How to Start a Blog and Make Money (As a New Blogger)
Thousands of web searches are performed every day on ways to make money online
But only a handful of people actually make money online. A majority return to their 9 to 5.
I’m not sure why there’s a common misconception earning a real income from home would be as easy as completing a few surveys. Nothing worth having is ever easy.
Blogging’s not easy but that’s why it’s one of the most profitable ways to make money online.
Blogging is a business
And like any other business, it takes hard work and dedication. That’s why so many people shy from it as an option. But I’m here to tell you it’s TOTALLY ATTAINABLE and it’ll beat the job you’re working now.
You can make money within 3-6 months of starting your blog if you stick to your goals, use all the resources and strategies you can get your hands on, and WORK!
This post contains affiliate links, read our full disclosure here.
Why blogging is a great way to make money online
It’s the only business you can start for little front-end investment.
To start a blog, all you need is web hosting and a domain name. Web hosting is sort of like paying rent for your website space. Your domain is essentially your website’s name.
For web hosting, I highly recommend Siteground. It’s the service I use for my blog. Their security, speed, and support is amazing with pricing plans to boot! At only $3.95 a month, you can get full service hosting and all its amenities. You can purchase your domain name through Siteground for $15.95 a year.
These two things, web hosting and a domain name, are ALL you need to invest to get your blog up and running. Tell me, what other business can you start for only $3.95 a month?
You can make money within your first few months blogging (even as a new blogger).
I made my first affiliate sale in just two months of creating my blog. I started with absolutely no prior experience, squeezing in what work I could during my spare time. If you can get a family member, friend, husband, or even boyfriend to help, I have no doubt you can make money within your FIRST month blogging.
Remember, there’s strength in numbers!
The sky’s the limit when it comes to your income.
Many bloggers make a healthy income from blogging. Some pull in an inspiring six figures a month. That’s not an easy task. It’s takes hard work and time to see those numbers. But if you put effort into building an amazing content library as well as promoting your posts, there’s no cap to how much you can make blogging.
Once you put in the initial effort, you can expect to work less.
This is what makes blogging so amazing. While it can feel like an uphill battle, especially in the first months, but as you continue to blog you’ll earn more while working less. What job allows you to do that?
How bloggers make money
So how exactly do bloggers make money? Well, there’s actual a number of ways:
- Affiliate marketing
- Digital products
- Physical products
Ads are one way bloggers monetize their site. But to make enough money through advertising, your blog has to drive a lot of traffic. Like thousands of views every day traffic.
So while ads are one way you can make money with your blog, you shouldn’t solely rely on it.
- Mediavine: 25,000 sessions per month
- The Blogger Network: 80,000 page views
- AdThrive: 100,000 page views per month
2. Affiliate marketing
With affiliate marketing, you make a commission off products you promote on your site at no cost to your viewers.
To get started with affiliate marketing, you first have to apply to the companies you want to work with. A Google search of the company’s name and “affiliate program” will usually direct you to the right sign up page.
Most programs require you to have a website with a good amount of content (aim for 7-10 quality posts) in order to get accepted. Here are a few I’m a part of:
- Amazon Associates – Amazon’s great because they offer such an amazing range of products. Some ways you can promote Amazon products is by writing reviews or mentioning them in a list post. Amazon was where I made my first affiliate sale!
- Target – I ♥ Target! Their products are stylish yet super affordable.
- Siteground – The hosting service I use for my blog.
If you have hirable skills, you can use your blog as a marketplace for your services. You can offer anything from graphic design to virtual assisting. This can make up a good bulk of your blogging income if you offer high quality services and know how to promote them.
An important thing to remember when you offer services is to set appropriate prices. You don’t want to sell yourself short, but at the same time you want to offer the best price for your clients.
4. Digital products
Digital products can be in the form of eBooks or online courses. You can even offer webinars, which are web-based conferences and or coaching. As long as the information’s useful, there will be a demand for your product.
5. Physical products
If you like crafting, you can sell your handmade crafts through WooCommerce, a WordPress plugin that’s free to use. No more Etsy fees! (Sorry, Etsy). WooCommerce is also the plugin you’ll use to offer your services and digital products.
In addition, you can use your blog to sell physical books or retail products.
Don’t wait! Start your blogging journey today!
There are so many amazing reasons to work from home.
Working from home could offer the financial freedom you’ve always dreamed of. You get to be your own boss and work on your own time. You’ll be able to spend more time with your kids (this is my #1 reason!).
But the reality is, most people DON’T make money from home. Whether it’s because they don’t think it will be profitable or because they feel they don’t have time to start their own website. It all boils down to INACTION.
Making the decision to take action is the first step that will lead to you to the independence you want. It’s up to you to make that decision!
Setting Up a Profitable Blog
Where do you start?
