well.
Unlike sponsored content, selling online courses doesn’t require you to have a huge audience.
You just need to attract a few readers then make them interact with you by either asking questions or offering them free downloads. You could also share advice with them and encourage them to subscribe to your email list.
Once they join your email list, figure out the things that are giving them sleepless nights then think about how you can help them using your skills, knowledge, and expertise.
Once you determine how you can provide solutions to their problems, ask them to pre-order your course as you compile the whole course.
Become an Online Consultant and Coach
Another best way to start a blog and make money online is by offering online consultation and coaching services. In fact, this blog monetization method is suitable when you are starting.
Note that with consulting, you only earn money for the time you work. So, this is not a suitable method for people who want to generate income even while sleeping. That’s why most successful bloggers who started making money with this method eventually turn it into selling software as a service.
Make Money Online with Dropshipping
What is Dropshipping?
Dropshipping is a type of business where you operate a retail online store but you don’t keep products. You just purchase the items from third-party and ship them directly to your customers.
You can also make big money with your blog by doing Dropshipping.
Irwin Dominguez, Kate, Aloysius Chay, and Galvin Bay are just a few of the top drop shippers I know who are making millions of money by doing Dropshipping. So, yes, you can become a millionaire drop shipper.
And the best part is that you can start your online store in just a few clicks. Besides, you don’t have to worry about products. Your only job is to buy and ship products to your customers.
The only important thing that can increase your success in Dropshipping is marketing. You must learn the ropes around digital marketing and this means learning how to promote the products on your blog. We also wrote a guide on Dropshipping vs Affiliate Marketing here.
WooCommerce Dropshipping plugins you will need to do this business successfully include:
Create a Niche Related Product
Generally, one of the most common methods of making money blogging for most bloggers is creation on online courses and eBooks. The two methods are versatile and virtually related to any niche.
Nevertheless, you can create a product that’s more relevant to your niche.
Note that even though this will take more time, the payoff is worth it.
First, you will have to put more effort into creating the product then you will have to promote it ruthlessly on your blog the same way you do with your courses and eBooks.
Perhaps you are asking what products you can create. To give you an example, if you are running a fitness blog, you could create an app that allows people to track their workouts. Just think about any good product you can create related to your niche then find out whether it can generate more money.
Turn Your Blog Into a Membership Site
This is also another way to make money with your blog, although it takes time.
Once you have acquired a high level of engagement with your blog readers, you can turn your blog into a membership site.
The good thing about creating a membership site is that you may make a predictable amount of monthly recurring revenue.
Monetize Your Blog With Google AdSense
Google AdSense is perhaps the first blog money-making method that comes to many bloggers first when it comes to making money with a blog. Google AdSense is a Google-owned platform that allows you to display advertisements on your blog and when visitors click on those ads, you are paid a fee.
The ads that are shown on your blog are related to your site and targeted to your audience. If you own a travel blog, the ads that will show up are mostly travel-related and so forth.
You can also monitor your Google AdSense performance and earnings with MonsterInsights.
Create Restricted Content
Although this is not a common method of making money blogging, you can still create restricted content in your blog so people can pay to access exclusive information on your blog.
Note that, to make money with this method, you must make sure you create exclusive content that’s REALLY useful for your blog readers.
That’s why I wouldn’t advise a beginner blogger to monetize a blog with this method.
Sell Ad Space on Your Blog
With Google AdSense, the amount you make is limited.
You may also consider selling ad space directly and get paid when users click those ads. The good thing about this method is that you earn a flat rate for an ad placed on your blog.
To show that you sell ad space on your blog, you will need to create an Advertise Here page.
Note that unlike Google AdSense, selling ad space directly isn’t easy to manage. You will be tasked with negotiating the payment rate, create terms and agreements; manage invoicing, and many other things.
Once you have cultivated a cult-like following and your content is good, you can ask for donations on your blog. This is a monetization method used by popular websites like Wikipedia and many others out there.
Podcasting is also another powerful way to monetize your blog. With this blog monetization technique, you create a podcast and launch it for your readers.
The good thing about this method is that you can also combine it with ad placemen and sponsored blog posts.
You can interview the experts in your industry then release podcast episodes then ask the people you interviewed or featured to share with their followers. This will help you grow your email list as well.
How To Start A Blog: FAQs
Still having unanswered questions about how to start a blog and make money online?
Don’t worry, before I silence my keyboard and blacken my computer screen, I will share with you the most common questions I get regularly about starting a new blog.
If you still have an unanswered question, feel free to reach out to me via my contact page or drop a comment right at the end of this guide.
