You’ve seen the thousands of income reports where everyone is making money through blogging, right?
From $400 to $100,000 a month in blogging revenue.
You want a piece of the pie, right? I mean who wouldn’t.
If everyone else can do it, then so can I. Those were my exact thoughts when I decided to start my blog.
Maybe you want to start a blog but you have no idea where to start. Does this sound a little like you?
Look no further because in this article I am going to share with you everything I know about starting a blog.
Not only that but this article will lay the foundation and help you to see exactly what you should be doing to start your blog on the right foot!
Oh and don’t worry if you’re not tech savvy, you can still do this!
So buckle up for the ride, this is going to be a fun adventure!
This post has affiliate links, which means I get a commission if you choose to purchase through a link I provide (at no extra cost to you!). Thanks so much for supporting the work I put into this site! Read more about it here – Disclaimer
Why Start a Blog?
There are so many really great reasons to start a blog. You get to be your own boss, work in your pajamas, and you can make a lot of money (seriously!)
Here are just some of the reasons you have for starting a blog:
- Work on your own terms and set your own hours. You’ll have the freedom that a full-time 9-5 would not provide.
- Can set up your office virtually anywhere in the world with a good internet connection (even Starbucks!)
- the ability to make a passive full-time income (cha-ching, cha-ching!) It would be passive because all of the time and money is put into making profitable content and once that content gets out there, there is little that you have to do to maintain it.
- You can write on any topic that you wish to talk about from your personal experiences to your ideas and opinions (in this article I will share with you ideas on what you should write about).
- It’s fun! If you really enjoy writing, blogging will be more of a hobby than a job. It’ll be something you can look forward to each day.
If you think blogging may be right for you, keep reading to find out exactly how to start a blog!
Step 1: Find a Niche
First things first, you need to decide on a niche. A niche is basically the topic or subject area that you are going to be writing about on your blog. The great thing about this is that if you aren’t happy with the niche you initially chose you can always change this later.
However, I say it’s best to try and get it right the first time to save you a lot of time and hassle.
When trying to find a niche there are a few questions you should ask yourself to help with this decision.
Those questions are:
What am I passionate about?
Writing about what you are passionate about is important. If it is your passion then you likely have a lot of first-hand knowledge on this subject.
This information will be valuable to your readers.
Writing on a subject that you have no interest in can really ruin your online presence.
People will be able to tell simply by the way you write if you are really into it or not.
So do the right thing and choose a topic that you know you are passionate about.
What do I have experience in?
Being passionate about a topic goes hand in hand with having actual experience on the topic.
If you are writing on one of your greatest passions you likely have tons of experience in this area as well.
You should be an expert on the topic so that you can have a lot of ideas to write about in this niche.
When the niche is something you know a lot about then you will be able to write about it for a long time.
If you don’t think you know enough to write on this subject for years to come then it would be in your best interest to select another niche.
Can I monetize it?
Your goals for your blog may be different than the goals I and so many other bloggers have.
One of my biggest goals has been to monetize the content on my blog.
If that is not in your blogging plan then you can ignore this question.
However, many, many bloggers choose to monetize their blog in one way or another.
If your goal is indeed to monetize your blog you need to make sure you have chosen a niche that can actually be monetized.
Most niches can be monetized but some can be harder than others to actually find affiliate programs for.
There are also some niche’s that are more profitable than others.
Do not- I repeat – Do not choose a niche just because it is said to be profitable.
There are other factors that must be weighed as well.
I’m going to share with you some profitable niches just to get the ball rolling but you are in no way limited to just these niches.
- Health and Fitness
- Personal Finance
- Home Decor
- Frugal Living
There you have it! 9 niches that are killing it in the blogging world!
Here’s a quick tip: try not to choose too broad of a topic. A lot of these markets are saturated and the competition is very high. If you can narrow down your focus this will be great for your business as long as there is plenty to write on this topic.
Step 2: Brainstorm Names for Your Blog
You can’t have a blog without a name. Period. So you should next start brainstorming names for your blog. A word of advice: keep the name short and sweet.
This will ensure that your name is easy for your audience to remember.
It would be helpful to name your blog something that is related to your topic and/or focus. This will also help your audience to remember.
You will want your domain name to reflect the name you have chosen for your blog.
We’ll discuss the domain more in the next section.
Step 3: Pick a Domain Name and Choose Hosting
In this step, you are giving your blog a place to live on the internet. “Real Estate” as some like to call it.
I highly recommend all 3 of these hosting companies. Seriously, you can’t go wrong with either one!
Or you can first decide on a hosting company and then use their domain availability name checker to see if your desired domain name is available.
1. Pick a Domain Name
The domain name is your site’s web address. This is the web address that people will type in to get to your blog.
If you have already purchased a domain name feel free to skip this step.
