Have you ever wondered how to start a blog and make enough money blogging to quit your job?
Then yes. Blocks of text and a handful of images can generate life-changing sums of money.
Explanatory sheet for a quick start
Looking for a quick start guide to get you started as quickly as possible? In this section, we won’t cover everything, just the essential steps. It’s all covered in much more detail below, so jump down if you run into any trouble.
First, go to Bluehost and sign up for the WordPress Starter plan. It’s only €2.64 per month and you’ll also get a free domain name with your hosting plan!
Then follow the instructions to set up your Bluehost account and you now officially have your own little piece of the internet. Congratulation !
But don’t rejoice too soon, we’re not quite done yet. From there, you must:
- Install WordPress (your blogging platform)
- Choose and install a cheap/affordable theme.
- Customize your new theme
- Write and publish your first blog post
- Stick to a regular posting schedule
Once you’ve published your first articles and the traffic has started pouring in, you can start thinking about how you want to earn your first dollar.
From selling ad space to offering digital/physical products to affiliate marketing, there are dozens of monetization methods you can explore.
Now let’s go through the whole process in detail. Here are the 9 steps to follow:
- Unleash the ideas within you
- Choose a name for your new blog
- Get web hosting from Bluehost
- Install a WordPress theme
- Personalize your blog
- Brainstorm blog topics
- Write your first masterpiece
- Create an editorial calendar
- Monetize your blog
Step 1. Release the ideas inside you
If you want to start a blog, you don’t need a revolutionary idea. But, your blog should be focused on something specific.
Remember that no idea is truly unique, no matter how good it is.
But you have unique experiences. You have a distinct voice. And you probably have a dynamic personality that will attract others eager to hear about your experiences.
When it comes to choosing your blog niche, there are two key questions to ask.
1. Do I enjoy learning about this topic?
If you don’t like the subject, it will show in your writing. You shouldn’t even start a blog if you don’t like the topic you’re writing about.
Whatever subject you choose, you should love it and be naturally curious about it.
Otherwise, you will quickly run out of ideas. You will lose all the momentum you created at the start.
And most importantly, you will fail to create consistent content that will allow you to grow your audience.
If you’re still lost, think about the kinds of things people come to you for advice on. Do your friends or family ask you for fitness advice? Recipe ideas? Career advice? You know what you are most capable of.
2. Are others interested in the same things?
You might feel like you’re the only 20-something obsessed with sewing. But there are others.
Do a quick Google search and you’ll find over 2920 results for people just like you.
You may wonder if your idea is too original. Or if it is too large? My advice is to focus as much as possible on a topic that really interests you.
If you want to create a travel blog, for example, avoid generic words like “travel”. Pick a more specific topic, like “backpack.”
Step 2. Choose a name for your new blog
Now for the fun part: giving your blog a name.
It’s your brand. This is how people will remember you.
But don’t think too much about it. Brand magic is built over time. Even if you feel stuck, keep moving forward.
The best way to find the perfect name is to start brainstorming. In the last step, we talked about releasing all your ideas and defining your niche.
Now it’s time to take those ideas and turn them into a name.
Open a new spreadsheet or grab a pen and paper. Spend about ten minutes writing down all the words that come to mind.
From there, start combining words and phrases until something is obvious to you. Aim for 5-10 potential names and write them down.
Now it’s time to see if these names are available as domains. A domain is where your blog lives on the internet.
For example,easy-tutorials.com is my domain.
easytutorials is my brand and what you type in the address bar to find me. But that also means you can’t use the domain because I already own it.
In most cases, I recommend that you choose a different name to your name for your blog. This will make it much easier to sell the site if you ever want to.
If none of your favorite site names are available in .com, start over and keep thinking.
Here are some additional tips for choosing a great domain name:
- Always choose a .com name when possible.
- Avoid using numbers, hyphens, and homophones (words that sound the same but have a different spelling).
- Be as short and concise as possible.
- It should be easy to say and understand.
- Avoid complicated and often misspelled words.
When you come across an available name, click next to automatically add it to your cart.
Don’t buy it yet. I’ll show you how to get your domain for free in the next step.
Step 3. Get web hosting with Bluehost
Now is the time to put your blog online.