How do you set up a blog and what exactly is a theme?
What is WordPress?
In this tutorial, I’ll go over:
- Picking a profitable niche
- Setting up web hosting and a domain name with SiteGround
- Installing WordPress
- Installing a theme
- Writing your first blog posts
Ready to get started? Let’s get to it!
1. Decide on your niche
Your niche will be the main subject of your blog. It could be anything from traveling to personal finance.
Your niche can be broad or defined, but you should brainstorm post ideas in either case. You don’t want to decide on a niche and find you can only write a few posts, then be at a block for further content.
Try to come up with at least 100 helpful post ideas.
When coming up with post ideas, think about WIIFM, “What’s in it for me.” Or really, what’s in it for your readers.
You can write about why your cat loves you, which would probably be amazing. ‘Cause you’re an amazing person and you’re cat frickin’ loves you. BUT, that post isn’t particularly useful to other people, meaning you’ll likely receive little to no traffic to your blog for that post.
A much better post idea is “10 Ways to Get Your Cat to Frickin’ Love You.”
Don’t get me wrong, you can definitely write about why your cat loves you. But if you want to blog for profit, writing non-WIIFM posts is not a good strategy.
Another important requirement when choosing your niche is for it to have a large enough audience.
You’ll have a much more difficult time trying to drive traffic to a blog about mini pigs than a blog about cats or surfing.
Google Trends is a free site that lets you view the popularity of Google searches. You can use this tool to check if there are enough people searching for content within your niche.
2. Set up web hosting with SiteGround
As I’ve mentioned in my previous post, How to Start a Blog and Make Money (as a New Blogger), web hosting and a domain name are the only two things you need to start a blog.
If you’re just getting started, SiteGround’s $3.95/month StartUp plan is a great place to start.
Personally, I went with the GrowBig plan because it allows me to run multiple websites. I have the choice to create multiple blogs on different niches. And if my sister wanted to start a blog someday, we could use the same plan.
You also need to decide on a domain name. Your domain name is your blog’s name as well as its web page address.
It’s a good idea to pick a domain with a keyword specific to your niche. For instance, if my blog’s niche was travel, I would try to include the keyword “travel” into my domain name. This is not super necessary, but it helps your readers know what your blog is about and helps a bit with SEO.
If you want to expand upon your blog’s initial niche down the road, you may want to pick a domain name that’s more vague.
Pick a name that’s catchy and one that you’ll want to stick with. You can always change your domain name later, but it’s a lengthy and messy process that takes away from your time writing content and expanding your blog.
Your domain name is important, but don’t spend too much time on it.
A lot of the time, the name you’ve chosen will not be available. This is a good time to get those creative juices flowing.
I recommend ending your domain name in .com. It’s familiar and it’s what most websites and bloggers use.
Once you’ve found a domain name that’s available, fill out your account details and proper billing information.
At the bottom you’ll see the Extra Services section. The Domain Registration box should be checked since you’ll need to purchase your domain name. Add domain privacy and SG site scanner to ensure the safety of your personal information and blog.
That’s it! The only two investment you’ll need to get your blog up and running.
3. Install WordPress
WordPress is a free blogging platform where you will be writing, editing, and publishing all your posts. It’s also where you will design your blog’s appearance and theme. Follow these steps to install WordPress:
- On your SiteGround account, click on the My Accounts tab at the top.
- Click on the red cPanel button on the upper left.
- Scroll to the WordPress Tools section and click on WordPress Installer.
- Click Install Now.
- Create a unique username and password for WordPress and click Install at the bottom. (You don’t have to worry about all the other stuff).
And you’re done installing WordPress!
4. Install a theme
Your theme is what gives your blog its general look and feel.
WordPress offers some great themes for free. You can also choose to purchase one to differentiate your blog and brand, but it’s not imperative you do that right now.
How to install a theme
Log into your WordPress account via your admin URL, which looks like this:
On the left hand side of your admin panel, click on Appearance, Themes, then Add New.
You can browse the themes and click to preview them before making a selection.
Install your theme, click activate, and you’re ready to write some amazing content for your blog!
5. Populate your blog with amazing content
Quality content is your blog’s staying power. Write helpful posts that gives your readers something they can instantly gain from. This might be a solution to a problem or something they can implement in their day to day life, such as ways to save money.
Put your own perspective into common problems. There’s a million blogs out there. You want your blog and its writing to stand out. Find ways to set yourself apart from the rest.
I hope this helps anyone who’s looking to make more income from home. I’m super excited for you to start your blogging journey and I can’t wait to read those amazing posts.
If you need any help or have questions, feel free to email me or comment below. I’d love to help!
- How to Monetize Your Blog with Ads and Affiliate Marketing
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- 18 Legit Ways to Make Money from Home