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How to Start a Blog and Make Money

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This guide is to help aspiring bloggers who desires to start a successful blog and not sure where to start. You can have your website up and running before you know it. If you are worried that it will be difficult and you are not too technical. Don’t worry! I have been there, and it was quick and easy than I thought.

If you did already your research on how to start a blog, you might feel very overwhelm like I did. So I figured, the best way to learn is to actually just do it! And mind you, it was the best decision I ever did! I enrolled in a few courses on starting a blog which provided me with tons of helpful resources, tips and trick on starting a blog. I applied the best tips I could find and finally launched my own blog.

This guide will cover the basic platforms, resources and tools that I am using to start my blog.

 

How to Start A Blog

Starting a blog is quite simple. To have a working website you need start with this basic steps.

Before going into the juicy details of setting up your blog, there are a few things you need to have ready in order to set up your blog.

Step 1: Pick your niche

What type of blog do you want to setup? Pick a niche that you are mostly interested in and would love to talk about. Be clear in how your want your blog to be. Do some research on blogs that is in your topic of interest.

How did they present their blogs? Do you think you can offer something better? Do you have an opinion on some of the topics presented? Write down your ideas and points that you want to get accrossed. This will come in handy when you start writing your blog post.

Step 2: Set your goals

Dream big and start small. The key is to be consistent and focus on the goal that you will set. Whether it is to make money out of your blog, use it is a marketing platform to sell your products and services or be just a creative outlet to share your thoughts and opinions on what you love the most.

Find what motivates you and always remember to keep challenging yourself. Find your creative side and find what works best for you. What I have learned is after researching so many blogs and reading their advice is that no two blogs are the same. Each blog will show your personality and individuality. Rather than be like those blogs, find your ground and celebrate your uniqueness!

Start a plan and set your goals and what you would like to achieve when you start your blog.

Step 3: Select a blog name (domain name)

Now that you’re done with your research and setting up your goals. It is time to pick on a blog name. You probably have already some ideas on what type of blog you want to make.

It is best to make sure that your domain name is related to the niche you want to write about. Put together a blog name that is easy, catchy and that you love. Just do a quick search online to find out if your blog name is still available.

Get a domain with a “.COM” as it is the easiest to remember. It is not a guarantee the name that you want for your blog is still available, so try think of variations for your blog name. But though remember to avoid using symbols and numbers as this is harder to remember and might be a problem later on when you want to drive traffic to your blog.

Step 4: Domain and Hosting

If you have plans to make money with your blog, it is best to invest in a self-hosted blog. Hosting your own content will allow you to monetize your site. On the other hand, if you are interested on free sites to setup your blog, three of the most popular site are WordPress.com, Blogger and Tumblr.

Why it’s best to run a self-hosted blog?

Setting up a self-hosted blog gives you total control on all contents and materials that you will publish on your blog. You can customize your site as you please and avoid the risk of the hosting site to at some point remove the service and will end you up losing all your hardwork and content.

Always remember, if you want your blog to grow, you need to set a solid foundation and that includes making sure you select a good hosting service. But no worries you can always try out different hosting providers and see which works best for you.

I have tried other hosting service before but was not satisfied with the service. I personally use SiteGround to run my blogs after comparing different hosting services. They have a great customer support service that will guide you with installing your blog.

I have not encountered any downtime except when my SSL certificate expired, which was easily remedied by just logging in to my dashboard on SiteGround and updating the certificate.

SiteGround offers three plans and one can sign up for any of them and avail some of their great discounts.

How to get your domain and hosting in one package!

Go to SiteGround.com and click on “Web Hosting”. Choose which hosting plan would be best for you. If you’re not sure which plan to pick, consider the options below.

  • StartUp Plan. Perfect if you only plan to launch one website. You get the 10GB of web space and is ideal for a start up blog until you get your 10,000 visits per month.
  • Growbig Plan. A great value offer if you plan to create multiple websites on your hosting service. It includes 20 GB of web space and access to premium service such as SuperCacher which greatly improves your WordPress and Joomla website speeds. This plan is ideal for those who receives less than 25,000 visits per month.
  • GoGeek Plan. This plan is perfect for those planning to launch an e-commerce store or larger websites or more geeky development needs like staging and GIT integration. The plan can support unlimted number of sites and comes with premium backup and restore service which includes manual restoration by the SiteGround team. It provides 30GB of webspace and is ideal for site that receives less than 100,000 visits per month.

I recommend to start hosting your blog wit the cheapest plan, the StartUp Plan. You can always upgrade your plan as your blog grows. Once you sign up for a plan, you can now register your domain name or your blog name.

You can register your new domain through SiteGround for $14.95 (13.95 EUR) or if you already have an existing domain, you can transfer it for FREE.

You can choose whether to have your plan for 12, 24 or 36 months. The great news is you can also avail for a 1 month free trial. I personally did this to try out how good their service. I was satisfied with their service and availed with the 12-month plan soon after my month trial was over.