It may seem complicated at first, but don’t worry. It’s a lot easier than it looks.
To get started, you need web hosting (where your blog will be hosted) and a domain name (your blog address). The good news is that Bluehost, my favorite host, offers both as a package.
Plus, it’s incredibly affordable.
Head over to Bluehost and click “Start Building”.
Then you will see four different planes. Scroll down and select the WordPress Starter plan for €2.64/month. It includes everything you need when you’re just starting out, and it’s the cheapest plan that includes a free domain.
And you can always upgrade later if you need to.
If you want the best deal, go with the three-year commitment. But you can also choose one-year, two-year, and monthly terms.
Then you will complete your account setup.
You can either create a new domain or set up a domain that you already use elsewhere. To keep this tutorial simple, we’ll create a new domain with our hosting plan.
So, as I mentioned before, you get a free domain name for the first year for new Bluehost accounts.
Take the time to think carefully about the name you want to give your blog, because it will be used as a domain name.
Next, you will need to complete all the required fields to complete your web hosting account registration. These fields are:
- Account Information.
- Package Information.
- Package supplements.
- Payment Information.
1. Account Information
This is where you add your personal information such as your name, address, email address. It’s quite simple.
2. Package Information
Here you can view the account plan you have selected. You will notice that the longer term you choose for your hosting plan, the more money you can save. For example, a 36-month basic plan will cost you less than a 12-month basic plan.
3. Package Extras
This is where you can select additional services from Bluehost. These include:
- Domain privacy (recommended)
- CodeGuard Basicasic (Sauvegardes, surveillance, restauration)
- SEO Tools (Basic)
- SiteGuard Security
In my own experience, you don’t need extras until your blog has leveled up, and even earned some money to justify the investment in those extra resources.
4. Payment Information
Of course, this is where you add your payment information.
Once you have entered all the details carefully and accurately, all you have to do is agree to Bluehost’s terms and click submit.
That’s it, you’ve paid for your hosting plan. Next, you need to set up your hosting account. To do this, you must enter a username and password.
When you’re ready, click the Create Account button. See image below.
Now that you’ve taken care of your domain and hosting and your account is set up, it’s time to log into your hosting account to set up your WordPress blog.
So once you are logged in, the first thing you will see is the configuration page. You will need to complete the following steps to set up your WordPress blog successfully.
First step, give your blog a name and a slogan.
Don’t forget to slide the toggle button to add a blog. Your articles will be displayed on the page you have pre-selected. Then click Continue. See the image above.
In Step 2, you’ll need to check a few boxes for your blog’s goals. Then click Continue to theme selection. See the image above.
Here, you can choose any theme you want, and Bluehost offers plenty of them.
You can simply click Skip This Step, and WordPress will begin installing on your domain name. The installation process shouldn’t take too long. See pictures below.
It is done !
You have successfully set up your WordPress web hosting and blog with Bluehost.
You can now go to My Sites and log in to WordPress to access your blog’s admin area.
Step 4. Create your blog with a WordPress theme
In the blogging world, pre-built WordPress sites are called themes.
As it stands, your WordPress blog will look something like this:
This is the simple base you start with. But you’re going to want to find something that matches your name, your brand, and the experience you want to give your readers.
There are thousands of themes to choose from. But it can be easy to get caught up in “shiny object syndrome”, browsing through tons of pretty images and templates, but not coming away with a theme that suits your needs.
You can switch themes at any time, so pick something good enough for now rather than stressing out about finding the perfect option. Much like your brand, your WordPress blog theme will likely evolve over time as you discover what works best in practice.
Let’s see how to choose a theme, step by step.
First, you need to log in to the WordPress administration. You can access it by going to [yourdomain].com/wp-admin.
Enter your credentials to login.
If you’re new to WordPress, the dashboard might seem a little intimidating at first, but you’ll become an expert with a little practice.
To install a new theme, hover over the “Appearance” menu in the sidebar and click “Themes”.
WordPress comes with a few out-of-the-box themes, but we’ll be looking for the glitzier premium themes that will make your eyes twinkle.
Click the “Add New” button at the top of the page to access thousands of WordPress themes.