Your site’s domain name should reflect what your blogging topic is about. It should also be easy to remember and spell correctly.
You do not want to get too complex with this domain name but you do want it to be unique.
If you want to see if your domain name is available you can use:
Enter your potential domain name in the box that says, “Search for your domain here” then click the green ‘Search’ button.
Enter your domain name where it says, “Choose your new web address…” and click the yellow ‘Search’ button. As you can see right next to ‘register domain’ is a button that says ‘transfer domain’.
If you have already purchased a domain you can use this option to easily transfer it. The transfer process is very similar to BlueHost and SiteGround as well.
Would you like me to do a review on each hosting company? It could be helpful if you are torn between the three hosting companies. Comment down below and let me know!
After entering your preferred domain name and hitting search, you will receive a message regarding whether or not the domain is available.
If it’s not available, I suggest you try different variations of the name until you find one that is available.
For example, the name of my blog is Puzzle Pieces. However, the puzzlepieces.com domain name was already taken.
I knew I wanted a .com site because this is the easiest for people to remember. It’s what they’re likely to use when searching for a website anyways.
I decided to go with piecesofthepuzzles.com because it relates to the title of my blog and it is a .com domain.
If your domain is available you can move on to the next step.
2. Choose Hosting
I recommend that you get WordPress hosting because WordPress is the best site to have your blog on.
If you would like me to do a comparison article on WordPress.com and WordPress.org, comment down below!
I personally am changing from GoDaddy Hosting to SiteGround because this is by far the best site.
I will share plans from each hosting company and let you decide which one is right for you.
Here are the Bluehost plans:
You can get a hosting plan for as low as $2.95/month (Yessss!)
By clicking on this link you can get 60% off hosting plans. You can only get this discount through this link.
Here are the HostGator Plans:
Their cheapest plan is $2.75/month (Girl, what you said!)
Here are the SiteGround Hosting Plans:
Their cheapest plan is $3.95/month and it is loaded with features (drops the mic!)
You may be wondering why I am sharing with you all three of these hosting companies. There’s a simple explanation: I love a variety. When making an important decision such as choosing a hosting company for my website, I like to know all of my options so I can make an informed decision.
Comment down below if you would like me to do a tutorial on how to sign up and set up your domain with Bluehost, HostGator, and SiteGround.
3. Build Your Website
Install WordPress Software
This step is very easy but it can differ slightly based on the hosting that you chose. My best advice for installing wordpress software is to contact the hosting companies customer service either through phone or live chat and they will be more than happy to walk you through the process.
Some companies will even go as far as installing WordPress for you. So if you aren’t sure how to do this step, don’t fret!
Choose a theme
It’s time to choose a theme. There are so many to choose from that it can be overwhelming.
A quick tip is to use the ‘feature filter’ to narrow down your search.
This is how you do it:
- Go to ‘Appearance’ and Click on ‘Themes’
The ‘Add Themes’ window should come up next.
Now, click on the ‘Feature Filter’
This is what it should look like now:
After selecting your feature preferences click ‘Apply Filters’ so that these will be applied to your choice of themes.
You should now have themes to choose from that match your preferences. I suggest going through them and choosing one that you really like.
I wouldn’t spend too much time on this decision because you can always change it later if you want or need to.
If you are looking through the themes and can’t quite decide on one for fear of not knowing how to set the theme up then I suggest you invest in your blog and hire a professional.
You can find a professional that will set up your entire website for a reasonable price.
If you would like me to do a review and tutorial on Upwork then comment down below and let me know!
Create a Menu
Now that you’ve selected your theme you can start building your pages.
First, determine which pages you want to appear in your menu.
I suggest creating your About Me and Contact Me pages first.
Next, brainstorm page ideas based on your topic.
For example, if you are starting a healthy food blog your pages could look something like this:
- Keto Recipes
- Paleo Recipes
- Seasonal Eating
- Kid-Friendly Foods
- Diabetic Recipes
Or, if you are starting a parenting blog your pages could look similar to this:
- Baby Gear
- Toddler Activities
You could start with a blog page and later you can create more specific topic categories.
Set your menu up by going to Appearance then Menus and adding the pages you want to your menu. You can name the menu something simple as ‘Navigation’.
Install the Necessary WordPress Plugins
Some would like to tell you which plugins you need and don’t need.
I know that everyone has different ideas and plans for their blogs so just because I may not need a particular plugin doesn’t mean you won’t need it.
Right now, I am just going to tell you the WordPress plugins that I recommend for any blog.
- Akismet – It protects your blog from spam.
- CommentLuv – This plugin rewards your readers for commenting on your blog by automatically including a link to their last blog post.
- Contact Form 7 – This plugin provides your site with a simple and easy to use contact form so your readers can reach out to you.
- Convertkit – Allows you to add Convertkit forms to your site and collect emails. You definitely want to be building an email list using Convertkit.
