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Anyone can start a blog. There’s a reason, after all, that telling people you’re a blogger is often met with patronising smiles, head tilts, and yes, but what do you really do?

Anyone can start a blog. There’s a reason, after all, that telling people you’re a blogger is often met with patronising smiles, head tilts, and yes, but what do you really do?

What sets you apart from the crowd is starting a blog and making money with it.

Now THAT is something not everyone can do.

Join the free 6-day Build-A-Blog Course

Sign up below to get started with this FREE course to help you start a blog & monetize it from the beginning.

If you’re looking to start a hobby blog where you can write an online diary that no one (except maybe your mum) visits, this post probably isn’t for you.

This post is for you if you’re looking to start a blog that makes money. That doesn’t mean you have to be prepared to sell your soul and write boring heartless content (FYI I freaking love my job!) but it does mean that you need to approach build your blog with a PLAN.

You need to know how to build a blog and what to do in order to monetize it successfully.

Only the other day, I saw this comment on a guest post I wrote:

I couldn’t have put it better myself. Many new bloggers have the notion of “if I write, they will come” which is categorically NOT the case.

There’s so much content online these days. SO MUCH. To make it as a blogger, you need to wear far more hats than the ‘clever writer’ one. Honestly, it’s tough, but it’s also one of my favourite things about being a full-time blogger. There aren’t many other jobs where you get to be involved in so many different professions.

When I first started blogging, I treated spending time working on my blog as if it was another job – even though it paid me nothing. Consistency and intensity are the two things you need – as well as patience.

Many new bloggers jack it all in because they expect rapid results when the reality is that most money-making bloggers put in long hours for zero return for months before getting a payout.

But let me tell you, there is no greater satisfaction than finally seeing something you’ve built from scratch begin to find legs of its own.

So, what do you need to do to start a blog to make money?

Well, here’s what you don’t need to do:

You don’t need to be super tech-savvy. You don’t need to be the next J.K. Rowling (though we can dream). You don’t need to pretend you know exactly what you’re doing (heck, I’m running around blind half the time!).

What you do need is a plan. You need discipline, and the understanding that to successfully build a money-making blog, you need to be in it for the long haul.

You need to enjoy variety. To be able to think creatively. Be a problem solver. You need to be prepared to lay some serious foundations before passive income is a reality for you.

Consistency and Intensity

One of my life mantras. You need to keep these two words in your head, and just start.

Just start now, and commit to working on your blog at least once a day (even if that’s writing an article for 15 minutes in front of the TV).

The worst thing you could do if you want to start a blog and make money is to NOT start your blog!

Believe me, I could have been much, much more equipped before I started blogging. But, I did it anyway, and getting my foot in the door was an enormous first step (pun intended) to making this website a successful business.

How To Start A Blog & Make Money: Free Course

If you’d rather have all the lessons laid out in one place, I highly recommend signing up for my free Build-A-Blog email course. I cover starting your own blog, writing killer content (hey, I’m a copywriter – it’s what I do ?, drive traffic, and monetize your blog from the start.

I started my blog at the beginning of 2017. The first year was a massive learning curve for me – so this course basically cuts through all the lessons and layout what works, what doesn’t, and provides a framework for starting a profitable blog in the most efficient way possible.

If you don’t want the course, read on.

How To Start A Blog Guide

In 2019, blogging is a lot more popular than it was ten or even five years ago. That means two things, one that can be seen as a positive, and the other as a negative:

  1. Because blogging isn’t a new concept anymore, there are a lot more ways to make money blogging quickly
  2. Due to this, blogging is far more competitive than it used to be

So, while I truly believe that anyone can make money blogging (I’m not even two years in and my blog income matches my ‘regular’ job income), you have to work hard to see results.

This guide is going to take you step by step in starting your blog, from picking a topic to finding hosting, picking a theme, as well as covering how to actually work towards making money.

First things first:

1. Pick A Blog Topic

If you’re blogging for your business, this should be a fairly easy decision!  However, if you are simply looking to create a platform for your own voice, you should choose a topic that you’ll be writing about.