Your tastes and mine may be different. Luckily, WordPress has a “features filter” that lets you search for something that matches your style.
The three categories are “layout”, “features” and “subject”. You can look for themes that closely match your blog topic or themes that have features that you are already sure your blog will need.
Here’s what your filter requests might look like.
After applying the filters, you will see amazing themes that would otherwise cost thousands of dollars in design fees.
If you click on the theme thumbnail, you can get an instant preview of what your blog will look like. Check if it matches your personal style and the topic you are going to cover.
Once you are satisfied with this preview, click on the “Install” button.
Once the installation is complete, click on the “Activate” button and you’re done.
If you can’t find a theme you like, there are premium themes you can buy from sites like:
- Elegant Themes
- Thrive Themes
Now your theme should be activated and ready to go. Now let’s get to customizing your theme.
Step 5. Customize and optimize your WordPress blog
There are endless customization choices you can make on a WordPress blog. We’ll stick to the basics.
Themes are the basis of your design and include basic functionality. WordPress also offers plugins that can complement or extend the functionality of your blog in impressive ways.
There are WordPress plugins for everything from adding e-commerce functionality or contact forms to your site, to analyzing your content to improve SEO (we’ll get to that later) or to boost security. and site performance.
The first step is to click on the “Customize” button of your active theme.
The menu options in the sidebar vary depending on the chosen theme. The main category to edit is “Site Identity”.
Here you can add your blog name and tagline if you want. When you’re done, click the “Save and Publish” button.
Optimize for search engine traffic
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a multi-billion dollar industry.
SEO is the process of optimizing your website so that it is found in search engines for specific keywords and phrases.
I attribute a lot of my success to being easily findable for relevant search terms, which has helped me grow my networks and my net worth.
If you’re new to SEO, this might seem daunting.
But WordPress makes it very easy to optimize the technical aspects of your blog.
The majority of your SEO efforts will be about creating content that appeals to real people. Whether through text, video, or images, your job as a blogger is to build a relationship with your readers.
And what better way to do that than to have an interesting and informative conversation?
You can get started by downloading a plugin called Yoast SEO.
Hover over the plugins menu on the side and click “Add New”.
Search for “Yoast SEO” in the search bar and it will be the first result that appears.
Click the “Install Now” button. Then, click on the “Activate” button once the installation is complete.
You can access the plugin settings from the new SEO menu in the sidebar or by clicking the icon at the top.
From the dashboard, go to “Your Info” and set the basics for your blog.
Make sure your website name and tagline are correct. Next, identify yourself as a business or person.
Click on the “Save changes” button and we will go to the next step.
Then go to the “Webmaster Tools” tab and click on “Google Search Console”. Google Search Console is a tool for webmasters that allows you to submit your site to their search index and maximize its visibility.
Sign in to your Google account, whether it’s your Gmail or Drive account.
Once you’ve logged in, click on the “Alternative Methods” tab and select “HTML tag”.
A new drop-down menu will appear with your Search Console meta code. Copy the alphanumeric string without the quotes.
Next, paste your meta code into the Google Search Console text box and click “Save Changes”.
Finally, click on the “Verify” button.
Browsing through Webmaster Central will give you a wealth of data-driven insights, such as the keyword phrases you rank for, errors on your blog, and the ability to give Google a thumbs up when you post a new item.
Then go to the “General” tab and launch the installation wizard.
Yoast will guide you through a series of 10 quick steps to optimize your WordPress blog.
The first step is a welcome screen that you can skip.
In the second step, select the environment that best suits your site. More often than not, you will choose the production environment, which means it is an actual website that you intend to drive traffic to.
Step 3 is about the type of website. Choose blog and click next.
The next step is to incorporate or incorporate yourself. We’ve done this before, so you can skip this step.
In step 5, you can add all social profiles that are associated with your blog. Click “Next” when finished.
Step 6 concerns the visibility of articles. You can use the default settings. Set your “Posts” and “Pages” to visible and “Media” to hidden.
Next, you’ll need to decide if you’ll have multiple authors or a solo blogger. If you choose to add another author in the future, you can change these settings later.
If you want the Yoast SEO plugin to retrieve data from Google’s Explorer Console, step 8 is the place to do it.
