Over 7 years ago, I quit my full-time job to work for myself and it was one of the best things that I ever did. Having a blog that was making money was a key component to letting me quit my day job.
Although it took me several years, I now make a full-time living from blogging. It is a great income stream to help us achieve our financial goals.
You can make money blogging and the first step is to start a blog as I show you how.
Table of Contents
Get Your Blog Started
The first step with anything is to not get overwhelmed in all the details. Take it step by step.
With so many platforms to choose from, I did the research and wanted to share all I know.
Avoid Free Blogging Platforms
One of my first word of advise for you is to remember nothing is free. While there are many free blogging platforms out there like Blogger and Tumblr, they have restrictions that you need to be aware of.
Free platforms allow you to select a sub-domain. However, you will never get to choose your own domain.
For instance, if I wanted a free site, it would be wellkeptwallet.tumblr.com. Instead, I own wellkeptwallet.com, therefore I want my subpages to follow my domain.
For those of you that have no idea what this means, that is OK. In a nutshell, you are building up Tumblr’s brand instead of your own.
You really want to have your own domain name so that you can build your own brand moving forward. I will talk more about domain names in step 2.
The other major drawback is that you have limitations of how you can make money from your blog. Because of this, we will steer away from the free blogging platforms for purposes of this article.
Start your blog today with Bluehost as low as $2.95 per month.
Choose A Solid Blogging Platform
I recommend using legit platform like WordPress for your blog. Simply because it’s one of the most widely-used, easy-to-operate and reliable blogging platforms available.
I personally use WordPress and love it.
WordPress also has a ton of plugins that you can use. These plugins make managing your blog easier. You can also customize your blog using plugins.
You will have to purchase hosting in order to install WordPress. So make sure to pick the web hosting company that works best for your situation.
3 Simple Steps to Starting a Blog
Getting a blog up and running in minutes is extremely doable. To walk you through the process, here are three simple steps to start your blog quickly.
1. Determine Your Blog Purpose
The first and most important step in starting a blog is to determine its purpose.
It’s vital that your blog’s purpose fills a need in the eyes of readers and shares valuable information with them.
Your purpose might be one of your favorite hobbies that make money. You can help others with your expertise and also learns something new yourself.
Avoid Multiple Topics
Too wide of a focus can confuse readers. For example, a blog that focuses on finance, home decor, and sixteen other things all at once isn’t a good idea.
You give readers the impression that you are a “jack of all trades, master of none”, so to speak.
For instance, someone wanting to learn about hiking shoes probably won’t visit a blog that focuses on video games and indoor activities.
If you want to blog about multiple non-related topics, consider making several blogs. At first, choose one topic and build that blog.
Have a Specific Purpose
Readers, in general, go to blogs that centrally focus on what they want to learn about.
Some focused blog purposes include:
- Make money online
- Gluten-free recipes
- Do-it-yourself instructions
- How to eliminate debt and grow wealth (like Well Kept Wallet)
So, when you’re deciding on what you want your blog to be about, be sure to pick a subject or brand that fills a need and doesn’t have too wide a focus.
Write a List of Potential Articles
If you need help choosing a specific topic, I suggest this simple exercise.
Make a list of potential articles for each blog topic, you’re thinking about.
You might be able to quickly list 30 article prompts for baking but only five for fitness, starting a cooking blog can be a good move.
Being able to think of multiple article ideas means you are more likely to have a successful blog. It takes several months of writing to build an audience which means you need a lot to write about.
2. Register Your Domain
Step number two, which is equally important, is to pick and register a domain. Your domain is your web address, such as wellkeptwallet.com.
When deciding on a domain for your blog, Bluehost is awesome because they will give you the domain for FREE when you purchase hosting through them.
On top of that, by using Bluehost for both your domain registration and your website hosting. You have the ability to manage everything in one convenient place.
How to Choose Your Domain
When deciding on a domain, choose a domain that is easy to remember and that gives an immediate overview of what your blog is about.
If you decide to blog about healthy home-cooked meals, for example, make sure your name reflects the blog’s purpose. Don’t simply call it, “www.marysblog.com”.
A non-descript domain won’t help you rank in the search engines. This is because search engines use your domain name and blog content to determine what topics you write about.
