How to Start a Blog and Make Money

Start a Blog and Make Money

So you have been thinking you might like to learn how to start a blog and make money as a blogger. That’s Fantastic!  Blogging is a wonderful idea!

Not only can blogging be a lot of fun.. but should you decide to become a full-time blogger it can also provide you the opportunity to make some very good money while you’re at it.

But.. you say.. “I know nothing about blogging.. I need to know where to start“.

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Thank You for taking the time to visit my site.  Here you will find a lot of helpful information about learning how to start blogging and make money.

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Every blogger should be a member of at least one blogging group.  It gives you the opportunity to collaborate with other bloggers just like yourself.

Even if you don’t care to participate.. you will gain valuable knowledge just from questions and answers posted by others in the group.

We look forward to welcoming you to the group. 😊

OK.. So before you move forward on your blogging journey.. there are some important first steps you need to take:

STEP ONE: START A BLOG AND MAKE MONEY

WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO BLOG ABOUT?

I am assuming that before making the decision you might like to learn how to start a blog you already had some ideas in mind as to things you might like to blog about.

If not.. this is the time to make some decisions. Sit down and make a list of the things you are most passionate about.

You should ultimately choose something you know very well. It would be difficult to advise others on something you have little experience with yourself.

It should also be something you really enjoy since you will be spending a lot of time writing blog posts relating to this subject.

What kinds of things could you talk about all day long and never get tired of it?

If you are still confused as to where to begin.. we have written an eBook to help you with your niche selection. Check out the Ultimate Niche Selection Guide.

The book offers tips and suggestions.. as well as a 2 page list of popular blog niches.. to help guide you in planning your niche. We have also included the TOP niches of 2021.

Start a Blog

STEP TWO: START A MONEY MAKING BLOG ON WORDPRESS

WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO NAME YOUR BLOG?

Once you have decided on your niche it is time to come up with a name for your blog. It is always best to choose something that gives your audience an idea as to what your blog is all about.

Your domain name should reflect the objectives and purpose of your website.

Another thing to consider is.. what are your goals for the site? If you are someone who is extremely knowledgeable about a particular subject.. and it is your intention to create a personal brand and work toward becoming know as an authority in your niche.. then you may want to consider using your own name as your domain name.

If the domain names you like are already taken.. try adding “a”, “my”, “the” or “best”. In any case you should try to avoid using hyphens in your domain name as in:
my-awesome-blog.com

If you own a business and this is going to be your business website.. then your domain name should be the name of your business.. if at all possible.

In some cases you may need to use one hyphen to make the web address more readable.  For instance.. say you live in Bell, CA and you own a lighting company.

The web address might be something like belllighting.com  With the three l’s all together it may be confusing to try to read.

You could always write it as BellLighting.com on such things as stationery, business cards, the website home page, etc.  However, this is not going to change the fact that the web address (URL) will still read: belllighting.com

In cases such as this.. one hyphen may help to make it more readable such as:
bell-lighting.com

In any case.. NEVER use more than one hyphen.. as it tends to make the web address look spammy. There are many people who will not click on a domain with more than one hyphen for this reason.

Make a list of the domain names that you would like to investigate further. You should also avoid any “cutsie” or mis-spelled domain names.

You don’t want to be constantly spelling the domain name for people or explaining whatever it was you had in mind at the time you registered some quirky domain name.

You also want to be sure not to infringe on anyone else’s trademark. In the case of most generic domain names you should be just fine.

First of all.. very generic terms are difficult to trademark.
Believe me.. I have been there.. tried that.

Secondly.. If the term were trademarked
the trademark owner would likely be using it for his own domain.

If you have any doubt at all about the name you have chosen.. it is best to be safe and take the time to do a trademark search at USPTO.gov

STEP THREE: HOW TO START A BLOG FOR MONEY

REGISTER YOUR DOMAIN NAME

Registering your own domain name is NOT difficult. You should register your domain through a reputable domain registrar such as NameCheap.

I suggest NameCheap as they charge less than some of the other registrars.
As of this writing the price for a new .com domain is $6.98 using promo code: NEWCOM698.

You can register it.. pay for it.. and renew it annually.. all through the registrar’s site. In fact, you can set it to automatically renew year after year. It doesn’t get any more convenient than that!

Go to NameCheap.com now and begin your domain name search.

Enter the domain names you are considering and check through them until you find one that is available.

Always try to get a .com since that is the most common domain extension. This will also make it much easier for people to remember should someone want to recommend your blog to their friends.

If the .com extension is not available for the domain name you like.. either move on to your next favorite domain name on the list or add one of the short words as mentioned above.

After you find a domain name you like that is available.. DO NOT register it just yet. Open a new window and do a quick Google search before registering the domain name.