Click the “Get Google Authorization Code” button.
A new window will appear where you can authorize Yoast to access your Search Console data. Click the “Allow” button to confirm access.
In step 9, you can check your website name and choose a title separator.
The title separator is a symbol used to separate your blog post title and your website name in the meta title information. This is what Google searchers will see when they find your blog through a search.
For example, if you found this article on Google, you might have seen “How to start a blog – Dofinpro”.
The symbol is a matter of personal preference. Click “Next” when you’re ready to move on.
The final stage is not a stage at all. This is a congratulatory message confirming that you have successfully optimized the SEO settings of your fledgling WordPress blog.
The last Yoast SEO setting to configure is an XML sitemap. An XML sitemap is a file that lists your website’s URLs.
It helps Google and other search engines crawl your site for new posts and pages. Fortunately, Yoast has a built-in feature that automatically updates your sitemap, so you can click it and forget about it.
In the “Features” tab, set the “Advanced Settings Pages” to “Enabled” and save the changes.
A new menu group appears in the sidebar, under “SEO”. Select the “XML Sitemaps” menu.
Select the “User Sitemap” tab and activate the “Author / user sitemap” option. Don’t forget to save your changes.
You can play with these settings endlessly, but everything we’ve configured so far will get you started on the right track.
Permalinks are static hyperlinks that lead to a particular blog post or page. By default, WordPress automatically generates permalinks when you create a post, with the post ID number coming after your domain.
The “/p=1213” permalink is in no way enticing and does not help anyone understand the content of the page before viewing it.
The easiest solution is to define a permalink structure.
In the left sidebar, hover over “Settings” and choose “Permalinks”.
You have several options to choose from. I use the “Post name” structure on my blog which uses keywords from my title to create a unique permalink.
Save the settings once you have selected them. You’ll see this in action a bit later.
If you’re still with me, you’ve purchased your domain and web hosting, installed a theme, and optimized your website to be crawled and found by search engines.
Now we get into the nitty-gritty of blogging. What are you going to write about in your blog?
That’s what we’re going to see.
Step 6. Think about blog topics
From a technical point of view, your blog is ready to go. When it comes to generating topics, the world is yours.
The majority of your blog posts will come from personal experiences, passions, successes, failures, and new learnings.
People use questions as search queries, for example:
- What should I write about?
- What to blog about?
- Should I start blogging?
So, of course, you have to start by asking your own questions. I use a series of questions and a systematic process to come up with my blog topic ideas.
Do not worry. It’s not complicated and it won’t take you much time.
By following this process, you should be able to find about 50 topics in half an hour of free time.
Get out a pen and paper or open your favorite word processor.
The goal of this exercise is to obtain 10 answers for each question. If you find any others, write them all down.
It’s time to look through the lens of your readers with these 5 questions.
1. “What excites, intrigues or arouses passion in my readers?”
- As a golfer, I’m excited to hit my driver further. I am fascinated by mental performance. I am passionate about healthy lifestyles.
- As a new stay-at-home mom, I’m excited about money-saving ideas for the family. I am intrigued by sleep learning. I am passionate about home schooling.
- As an avid camper, I am enthusiastic about finding underrated campsites. Survival tactics intrigue me. I am passionate about minimalist living.
2. “What common challenges do my readers face?”
- Golfers may struggle to place the ball.
- Stay-at-home moms can struggle with meal planning.
- Campers may struggle to pack light.
3. “What character traits do my readers possess?
- Serious golfers have emotional stability.
- Moms are patient and have a sense of humor.
- Campers are adventurous and resourceful.
4. “What do my readers like about my niche?”
- Golfers love the challenge of perfection.
- Stay-at-home moms enjoy being a part of their child’s mental, physical, and emotional development.
- Campers like to get away from the hectic city life.
5. “What do my readers hate about my niche?”
- Golfers hate playing with partners who complain all day.
- Stay-at-home moms hate being looked down on by others.
- Campers hate being eaten alive.
You know what I mean. Now that you have around 50 responses, you can start dissecting blog post ideas from each response. There is no limit.
Here are some examples you can extract from an answer in your list:
- Care for Your Shot: The Foolproof Guide to Reaching the Golf Course Every Time
- 3 Reasons Why You’re Slicing and a Simple Stupid Solution.
