This post may contain affiliate links. See our disclosure. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Have you been thinking about starting a blog this year but you are not sure what it takes and where to start? Have you been putting it off because you worry that it is too difficult to implement?
Today is the day to follow your passion, cross it off your to-do list. Start a blog today! I will show you steps by steps how to start a blog with WordPress and Bluehost. It is way easier than you think and you don’t have to be tech savvy. ❤
6 Steps To Start A Money Making Blog Today
- Step 1: Brainstorm a niche to blog about
- Step 2: Choose a blogging platform
- Step 3: Choose a blog name and domain name
- Step 4: Sign up a web host
- Step 5: Install WordPress and plug-ins
- Step 6: Design & customize your blog
Step 1: Start A Blog – Brainstorm A Niche TO Blog About
The first step to start a blog is to brainstorm what niche(s) your blog is about. I recommend picking something that is in trend AND also you are passionate about. You will be writing several times a week about your niche. You want to bring in useful information about the niche to your audience and provide content that can solve some problems that your audience has. It is important to write about something that you actually enjoy and are good at, so you can continue to provide content that your readers will find valuable. If you don’t enjoy the niche that you pick, it can make you to stop writing on your blog.
Passion is not the only factor when choosing a niche. You also want to select something that is trendy and high demand. Something that you can easily monetize and promote on Pinterest. If you don’t know already, Pinterest is the #1 social media platform for growing the traffic to a new blog. Therefore, I suggest you to pick a niche that targets the female audience. Pinterest is notoriously known for attracting a female-dominated user base — according to comScore, 71 percent of Pinterest’s 72.5 million users are women. This tells us promoting a niche on Pinterest can be more successful if your target audience are female.
Below Are Some High Demand Topics In Pinterest Search:
These are some good ideas to consider when brainstorming a niche to start a blog.
- Food Recipes
- Home Decoration
- Crafts and DIY
- Kids and Parenting
- Health and Wellness
To learn more about how I create and share my pins on Pinterest to grow my new blog traffic, see my Pinterest Strategy post.
Building a money making blog takes time, effort and strategy. I will share more about my journey in growing this new blog in my coming blog posts.
Step 2: Start A Blog – Choose A Blogging Platform
After you have decided on the niche for your blog, the next step to start a blog is to choose a blogging platform. Given you have the goal of making money on your blog, make sure you choose a blogging platform that allows you to self host your blog. WordPress.org is the most popular blogging platform for self hosted blogs.
What Is A Selfhost Blog?
There are two types of blogging platforms. The first is a free blog host like Blogger, Tumblr or WordPress.com which don’t cost you money but they offer limited features and have various down sides. The other type of blogging platform is WordPress.org (the world’s most popular blogging software) that is also free but you need a domain name and a paid web hosting to start a blog. This is why it is also referred to as self–hosted WordPress.
What Are The Benefits Of A Selfhost Blog?
You Own Your Blog Content
The main advantage of having a self-hosted WordPress vs a free blog (e.g. Blogger) is that you own your blog content. When using a platform such as Blogger, your content is hosted and owned by Blogger. They have the right to take down your blog or terminate the service. A blog takes a lot of time to build and you want to ensure you actually own the content.
It Is More Professional And Customizable
Secondly, if you want to start a blog to make money, you need to treat it as a business. Therefore, have a business name (blog name) and your own domain name with your business or blog name on it. Blogger adds “blogger.com” onto the domain you are given, so instead of www.simplycouturedesigns.com, if I were using Blogger, my domain name would then be simplycouturedesigns.blogger.com. If blogging is your hobby, that is probably not a big deal. However, since blogging is your business, you want at least to have your own domain. On top of that, with a self-hosted blog, you can customize it with thousands of professional WordPress themes to match your brand styling.
You Can Monetize The Blog
On Blogger.com, you don’t have the ability to put ads to earn an income. With self-hosted WordPress, you can install various plug-ins to supercharge your blog for monetization and promotion. You can also set up and build an email list to sell to. For example, you can add embedded sign-up forms and pop ups on your blog, making it easy for your audience to subscribe and download freebies you offer.
Step 3: Choose a blog name and domain name
After deciding to go with a self-hosted WordPress blogging platform, you can then choose a blog name and domain name for your blog. One way to brainstorm a blog name is to write down ideas based on the below methodology:
Write Down The Words
Write down words that fit into each of Problems, Ideas and Solutions for your niche audience. Choose from the words to brainstorm a unique name for your blog. Write down all potential blog names and choose the right one with these considerations:
- Make it simple – readers will be able to remember your name easily
- Easy to understand – readers can easily guess what your blog is about from your name
- Easy to say and spell – ensure the domain name looks good on paper and sounds good when you say it out loud
- Not too specific – choose a name that is not too specific, in case you may want to change or vary your niche in the future
Step 4: Sign Up A Web Host
Let’s talk about the different pieces in the puzzle to start a blog. A blog is a set of files, each one containing a blog post. WordPress is the blogging software you create the files with. A web host stores those files so your readers can view them on the web.