Blogging about the first thing that pops into your head means you’ll probably find it harder to build a dedicated audience. People like to know what they’re visiting a website for.

For example, when you visit The Wallet Moth, you’ll get to read posts that centre around money management – although sometimes I go a little outside of that (I’m sorry folks, I’ve got a lot to say!). I always try to bring my posts back to my chosen topic.

Choose your topic based on something that interests you. Don’t start your own blog based on something that you think could make you money fast, or could be really popular quickly. If you don’t have a real passion for your subject, you’ll burn out and run out of motivation to keep blogging.

2. Pick a Domain Name

If I can give you one word of advice when picking a domain name, it’s this: try not to overthink it. When you start your own blog or website, the name of your site can seem like the most important part but in reality, publishing great content on a regular basis is essential. Your name matters, but anything will sound great if you’ve built enough credibility.

Pick a name and run with it. Try to find something related to your niche or business – and do a little research beforehand to make sure your chosen name isn’t already taken or associated with something dodgy!

If you’re a freelancer, consider [yourname].com. Alternatively, if you already have a business set up, try to use the same name for your website, too.

3. Purchase Your Hosting & Domain

Once you’ve decided on a domain name, you need to find a hosting provider. I’ve dabbled in creating blogs for years (not many survive today I’m afraid!,), and I always choose Bluehost to host my websites, which is why I’m now recommending them to you when you start your own blog.

Their customer service is second to none, and the team have always been so helpful helping me if I’ve ever had to deal with a scary techy side of blogging.

As one of the leading hosting providers online powering over 2 million websites, I always feel more confident choosing one of the leading Web Hosting providers because I know if something goes wrong with my site, they’ll be on hand to tell me what happened, and how to fix it.

Step 1)

Visit my link for Bluehost hosting to pay as little as $3.95/month for your blog. You’ll be given four options when purchasing your hosting – for a simple blog or business site, the basic package will work just fine for you.

how to start a blog with bluehost today

Step 2)

After filling in the details above, you’ll then be taken to the page where you can select your new domain name, or you can put in an existing one if you already bought it on a different website.

Be sure to have a “.com” website listed before searching. You can definitely go for a domain that’s .co.uk, .org, or whatever suits you – but if you can get a .com version of your preferred domain, I would recommend it.

How to Start a WordPress Blog on Bluehost

Step 3)

The next page will then go to a page with:

  • Account information (your name, address etc)
  • Package information (12, 24, or 36 months – 12 is obviously cheaper, but 36 months is the best deal long-term)
  • Package options
  • And payment details.

Everything is pretty straightforward, although you will have to decide what extras you want in your package. As you can see from the image below, there’s only one box worth ticking in my opinion (let’s keep costs as low as possible for now!).

How to start your own blog on WordPress

Side Note: Why Paid Hosting?

You may be wondering why you need to pay money to start your own blog. Well, great things are worth investing in. I now make an income from my blog just a year after starting it from scratch, while other bloggers are making more than they could ever achieve in a traditional form of employment after a few years of serious work.

I love blogging, and my lifestyle allows me to travel the world and take my work with me. You would not be able to make such a great income if you start a WordPress blog on WordPress.com or on a free platform such as Blogger.com.

Benefits of buying hosting to start a blog rather than use a free platform include:

  • You have total control over your own site (no ugly ads!)
  • You have the ability to earn money from advertising
  • A more concise, professional domain name (yourname.com vs yourname.example.com!)
  • Better customer support, secure servers, and more disk space
  • Free web hosting risks losing your blog content!

In general, if you want nothing but an online diary, free hosting is a great and cost-effective way to build a blog. If you want to make money from your blog, you need to pay the small fee now for hosting – you won’t regret it!

I have always used Bluehost for all my websites, and have never found them anything less than polite, professional and super helpful if I’ve ever wanted to make a change to my hosting plan. That’s why I recommend them – I know bigger bloggers switch to more specialised services as their traffic grows, but that’s not something anyone needs to worry about when first starting out. Save your money now, I say!