I had a client who registered the name RenegadeTshirts.com only to find out there were a gazillion people trying to rank in Google for various t-shirt designs which were all being referred to as “Renegade” Tshirts.

Since he did not want to be faced with having to try and outrank all of these sites from the get-go.. he opted for another name with less competition.

After doing your quick Google Search.. you should still have the NameCheap window open. Go ahead and register your domain name at this time.

If you have questions during the registration process.. the people at NameCheap will be happy to guide you.  They have a live chat that you can use to request assistance.

To learn more about domain name registration.. read our post:
Registering a Domain Name

STEP FOUR: START A BLOG BUSINESS AND MAKE MONEY

YOU NEED TO BE IN CONTROL OF YOUR BLOG!

As a blog owner.. you need to be in control of your own domain name and your own hosting account. This is especially important if you expect to earn money from your blog.

I am sure you have heard of places where you can sign up to use one of the website builders and start your blog absolutely free.

To the inexperienced newbie blogger this might sound attractive.. and you may have even considered doing that yourself. However.. allow me to warn you:

Hosting your site on one of the free platforms
is definitely not the best way to go!

There are several reasons for this.. all of which will make perfect sense to you as you become more knowledgeable in your pursuit of learning how to become a blogger.

For now.. let me point out just a few of the most important reasons…

  1. When you are using someone else’s platform and not paying anything to use it.. there will be limitations as to what you can do.

    Not only that.. but, you may have to put up with ads on your site.. and you may not be able to add your own affiliate links
    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
  2. When you build your website using one of the free builders, you lose the ability to make your site unique.

    Several million other customers who are using the same free platform will also be using the exact same website template you are using.

    This diminishes the user experience.. which will result in lost customers.. and lost customers equals lost revenue.
    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
  3. The free builders are also widely known for not being SEO friendly.

    They are basically drag and drop visual editors which generate nice looking websites on the fly.. but that’s about the extent of their capabilities.

    * However, keep in mind.. the number one most important thing that is going to bring traffic to your website is SEO.

To learn more about the free website builders.. read our post:
Website Builders – Good? or Not so Much?

Start a Blog and Become a Full Time Blogger
.

STEP FIVE: START A BLOG AND MAKE MONEY ONLINE

ARRANGE YOUR WEB HOSTING

Now it is time to decide on a hosting company to host your domain name. You don’t want to put a lot of time and effort into creating a blog and then host it with an inferior web host.

One of my favorite web hosts is A2 Hosting. They are one of the top web hosts as far as speed. I have domains hosted with A2 Hosting. I am impressed with the speed of my sites and have always been very happy with the level of customer service as well.

The latest Google update has put a lot of emphasis on the loading speed of your website. This means site speed is of the utmost importance if you want your site to rank well in the SERP’s.

If you have been blogging for a while and may have more than one blog.. another of the superior web hosts is WPX Hosting.

WPX allows you to host up to 5 websites for $20.83 per month. You will get 2 months free if you pay annually.

Check all the WPX Hosting plans and find one that suits your budget.

Another great hosting service is NameHero. Their hosting plans are competitively priced and their customer service is among the best.

If you happen to be in the UK.. Lyrical is an excellent web host as well. I have never used them so I have no personal experience with their hosting service.. but I have heard nothing but good things about them.

To learn more about website hosting services.. read our post:
Best Website Hosting Services

STEP SIX: HOW TO START YOUR OWN MONEY MAKING BLOG

YOUR BLOG IS GOING TO NEED A THEME

Basically, the WordPress theme you choose will determine what your site looks like.  That is to say.. the right theme will make all the difference in allowing you to have a nicely designed site without having to know anything about coding.

WordPress has some free themes.. but I have found that the free themes are not very user friendly for beginners.

Some of the easiest themes for beginners are from Restored 316 Designs.  These themes are called child themes. The parent theme will be Kadence, which is a free theme.

The parent theme provides the foundation and coding that make the theme work properly. The child theme allows you to control the look and feel of your site.. to give it the aesthetically pleasing appearance you are going for.

The child theme will have a customizer feature.. allowing you to be able to get your site looking the way you want it to look.. without having to do a lot of behind the scenes coding.

The images below are only a couple of the themes available from Restored 316 Designs. As of this writing.. there are currently 17 beautiful child theme designs to choose from.

Just replace their text with your text.. and replace their stock images with your images and make it your own.

Find a selection of versatile, flexible, and easy to customize WordPress themes
on our page:
Best WordPress Themes

STEP SEVEN: AND NOW THE FUN BEGINS!

So.. you have installed your theme.. you have worked on customizing it to look the way you would like it to look.. and now you are ready to start creating some content.. well almost!

Another of the most important things in starting a blog is making sure you have all your important legal pages in place.