When choosing a web host, consider three criteria:
- Reliable and Secure: You want a web host that is reliable, secure and won’t go offline randomly.
- 24/7 Support: You need great and prompt customer support from experts when something goes wrong
- Great Price: You want a web host that offers fair pricing, great package, and no hidden fees
Want to find a web host that is reliable, secure, providing 24/7 support and great pricing? I strongly recommend Bluehost. This Simply Couture Designs blog and my Baby Sprouts Photography website are both hosted by Bluehost. Therefore, I am a long time customer and I only have good things to say about Bluehost.
Step 5: Install WordPress And Plugins
Once you have set up with the web host, you can then download and install WordPress blogging software to start your blog. If you host with Bluehost, they provide you with the super simple 1-Click WordPress Install. You can activate the feature after you have logged into your Bluehost account.
Congratulations on setting up WordPress! Now it’s time to install some plugins.
A plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress blog to extend functionality or add new features. Search for the plugin in the Plugins section of WordPress and install them on your blog.
Now log in to your WordPress Admin account and supercharge your blog with these WordPress plugins:
- Yoast SEO : take care of the technical optimization and help you write better content
- Askimet : checks your comments against spam
- Social Media and Share Icons: social media plugin that let you add icons for RSS, Email, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram etc
- Better Click To Tweet: allows you to easily create tweet-able content for your readers
- Google Analytics Dashboard for WP: displays Google Analytics Reports and real-time stat on your dashboard
- Pinterest Pin It Button On Image Hover: shows an overlay on your blog post image for your readers to pin the image to their Pinterest board
Step 6:Customize With A Theme And Start Writing
Finally, the fun part: choose a WordPress theme design for your blog! There are many free options available, but if you plan to make money from your blog, I highly recommend you to purchase a premium theme. Premium themes offer additional features to promote your blog and additional options to customize your blog to fit your brand.
I love feminine style WordPress themes. This blog Simply Couture Designs, I use the Isabelle theme from Bluchic. I love love love how feminine the theme looks and it gives me so many options to customize the theme. I also like the Featured Widgets and the Built-in Slider that come with the theme. These premium features help me to showcase my blog offerings to my readers. The menu bar on full screen is another great feature I love. When the reader scrolls down the page, the Smart Menu Bar will become sticky and stay on top of the page. Readers can easily find the menu and navigate to different sections of my blog.
Did I mention to you that Bluchic themes are all responsive? This means the theme will optimize itself and modify the user interface to fit onto different screen sizes such as tablet, mobile phone and computer. Check out the front page of my blog below with Isabelle theme from Bluchic.
Most importantly, Bluchic offers lots of tutorials and videos to walk you through the customization process which makes it super easy to follow and use.
Write Blog Pages And Your First Post
Now you have a beautiful WordPress theme and have customized the theme to add your logo, tagline, colors and images, it’s time to set up the fundamental pages on your blog and start writing your first blog post.
Essential Blog Pages To Start A Money Making Blog
Remember, it is important when you start a blog for profit, you treat building a money making blog as a business.
Hence, we must ensure we have an About Us page on the blog that tells your reader what this blog is about, and how they can benefit from your content. Check out this blog post on how to add an About Us Video on your blog.
Here are the essential blog pages to have before launching your blog:
- About Page
- Contact Us
- Email Opt-In Form (not a blog page, but a widget that you add to your blog). Read more about Email Opt-in on this post here.
Write Your First Blog Post
Before launching your blog, you should have at least 5 posts written. Some bloggers recommend having 25 posts ready before the launch. This way, when a reader comes to your blog, he/she has more content to read about. Besides that, you can also create interlinks on your posts to help with SEO. There are many post ideas for a new blogger. You can write about your goals of starting a blog, lessons learnt, round up of products that you have used and liked (with affiliated links) and useful e-books or e-courses that you have taken. So on and so forth…
Since you are blogging for profit, I also recommend that you:
- Add affiliated links to every single one of your post even your first post.
- Secondly, set up Pinterest and Facebook accounts for your blog post promotion.
- Use the Yoast SEO plugin to review your content and help you write better blog post.
- Have a Call To Action on every blog post. The CTA can be simple as asking your reader to share the post for you. See my CTA to pin the image below on your Pinterest board.
- Offer Opt-In freebie in exchange for the reader to sign up to your email list.
All these steps above ensure each blog post has elements that are working for you to make the passive income that you have been dreaming of.
Do you have other tips to start a blog? Comment below and I would love to hear from you.