In additional to choosing your plan length, you also have an option to choose an extra service such as Domain Privacy. This will make sure that your personal information – address and phone number will not show up when people will look up on your domain information.

Domain information is a public record, and without Domain Privacy, it will be easy to get a hold of your private information and your ownership of your blog. It is a not a mandatory service, but the service is available for you.

Once you process your payment your account will be created and you will be asked to proceed to the customer area.

Getting a good domain and hosting provider is an investment. You don’t want to launch your blog and have it crashed on you when you start getting traffic on your site.

Sign up for SiteGround here.

Step 5: WordPress

After purchasing your domain and hosting, you now will need to set up your WordPress account. The cool thing with SiteGround is that they offer an Account Setup Wizard that prompts you to setup and install you new WordPress blog immediately. It takes only a few minutes and tadaahhh! You now have your blogging platform with WordPress.

Make sure to take note of your Admin email login details. You will be using it to login on your WordPress account. Once you are done, head on to http://www.YOURNEWDOMAIN.com/wp-admin and login to your WordPress admin panel.

Step 6: Theme

There are tons of free theme that are provided on your WordPress.org dashboard. To start I would suggest using a free theme, the Astra theme is a great one to start. The only drawback with a free theme is that there are limitations on how you can design and customize your blog.

If you are ready to get creative, then you can get a paid theme. I personally use Clarity theme from EasyBlog Themes.

Premium Blog WordPress Themes - EasyBlog Themes

Step 7: Writing a Post

If you completed Step 6 and now logged in on your WordPress dashboard, hurray! you made it!

Now the real hustle begins! The best blogs are not about the design but what drives a blog is the quality of the content. When you start your blog, pick 3 to 5 topics that will be your pillar posts.

Once you have your post nailed down, it’s time to give your blog some character. Set a clear menu for your blog heading. This will be at the main page of your blog. Have a good profile picture to personalize your site. This will allow your readers to identify on who you are.

Start writing your “About Me” and “Disclosure” page if you are planning to use affiliate marketing on your blog. Don’t forget to setup a way for your readers to contact you.

Step 8: Getting traffic to your blog

An essential step when you have your blog published and live is to drive traffic to your blog. One of the most effective way is through social media pages.

Make sure to setup your social media accounts and connect it with your blog. A few of the most popular way to drive traffic to your sites is through Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. I suggest you focus on one social media at a time so you can focus on working on making great contents for your blog.

Most of my traffic is through Pinterest. It is free and it is visual marketing that can attract a new audience for your blog. It might be confusing at first on how to use Pinterest but it is really easy. All you have to do is create 1 to 2 images for each of your blog posts and pin those images on Pinterest.

To create great pinnable images, there are great programs and resources that you can use. I use PicMonkey to edit images and add text overlays which I then use as thumbnails and pinnable image in Pinterest.

Another pinnable image that you can make are printables that you can use as freebies and resource for your readers. You can use PowerPoint and create slides into beautiful printable worksheets and images.

If you want a fast and easy tool, you might want to try Canva. It’s free and they offer templates that you can use to create beautiful layouts and designs for your pins and printables.

Step 9: Monetizing your blog

Once you establish your blog and gain some traffic, then it’s time to monetize your blog. Who does not want to earn some money with blogging! It will require a lot of work and time but eventually it will be worth it.

The key is to nurture and engage your audience. Create your community and always keep them updated. Be consistent in order to build a relationship with your community. Focus on helping, sharing and giving your audience some value and then the money will just follow.

Blogging is not getting rich quick scheme. Remember the goals that you set, reflect on those goals and align it with a purpose. You can implement money making strategies on your blog without compromising the quality of your content.

Here are a few proven strategies to make money with your blog.

  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Advertisements
  • Sponsored Posts
  • Products and Services

Step 10: Resources

If you are a full time employee, student or parent, writing a blog can be overwhelming. How on earth will you juggle everything in a day.

Well if there is a will there is always a way! Once you choose to do it, you will be surprised that you can move mountains, if you put your heart on it.

Check out my Blogging Toolkit where I list down the resources for blogging that I found helpful when I started blogging.

Have a plan and stick to it!

There are roads that needs to be taken when you want to start a blog. Laying down a plan is the best way to help guide you reach your goal.

You can use the Blogging Planner with a step-by-step guide to set up your blog from scratch to help you get started and organize your blog. The plan is a printable editable guide that will help you stay focus in launching your own blog.

Life will always give you the unexpected, therefore it is best to focus on 1 to 3 daily goals. Fill out the planner and stick to each. Each day, set your goals and by the end of the day, reflect on your progress.

Don’t get distracted and focus on the things that you can do now!

What you can do today will be one less task to be done tomorrow, but one task not done today will be twice the task you have to get through tomorrow.

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