- Yoast SEO – Helps you to set your website up for Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
- Social Media Warfare – Makes it easy for your readers to share your blog posts on social media.
There are a few more plugins that I use for my blog in particular but I think these are the best ones to start out with. There may also be others that are better suited for your blog in particular.
Do a quick google search to learn about other plugins you may need.
This is something that I did not know when first starting my blog but I wish I had known.
If you do not change your permalink structure now you will have a world of problems to shuffle through later on down the line.
Changing the permalink structure is very easy and simple.
Here are the steps:
- Click on Settings in the left-hand side of the WordPress admin.
- Find Permalinks in the menu that pops up and click on it.
- Click the radio button next to ‘Post Name’
4.Click the Green ‘Save Changes’ Button.
You did it!
Install Google Analytics
It is very important that you set up your Google Analytics because it will provide you stats on your website and help you to see your progress.
Using the information from Google Analytics you will also be able to see how well your blog posts are doing.
Here is a great step-by-step guide to walk you through the steps of setting up your Google Analytics profile.
Link Google Search Console
You have successfully set up your Google Analytics account. Now it is time to move forward and link your Google Analytics to your Google Search Console.
Click here to follow along with this video on how to link Google Analytics to Search Console.
Now that you have all of that technical mumbo jumbo out of the way, it’s time to start writing your first post!
Remember, it’s quality over quantity. So don’t simply rush into writing 10 posts that are not helpful. You want to be helpful and cater to your intended audience by answering questions they may have.
If you write 10 posts and they are not helpful people won’t stick around or come back for more.
Some people prefer not to make their blogs live until they have 10-20 posts already. However, I was anxious and couldn’t wait so I started my blog with a total of 3 posts. As of now, have 21 posts. So as you can see, if you keep working at it those numbers will eventually grow.
Make sure you are writing quality content and not simply trying to rush into writing 10 posts.
Take your time and do what works for you. You will eventually get there.
If you aren’t sure what your first post should be about you could type ideas into Pinterest and see what topics come up and start from there.
If you need more help on where to find ideas to write about, leave me a comment below!
Make Money with Your Blog!
If your goal is to make some sort of income with your blog you will want to monetize it. There are several ways to monetize your blog and I am going to share with you the 3 most common ways that people monetize their blogs.
The three most common ways to monetize a blog are:
Affiliate Programs – There are some affiliate programs that require you to have a certain level of traffic already coming to your blog but there are other programs that are more lenient and don’t require you to have traffic before joining their programs.
Some of the affiliate programs that you could join are:
Also, a lot of companies have their own affiliate programs. You can find an affiliate program for almost any company by simply typing in the name of the company and + affiliate program.
For example, McDonalds + Affiliate Program (this is not a real affiliate program, lol).
Sponsored Posts – These are posts that a company may pay you to write about their product. You are able to set your own prices for some of these companies.
Ads – Advertisements that you can display on your site. Some programs do have a minimum traffic requirement.
- Google Adsense
- Mediavine – Minimum 25,000 sessions required
- AdThrive – Minimum 100,000 sessions required
Do not be discouraged by these numbers. You do not have to have ads right off to start making money with your blog.
If you choose to have ads, in the beginning, there are other sites out there that will allow beginners into their programs such as Google Adsense.
If you wouldl like me to do a post on how to make money from your blog, comment down below!
Spread the Word!
Now that you know what it takes to make money with your blog, it is time to let everyone know about your blog.
There are a few ways that you can promote your blog.
Search Engine Optimization – When your blog starts to rank on Google you will start to receive more organic search traffic to your site. This will increase your page views.
Guest Posting – By guest posting, you are putting yourself in front of someone else’s audience and these readers can easily become your readers as well.
Commenting on Other Blogs and Forums – You are not only being helpful but you can also take this as an opportunity to tactfully mention your own blog.
Posting on Social Media – The best advice I can give you is to create you a Pinterest Business Account and start Pinning your content as well as the content of others, frequently. You can also post on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram but I wouldn’t focus on more than 2 social media sites at one time.
If you do you may become overwhelmed and give up altogether and we don’t want you to do that.
All done! Yay!!
You just started your first blog. How does it feel? I bet you feel like a million bucks!
Kinda makes you want to do the Carlton right?
I want to tell you that I am so proud of you for hanging in there with me and reading this post all the way through to the end.
Always remember that anything worth having is worth fighting for. That’s what you just did. You fought through to the end of this post and now you have started a money-making blog you can be proud of!
I want to encourage you not to stop there. Keep writing, researching, and taking the necessary steps to grow your blog.
Do you still have questions for me? Comment down below! Also, let me know what you thought of this step-by-step guide on how to start a blog for beginners, I’d love to hear from you!
If you enjoyed it don’t forget to share!