- Never take a free kick again: 9 exercises to play like the pros
- 7 training aids for a perfectly straight ball flight
- How to reach the par point with a bad slice.
Try to come up with a catchy headline that will draw your readers in, then punch them through the rest of your content.
Step 7. Write your first masterpiece
WordPress uses an intuitive editor, similar to your favorite word processors. New blog entries can be created directly from your WordPress admin dashboard.
Click on “Articles” in the left sidebar.
A list of your blog entries in descending order will appear. Since we’re working with a fresh install, you won’t see anything here.
To create a new entry, click on the “Add new” button at the top or in the sidebar.
You will be taken to the editor and you can start blogging.
Click the + in the right corner to see WordPress Blocks, which allow you to add titles, media, quotes, and tons of other features to your blog.
First, add one of the titles you came up with during your brainstorming in the title text box.
Once you save this post as a draft, WordPress will create a permalink based on the keywords used in your title.
You can start typing your article content in the large text box and write until you are satisfied with your content.
You can also add visuals to your blog posts. Images help engage readers and can often illustrate concepts better than words.
To add new images, make sure your text cursor is where you want your image to appear. Click on the blue + sign, then select the “Image” block.
Choose “upload” or select the image from your media library if it’s already uploaded to your site.
After uploading your image, you can resize it and add links using the icons at the top of the image.
Your image will automatically be inserted into your article.
After completing your article, you will need to do some last minute optimizations using the Yoast SEO plugin.
Yoast has article-specific settings that can be found at the bottom of the main text box.
The main parameters are “SEO title”, “slug”, “meta description” and “focus keyphrases”.
Completing these parameters will give you a preview of what your item will look like when discovered in Google’s search engine results.
Create clickable SEO titles and meta descriptions that explain what your article is about.
The Yoast SEO plugin will provide you with real-time feedback as you start optimizing your title and description.
Aim for as many green lights as possible, but don’t stress out if you can’t get a perfect score. If you get 80% green lights, you’re on the right track.
Before you publish your post, you can see what your blog post will look like by clicking the “preview” button at the top of the page.
Before you hit the publish button, you need to make sure your article looks and looks the way you want.
Here’s a quick checklist to consider, before hitting the publish button:
- Speak in a conversational tone.
- Content flows naturally.
- The text is easy to read and has enough white space.
- Use headings to separate sections.
- Use bullet points and lists.
- Check for typos and grammatical errors.
If everything is in order, you are ready to publish your first blog post.
Scroll to the top of the page and click the publish button which is just to the right of the preview button to have your post go live immediately.
Step 8. Create an editorial calendar
One of the fatal mistakes I see bloggers make is only blogging when they “feel like it”.
They forget that their new fans want more content and they don’t get it.
Unforeseen circumstances will arise. You’ll let a new Netflix series take up the time you could have spent on your blog.
Life will continue to throw curveballs at you whether you start blogging or not. Consistency is undervalued and should be a priority for you.
I’ve written over 300 articles and it’s not because I’m typing 6,000 words per minute. It’s because I follow an uncompromising editorial calendar.
Calendars are not reserved for major publications such as Le Monde and Le Figaro. They are for ordinary people like you and me.
Think of it this way.
If you have a doctor’s appointment on your calendar or even a lunch date with a friend, you’re going to honor it. In the worst case, you will postpone it to the next available time.
Editorial calendars work the same way.
They make it possible to achieve ambitious goals in small steps. They keep you organized. They streamline your social media and email marketing efforts.
And you’ll be surprised that an editorial calendar can even help you build character and integrity.
We are creatures of habit. The more you stick to your dates, the faster you grow your audience.
So how do you get started and how much will it cost?
Just open a new Excel spreadsheet. If you have multiple writers, you can share the sheet using Google drive. Start with four columns: Date Posted, Title, Keyword, and Notes.
Your needs may be different from mine, so feel free to add additional columns as needed. Common additions might include “Author”, “Category”, and “Persona”.
The more you simplify it, the easier it will be to digest and follow.
Look at your calendar on your iPhone, Android, or the one hanging on your fridge. How often can you post?