Also, a generic domain name can confuse the readers.
Instead, consider a name that states your blog’s purpose, such as www.healthyhomecookedmeals.com.
How to Get Your Domain Name for Free
Once you’ve decided on your domain name, go to Bluehost and click on the green “Get Started” button.
From there, you’ll have the option of picking one of three programs for your hosting plan. Again, if you buy your hosting through Bluehost, you’ll get your domain name for free!
The Basic Plan is around $3 a month and offers hosting for one website.
You’ll get the best deal if you pay for an entire year upfront versus paying month-by-month.
So, if you’re truly committed to starting and running a blog, an annual subscription is the most cost-effective way to go.
Committing for an entire year can also motivate you to keep blogging regularly. If you only pay month-to-month, you may decide to cancel and give up too soon.
Next, type the domain name you want into the box on the left labeled “new domain”. This will help you check to see if it’s available or if someone else is already using it.
3. Pay for Your Plan
After entering your domain name and make sure it’s available, you pay for your hosting plan.
Make sure to review all of the plan information before putting in your payment info. The longer-term plan you choose, the cheaper it will be per month.
4. Choose a Password
Make sure you choose a strong password for your account.
It should be different than anything else you use on other sites.
A strong password is especially important if you turn your blog into a business. As it grows, security will be more important as your website may be your family’s source of income.
5. Install WordPress
One of the things I love about Bluehost is that they make WordPress installation and starting a blog super easy.
Even those who aren’t familiar with starting and running a blog can easily use Bluehost to create a blog. The instructions below are easy-to-follow, I assure you.
How to install WordPress using Bluehost:
- From your cPanel (look at the toolbar near the top of your screen to find it)
- Scroll down and find the section called “MOJO Marketplace”
- Then click the “One Click Install” button
- Click on the WordPress icon on the next page located under “Blogs”
- Next click on the “Start” button. This will begin the installation.
- Click the drop-down menu to pick the domain you plan on using for your site. If this is your first time using Bluehost, you’ll only have one option.
- You’ll see a tab titled “Advanced Options.” Head to this menu.
- Choose your username and password for your WordPress blog.
- Also, remember to check “Automatically create a new database for this installation” as well, which is a must for a brand new blogger.
- Next, click “Install Now.”
Also, be sure to remember to save your username and password.
That’s it! You officially own a blog.
Choosing a WordPress Username
Make sure not to use a default username such as “admin.”
Hackers usually try “admin” first when trying to hack a site.
To avoid this headache of a mistake, consider picking a username using a combination of different letters, numbers and symbols
WordPress will also have you choose a difficult password that will contain numbers and symbols.
Make sure this password is different than your non-WordPress account to prevent hacking.
After installing WordPress, it is time to choose your theme. Your theme will determine the look and feel of your website.
6. Choosing a Theme
There are plenty of free themes to choose from and these are a good place to start when you first begin your blog. Until you start to make money blogging, you can use a free theme to keep your costs down.
7. Start Writing
Now it’s time to write your first blog post! This is one of the first steps to getting your message out there as well as it is a great way to make some extra money online.
Your first articles do not have to be perfect. You can always update and expand your articles in the future by using the skills you learn in an online course like Hit Publish.
Writing something and hitting publish is important to reach readers seeking your knowledge.
After you write several articles, the search engines can start ranking your articles in search engine results.
Once your blog starts gaining traffic, you can earn money with affiliate marketing.
Using a hosting company like Bluehost costs as little as $2.95 per month. This monthly plan includes hosting services and a free domain name.
If you choose to purchase a domain name separately, you may up to $20 per year plus hosting fees. Hosting fees vary by web hosting provider.
Blogging can be worth it if you love to write regularly and want to earn passive income. It can take several months to begin earning income.
Writing about a specific topic, producing content on a weekly basis and networking with similar blogs can help you build traffic. You can also have fun blogging too.
It’s not too late to start a blog. Admittedly, blogging requires effort and doesn’t earn instant income like other online side hustles.
But if you can start a blog on a topic that readers are interested in, you can get regular traffic and make money blogging.
Starting a blog only takes a few minutes and can be an exciting hobby that can make money. If you love to write, your blog can also be a great way to invest in yourself.