Once you’ve paid for your domain and hosting, you’re set. You’ll be taken to your new control panel where the next step is to install WordPress (it’s free, don’t worry), so you can start doing the fun stuff like picking a theme and writing blog posts!

4. Installing WordPress

Once you’ve paid for your hosting and have your domain setup, you need to download WordPress to be able to start designing your site and creating blog posts! WordPress is the best option for anyone looking to start a blog, with an extremely easy to use interface. I honestly couldn’t even recommend an alternative that stands up to WordPress when it comes to blogging.

BlueHost has a really easy one-click WordPress install option, and once that’s done, you can operate your blog directly through a WordPress login page.

How to Start Your Own Blog with WordPress (in under 10 minutes!)

It’s really as easy at that. Once WordPress is installed, you’re ready to pick a theme, customise your site, and start creating blog posts!

You will then receive an email with your WordPress URL (this is typically your blog followed by “wp-admin” i.e. blog.com/wp-admin), your username, and your password. Keep this email safe!

Once you have installed WordPress through Bluehost, you can access your WordPress dashboard where you upload posts etc via blogname.com/wp-admin. This is where you will always log on to your website and schedule posts, reply to comments etc.

A few key tips to know about WordPress:

  • A theme enables you to totally customise your blog to suit your style and content. I would advise purchasing a premium theme if you want total control over what your website looks like. I personally have a PipDig theme and love the clean, minimal layout and easily customisable options. Take a look at the Genesis theme which is definitely the most popular amongst bloggers. I cover this more in my course where I show you exactly how to start a WordPress blog, build your page views and start making a steady income in 6 easy to follow sessions!
  • To send emails to subscribers to your blog, I use MailerLite which is free and really easy to use. They have a plugin which you can install too!
  • Interested in making money on your blog with affiliate marketing? Be sure to check out Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing – investing in this course is an absolute must if you are serious about making an income from your blog.

5. Start writing

I think one of the worst things that can happen to a blogger is over-analysis paralysis.

That means spending more time thinking about your blog, tinkering with the design, setting up various profiles, than actually doing the one essential thing: creating content!

Just start.

If you scroll all the way back to my first ever posts on this website, you’ll see that the writing is shoddy, the formatting is practically non-existent, and I had a lot to learn – but, I was writing. I was putting myself out there.

Start creating content as soon as possible – practice is one of the best ways to become a better writer (here are 10 more ways to improve your writing!).

6. Find an audience and build traffic

As we’ve already covered, simply writing articles isn’t enough to actually bring traffic to your website and start cultivating an audience.

You need to know how to market your content effectively, and while there are many ways to do this, one of my best methods for newer bloggers is to leverage the power of Pinterest.

Read my full guide on Pinterest for bloggers here – where I cover how I built my traffic to over 100,000 views a month using this platform.

Want to learn how to start a WordPress blog and start making money from your first week?

7. Monetize your blog

I go way more in-depth into monetizing your blog in my course, but as generally speaking, there are three main ways to make money with your blog:

  • Advertising
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Sponsored posts

Before I qualified to join Mediavine, my ad income was non-existent. Now, however, it has absolutely transformed my income, giving me a stable income from this blog every single month just based on the traffic I recieve.

Sponsored posts aren’t really my jam (a lot of the offers I get are from companies I don’t feel comfortable recommending to my readers if I’m honest), but affiliate marketing is one of my favourite ways to monetize my site.

In my first year of blogging, I invested in a course called Making Sense Of Affiliate Marketing, and it made navigating affiliate marketing so much clearer for me.

Within my first week of completing the course, I made my first sale – and now, I make over $800 every single month on just one post via affiliate marketing alone. I think that really speaks for itself.

What’s Next…

Join my email blogging course here for a thorough, in-depth look into starting a money-making blog from scratch including driving traffic to your site, sponsored posts, ads and affiliate marketing – and be well on your way to becoming a successful blogger today!

That didn’t take too long, right?

Are you thinking about blogging? Get started today – you won’t regret it!

I’d love to know what other blogging tips you’d find useful, let me know in the comments below!

How to Start Your Own Blog for Your Business and Start Making Money!
How to start your own blog - in under 10 minutes!