How can I succeed with blogging?
To create a successful blog, you need to have a passion for the topic you write about, have the knowledge and expertise in your niche, and focus on quality, not quantity.
This means providing content that is interesting, informative, engaging, and useful to your readers.
What do I need to start a blog?
What do you need to start a blog?
You need a clear goal and have a passion for your blog topic.
Note that, contrary to many beliefs out there, blogging is almost a full-time endeavor. You must be ready to create longer and detailed articles at least once every week- just imagine how long this guide to start a blog is.
You also need to promote your blog consistently across the popular social media sites.
You need to do all these based on the goals you set before starting your blog.
So, start by determining the main objectives of your blog (are you looking to make money, educate the public, grow your subscriber list, … etc.), then have passion for your topic.
What blog topic should I choose?
Ask yourself: What topic has my interests? What do I dream about the most? What topic do I like researching regularly? What topic do I like reading?
If you can answer all these questions, then you have a blog topic to write about already.
Your blog topic should be something you are interested to write about. It’s something that you are going to write about for many years to come. So, you need to choose a topic you enjoy writing about.
What causes many blogs to fail?
Even though any blog has higher potentials of becoming successful, many blogs fail.
There are quite a number of reasons for this. I will talk about a few reasons why blogs fail.
Lack of clear goals- If you want to start a blog and make money online, then you must start by setting clear goals from the onset.
Settings clear goals will help you to get up every morning to achieve your goal. It’s easy to accomplish clear goals than unestablished ones.
Impatience- I started by stating that starting a money-making blog is not an overnight endeavor. It’s not a get-rich-quick scheme. Many successful bloggers you read about out there started where you are today. What made them succeed in this saturated field is having the right mindset and not giving up no matter how difficult it gets.
Unfortunately, many bloggers give up early before even their blogs are recognized.
Before you start a blog, you need to know that blogging takes time. If you start a blog today, and after one, two or three months and you are not getting visitors or making money with it, don’t stop.
Keep on creating quality content and promoting your articles on social media channels. Once you get your name out to the world, the money will start to trickle in.
Inconsistency- How long you take before you publish another blog post matters a lot when it comes to building an audience. If you stay longer before you update your blog with new content, people will lose interest in you and start looking for inspiration elsewhere.
Poor content- No matter who your target readers are, you must strive to publish high-quality content that’s not published anywhere else. Unfortunately, many new bloggers focus on creating clickbait content in a bid to make quick money.
Too many distractive ads- Even though you will want to monetize your blog, adding too many ads will distract your readers and chess them away. When people are reading your content, they want to consume it without getting distracted. Those blinking ads, even though they are generating income, they are doing more harm than good to your blog.
How much does it cost to start a blog?
The cost to start a blog varies depending on the type of blog you want to create. When starting a blog, you may either decide to use a free blogging platform or a paid one.
The free platforms are good but they aren’t without their pros and cons and the same is for the paid options.
If you are looking to taste the wasters, you want to start with WordPress.com or Blogger. However, you will not have full control over your blog. Besides, you will face a lot of restrictions. For instance, you will have limited themes, limited ads opportunities, etc.
If you are looking to get into serious blogging then you need to choose paid blogging platforms.
Here are the essential expenses you should be prepared for:
Domain name- Around $15 a year.
Hosting- A good rule of thumb to start a blog and make money online is to use paid web hosting. Bluehost is my preferred hosting service and the one I recommend for my blog readers. This will cost you $3.95 a month and is billed annually. You also get free domain registration for a first user.
Of course, you may incur additional expenses such as premium WordPress theme, email marketing, plugins, and more. However, if you are looking to start a middle-level blog, it may cost you around $50-$100 per year.
If you opt for advanced features, you may incur expenses of up to $400 per year.
Do bloggers earn money?
A Glassdoor report study suggests that bloggers in the US earn an average income of $32,000 every year (and many are making more than this).
Bloggers get paid.
In fact, many bloggers are making a kill with blogging. And blogging can be a lucrative venture only if done correctly.
Here are 5 easy ways bloggers get paid through:
- Affiliate marketing
- Selling services
- Sponsored posts
- Selling products
Note that to get paid, your blog posts must offer value to your readers.
What is WordPress?
WordPress is a popular blogging site powering more than 32.3% of all websites on the internet.
The platform lets you create, edit, publish and share webpages. It’s one of the easiest and feature-rich content management systems out there.
Is WordPress free?
WordPress is a free open source content management system. There are two different WordPress options that are different but many people don’t get the difference between them.