Once a month ? Every week ? Every day ?
Be careful with your goals because consistently missing deadlines can lead you to give up altogether.
Next, review the answers you came up with during your brainstorming session and add them to the “Title” column.
Your titles don’t have to be perfect yet. Add a working title that you can tweak before publishing.
Sometimes the best headlines appear after the article is written. This will give you a very clear idea of the subject of your article and its recipient.
The “Keyword” column is for SEO purposes. If you’re targeting specific keyword phrases you want to rank for, add them in this column.
If nothing comes to mind, you can do some keyword research later.
Finally, there is the “Notes” column.
This section is the perfect place to jot down any brilliant ideas that come to mind. Notes are also a great tool to stay focused on the topic at hand and approach it coherently.
You should be able to write a series of 25 blog post topics with deadlines that you are sure you can meet.
That’s nearly six months of blog posts for a weekly writer.
Step 9. Monetize your blog
The last step is to monetize your blog.
You may not start your blog with the intention of monetizing it immediately. If this is your case, then that’s a good thing.
Listen to me carefully.
The conventional selling style used looked something like this:
- think of an idea
- Create a product
- Try to sell the product
- File the balance sheet
This method has failed for many individuals and businesses because they didn’t build an audience before selling.
They based market demand on gut feelings.
This is why blogging is the perfect channel for monetization. You will build an audience through your blog posts, email newsletters, interaction in comments, and social media channels.
Want tips on how to turn your blog into a profitable tool? Read on.
Ask your audience
Blogging brings people into your life through interaction. If you think of your favorite bloggers, you might feel like you know them on a somewhat personal level.
Even better, your market research is considerably easier.
You can also send emails with a survey, for example using Google Forms, to gain valuable insight into your target audience’s expectations.
By creating a blog, you open doors to talk with potential customers. People who will give you honest feedback on what they want from you.
If 90% of people in your survey tell you they want a formal digital marketing course, what do you think they want?
A digital marketing course they’ll be happy to pay for.
Earn money with advertisements
If you don’t want to sell a physical product or service, you can do what other publishers do: sell ad space.
Anyone can advertise on their blog using Google Adsense. But the real money comes from private sales of ad placements on your site.
If you’re building a high-traffic blog, you can earn a full-time income by selling ad space on your site.
Talk about passive income!
The only thing you need to do is add their banner and keep doing what you do best: writing about your passion or expertise.
The reason monetization is the final step in building a profitable blog is that money shouldn’t be the driving factor in your early efforts.
As you build meaningful relationships and community, your audience will point you in the right direction with their needs.
If you want to make money blogging, it’s up to you to meet those needs.
Frequently asked questions about how to start a blog
Basically, how do you start a blog?
Set up a CMS (like WordPress), choose a design, write and publish your first article, and stick to a regular publishing schedule.
What are the CMS options to use on a blog?
WordPress, Wix, Shopify (for e-commerce sites)
How do I choose a name for my blog?
Use free name generator tools, check available domains, check business registries and social media to make sure other people don’t already have that name.
How do I optimize my blog for search engines (SEO)?
Use a reputable SEO plugin if you’re on WordPress like Yoast, set up Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools, make sure your XML sitemap is set up correctly (Yoast can do this automatically), and set up permalinks.
How do I find blog post topics?
Ask yourself the question:
- What excites my readers?
- What are the common challenges for my readers?
- What are the characteristics of my readers?
- What do readers like about my niche?
- What do readers hate in my niche?
How can I monetize my blog?
Through affiliate sales, advertising revenue, product sales and courses.
Starting a blog is easy. Creating one that will be successful and make money takes work, dedication, and perseverance.
But the rewards far outweigh the risks.
Blogs are affordable and more accessible today than ever before.
Like everything in life, there will be obstacles trying to get you off track. But I encourage you to go ahead with your passion and share it through your own blog.
Everything you need to get started is here. You can get started now by getting your free domain and hosting from Bluehost in just a few minutes.
As you begin your blogging journey, remember that you are talking to humans. Be yourself. Be bold. Be honest and transparent.
If you continue to consistently create great content, your tribe will flock to you, listen to you, and convert.
Have you started your blog yet? What’s holding you back?