Are you wondering how to start a blog that makes money? In this blog post, we’ll go over how to set up a blog quickly and easily.
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Starting a blog has completely transformed my life. Not only has it been a great creative outlet, but it’s also allowed me to make money while I sleep, work from anywhere, and pay off debt.
I started this blog in June of 2020, and within a few months I was able to make $400-500+ per month blogging.
If you’re curious how much money you can make blogging, here are some of my income reports from the first few months of my blog:
- How I Made $557.98 With a Brand New Blog (October 2020 Income Report)
- November 2020 Income Report | How I Made $413.54 in November 2020
As of January 2022, this blog is now making over $1000 every single month. And that income just keeps on increasing!
Here are the easy steps you need to take to start your blog:
- Pick a niche
- Choose your blogging platform & host
- Decide on your domain name
- Design your blog
- Start blogging
How To Start A Blog
1. Pick A Niche
If you’re not sure what a niche is, it’s basically the topic of your blog. There are successful blogs in SO many different niches. Some of the most successful blog niches are personal finance, parenting, travel, recipes, fashion, beauty, and DIY projects.
When you’re picking a niche, you need to ask yourself a few questions:
- Could you write about this topic for years?
- Is there potential for this niche to be profitable? Are people regularly searching for products related to this topic?
- What topic do people often ask you about? This is probably a good niche to write about.
Once you have a topic for your website, you can move along to step 2 which is picking out a blogging platform and hosting service.
2. Choose Your Blogging Platform & Hosting Service
One mistake a lot of bloggers make is choosing the wrong blogging platform to start their blog on. A lot of new bloggers will start a free blog on platforms like Weebly or Blogspot. I can totally understand the temptation to want to use a free platform, but there are a few reasons you don’t want to do that:
- It’s really difficult to monetize on a free platform. Premium ad networks often don’t want to work with bloggers who use free platforms. You’ll have a really hard time making a significant amount of money unless you have a self hosted website (I’ll tell you what that means in a minute!).
- Your blog will look less professional. On free platforms, you typically only have basic design features available to you. Your blog will often look very basic and unprofessional.
- Your content doesn’t belong to you. On some free blogging platforms, the platform actually owns your content. If they decide to delete something, you don’t have much say in it. If you have a self-hosted website, you own your website and your content.
So what’s the best option for bloggers? Well when I was doing research on how to start a blog, I found that 99% of the big bloggers use a self-hosted WordPress website.
The good news is that it’s not expensive to do that! You can get hosting for your blog for as low as $2.95 per month on Bluehost.
Here’s how to get your self-hosted WordPress blog set up in less than 30 minutes:
Pick A Blog Host
The first thing you need to start a blog is a host. Your hosting platform is basically where your website lives on the internet.
There are tons of hosting platforms out there, but I personally only recommend Bluehost for new bloggers.
There are a few reasons why I love Bluehost so much. The number one reason is that they are one of the absolute cheapest blogging hosts! You can get hosting for as little as $2.95 per month, which is absolutely insane!
I also absolutely love Bluehost’s customer service. I’ve used their live chat feature a few times to solve issues with my website, and they are seriously amazing. They ALWAYS solve the issues and answer any questions I have. This is such a big deal for beginner bloggers because you will end up having a lot of questions!
Visit The Bluehost Website
Click here to go to Bluehost and then click the “Host Your Site” button.
Keep in mind that Bluehost changes up their home page every couple of months, so this page may look a little different. The process will remain the same though!
Choose Your Plan
Next up, you’ll choose your hosting package. You can choose any plan that fits your needs. However, I highly recommend just going with the Basic plan.
You really don’t need any of the features offered by the higher plans when you’re just getting started. Anything you do need can be added on separately as plugins later.
Choose Your Blog Name
Next up, you’ll enter the domain name of your blog. If you’re not sure what you’re going to name your blog at this point, you can move on and come back to this later.
Just select “I’ll create my domain later” at the bottom of the page.
Set Up Your Account Information
Once you’ve chosen your domain name (or chosen to skip that step), you’ll enter your account information and finalize your pricing package.
Like I said before, I would recommend just going with the basic plan and skipping any add-ons for now. If you decide you need something, you can always add it to your plan later.
After this step, you’ll be prompted to set a password. Bluehost may also ask you to set up a title and tagline for your website. Don’t worry, you can change these any time after your blog is set up.
Skip through all of these prompts until you get to your main Bluehost dashboard, which will look something like this.
Log In Through WordPress
Once you get to your Bluehost dashboard, you can click “WordPress” to log in to your site through the WordPress dashboard and start customizing your site.
WordPress is basically the hub where all of your content is created and your customizations take place. Any time you do anything for your blog, you’ll do it through WordPress.
This is what your WordPress dashboard should look like:
You can log in to WordPress through your Bluehost dashboard every time, or go directly to www.yourblogname.com/wp-admin/ and log in there.
Take some time to familiarize yourself with your WordPress dashboard. You’ll be doing pretty much EVERYTHING for your blog within WordPress, so it’s important that you learn where everything is.
If you’re feeling a little bit overwhelmed at this point, don’t worry! WordPress looks so intimidating at first, but I promise it’ll feel like home to you after a few months of blogging.
3. Choose Your Domain Name
The next step in how to start a blog is to choose your domain name. Your domain name is the name of your website that people will type into the search bar to get to your site. For example, my domain name is mycollegesavvy.com.
If you’re not sure what to name your blog, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Keep it simple. If you have a bunch of random letters or characters in your domain name, no one is going to be able to remember it
- Make sure it’s available as a .com address. Your blog won’t look as professional if it doesn’t have a .com domain address.
- Don’t make it too similar to anything else. You’ll have a hard time ranking if your domain is too similar to another big blogger or company’s domain name.
4. Design Your Blog
Now it’s time for the fun part of setting up your blog!
Choosing a blog theme was one of my favorite parts of the blog setup process. There are TONS of blog themes available online, some are free and some aren’t.
In my opinion, the free blog themes tend to look pretty bad. I recommend going with a premium theme so you can make your website look really pretty. Think about it – your blog design is the first impression your readers will have of your site!
Here are some of my favorite premium theme stores:
- 17th Avenue Designs
- Restored 316 (my blog currently uses their “Beloved” theme)
- Hello You Designs
Your premium theme will come with detailed instructions on how to set it up and customize it. Make sure to follow these instructions when you’re installing your theme! I’ve installed my theme wrong before and it was such a pain to get it changed.
Your theme will also come with a list of recommended plugins. Make sure to install all of these plugins before customizing anything.
5. Start Blogging
Now that you have everything set up, it’s time to start blogging!
My biggest piece of advice is to just START! A lot of new bloggers get hung up on trying to make everything perfect and then they end up giving up.
Start publishing blog posts even if you have no idea what you’re doing. Launch your site even if your branding isn’t 100% on point yet.
You can always go back and tweak things, but you’ll never make any progress until you just get started.
Congratulations on launching your blog!
I hope this post on how to start a blog was helpful for you. I would love to check out your blog and answer any questions you have about blogging! Feel free to reach out to me at [email protected]
Other posts you may like:
- How I Made $557.98 With a Brand New Blog (October 2020 Income Report)
- November 2020 Income Report | How I Made $413.54 in November 2020.
- How Much Spending Money Does A College Student Need Per Month?
- 8 Creative Ways to Make Money in College | Make an Extra $1000 This Semester
- 12 Genius Ways to Save Money in College