WordPress.com: This is a free blogging site that assigns the user a free blog subdomain with WordPress.com. As a user, you don’t have full control over your blog when you choose this option. If you want to own your domain, you have to upgrade to a paid one.
WordPress.org: This WordPress option is also 100% free but you will need to purchase a web hosting, plus a domain name which costs you around $3.95 per month with Bluehost.
How do I stop prevent spam comments?
Being the most used blogging platform in the world, WordPress is a popular target of comment spammers.
Unfortunately, there is no option to keep spammers at bay completely. However, there are steps you can take to put a wall between your blog and comment spammers.
I will show you two methods to deal with comment spammers mercilessly.
And the first method is to…
A good rule of thumb to deal with comment spammers is to hold comments in moderation until when reviewed and approved by you.
This is how to do it:
- While inside your WordPress dashboard, in the left-hand navigation pane, go to Settings.
- Click Discussion.
- Tick Anyone posts a comment & A comment is held for moderation in the Email me whenever section.
- Tick the Comment author must have a previously approved comment option in the Before a comment appears section.
You may also keep comments of users who have previously approved comments by checking the Commenting must be manually approved section.
This way, even though you will have the struggle to review and approve comments before they go live, you will be safe against spam comments.
Close comments after a given period
Usually, your new blog posts will generate comments during the first few weeks or months after getting published.
You may choose to close the comment section of blog posts after a given period.
Let’s do it:
- Still in the Settings, in the left-hand navigation pane.
- Click Discussion
- Select Automatically close comments on articles older than (your given period) option in the Other comment setting area.
Set the period after which you want the comment section closed- usually 30 t0 60 days.
When you link a blog post to another one, you will see a notification in the form of a comment in the comment section of the blog post linked to it. If you allow pingbacks, your comment section will look spammy.
You need to disable pingbacks…and this is how to do it:
- In the Settings
- Click Discussion
- Deselect the Allow link notifications from other blogs(pingbacks and trackbacks) on new articles option in the Default article settings area.
That’s how to safeguard your blog against spam comments.
How often should I blog?
If you are looking to make money with your blog, then you are going to need to blog constantly- publishing one blog post per week.
This will help you build a huge audience.
If you are blogging for pleasure, you can publish blog posts any time you wish.
Note that while observing consistency in your blogging schedule, you shouldn’t sacrifice quality. Besides, you don’t need to publish long-form blog posts every day, but make sure you produce informative and valuable content to your readers.
This will not be easy in your first days of blogging but as you continue publishing a new blog post every week, you will get used to it.
How do I drive traffic to my blog?
If you want to get people coming to your blog, you need to provide valuable content for your subscribers. It’s that simple.
Here is how to provide valuable content and drive traffic to your blog:
- Write attention-grabbing headlines– Your blog titles or headlines are the first things readers will see in the organic search results. Make your headlines attractive by using irresistible terms.
- Follow a routine when publishing blog posts– At what time do you publish a new blog post? Stick to that routine.
- Include CTAs– This helps to make readers take action.
- Promote your blog posts via word-of-mouth
- Offer ethical bribes to your new blog readers to lure them to give you their email addresses.
- Take advantage of paid advertising and keep your social media presence active.
- Engage your existing subscribers as you look for new ones.
How much does a beginner blogger make?
If you offer services to another company, you may earn up to $50,000 per year. Qualified content marketers earn more.
Beginner bloggers don’t make much money.
If you want to earn big money blogging, then you gotta need to commit to blogging seriously and start an awesome blog.
Is blogging still relevant in 2020?
You have the answer.
57% of online marketers drive customers to their businesses through blogging. That’s not all, startups with blogs drive 126% more leads than those without. Besides, 81% of U.S. online customers buy products based on recommendations from blogs.
Blogging is relevant in 2020 than ever. In fact, there are no signs that the relevance is going to doing any time soon.
Whether you are looking to learn how to start a blog as a side income or full-time job or you are looking to grow your business, blogging is the way to go.
Over to You!
Congratulations! You have started your first blog in 2020!
If you have been with me from the time I crafted my headline to this far, then you must have learned how to start a blog and make money online.
As you can see, learning how to design a blog and get paid isn’t as difficult as many people may think. Unfortunately, most people who learn how to create a blog don’t take action.
If you are one of those, you will read several other how-to guides and you will never get to start yours.
Let me challenge you “if you wait until you are ready, you will never get started”-
So, start a blog now and let me see how it goes in the comment section.
Also, if you have any questions or concerns, I am much more willing to help you.
Just drop me a message via my contact page or leave a comment below.
Are you ready?
Get started now!
Want to get your blog up and running in less than 10 minutes? Watch the video below