You will notice WordPress has Pages as well as Posts.  If you are confused.. don’t feel bad. When I first started using WordPress.. I was confused as well as to what the difference was.

Pages are used for the things you do NOT want to show up in your list of blog posts.

Pages are for things like:

Your About Page..

Your Privacy Policy Page..

Your Contact Page.. and most importantly..

Your Legal Disclosures.

You will link to these pages either in your top menu bar.. or in your footer.

Once you have created these pages and have them all in place and linked.. now you can go ahead and begin creating content for your blog.

Start brainstorming and make a list of things you want to write about on your new blog.  These should all be things relating to your chosen niche.

To learn more about website content creation.. read our post:
Content Creation – A Guide to Creating Blog Content

Start a Money Making Blog

STEP EIGHT: STARTING A MONEY MAKING WORDPRESS BLOG

HOW WILL PEOPLE FIND YOUR AWESOME NEW BLOG?

Now that you have a few posts on your blog.. have fine tuned them to the max.. added some images.. and made the site live.. it is time to figure out how to get visitors to your site.

People are always looking for new and creative ways to get traffic to their websites. Facebook, Pinterest and your Email list will all help to get things rolling.

However.. the truth is: Nothing Beats Search Engine Optimization (SEO)!

Learn how to give the Search Engines what they want and they will send you all the traffic you will ever need.

What exactly is Search Engine Optimization? Well.. as the name suggests.. it is the art of optimizing your site so it will rank higher on the pages of Google, Yahoo, etc.

If your site is listed on page 25.. or even on page 5.. your chances of getting traffic are very slim.

Think about it.. when you are searching for something on Google.. how many levels deep do you normally search? Do you go past the first page?

Statistics have shown that 75% of users only check the first page. That means if your site is not showing on the first page of search.. you are missing out on 75% of your potential customers.

There is actually a tacky joke among SEO’s:
“Where is the best place to hide a dead body?”
Answer: “On the second page of Google!”

STEP NINE: START A BLOGGING WEBSITE AND EARN MONEY

JUST HOW IMPORTANT IS SEO?

It is absolutely imperative that you have a good solid understanding of SEO to get your site to rank well in the SERP’s (Search Engine Results Pages).

Investing in a comprehensive SEO course and/or a few SEO books is an investment in yourself.. your business.. and ultimately in your success.

The money you spend on educational courses and materials is a tax deduction for your business. As my accountant always reminds me.. you might as well spend the money on yourself rather than give it to Uncle Sam.

NOTE: Before I recommend any books and/or courses..
I always purchase them myself.
I want to be sure the information is accurate, useful and most importantly
that the product is worth the price being charged.

The absolute BEST Search Engine Optimization course available online is without a doubt Stupid Simple SEO from Mike Pearson.

If you have it in your budget at all.. you should most definitely try to take this course. You will not be disappointed!

Mike Pearson’s Stupid Simple SEO is a much more thorough course than any other online course you will find on the subject of Search Engine Optimization.

Mike offers a free starter SEO training class called SEO Bootcamp. After that you can decide whether you want to invest in the deep-dive training course to take your knowledge of SEO to the next level.

If there is just no way you can possibly afford to take Mike Pearson’s complete SEO course at this time and would prefer to read a couple of books on the subject.. the following books are the ones I feel give you the best bang for your buck.

These books are very affordable.. and will provide you with a good basic understanding of SEO so you can get started on the project of optimizing your site for the search engines.

One of the best books on SEO is one that has been written by Debbie Gartner. It is called Easy on Page SEO.

Debbie has also written another book called Easy Backlinks for SEO.

Since SEO requires on page optimization as well as backlinks to your site I am including links to both of Debbie’s books.
NOTE: If you purchase both books as a bundle you will save $10 on each book.
Here is a link to the bundle as well.
GET THE BUNDLE HERE

STEP TEN: HOW TO START A BLOG AND MAKE MONEY

EARN MONEY BY MONETIZING YOUR BLOG

You will no doubt want to monetize your blog at some point so you can earn some money for all your efforts. There are several different ways to earn money with your blog.

One of the most popular ways is with affiliate programs. A couple of the best affiliate networks are ShareaSale and FlexOffers.

You can go ahead and apply to the networks as soon as you have a few posts on your site.

In fact browsing through the different advertisers available on each of these networks might even give you some good ideas for posts to write.

However, don’t start applying for any of the actual affiliate programs until you have quite a few blog posts on your site.

First of all.. the advertisers you apply to will check your site to see if it is a good fit for their products. If they see only a handful of posts.. they may decline your application.

And, secondly.. if you apply before you have any traffic to your site you likely will not generate any sales.

Some of the advertisers will cancel you from their program if you have not made any sales within a reasonable length of time.

* If you have questions or comments.. post them below
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