In the world of making money online, one of the best ways is by starting a money making blog. Note, I didn’t say it was the *easiest* way. Just one of the best ways.
Why is this?
Well, blogging has the potential to make unlimited income. There are regular people out there that make upwards of a million dollars a year from their blogs! Obviously, they are the exception to the rule. However, even small-time bloggers can make several thousand dollars a year from their blogs. Check out these bloggers’ income reports for some inspiration:
And these are just a few bloggers that publish their income reports. If you Google it or search Pinterest, you can see income reports showing everything from a few dollars a month to six figures a month.
So what’s the catch?
Well, like I said, blogging is a great way to make money, but it’s not easy. You have to work pretty hard, especially in the beginning. It takes time to create content and build a following. Without those two things, you won’t make a dime. You have to be willing to work really hard without earning any money at all for a while. If you can be patient though, over time it will all start to pay off.
How do you start?
Before you can do anything, you need to get the technical stuff out of the way. You don’t have to be a techie person to set up a blog, thankfully. You just need to get through a few steps and then you can get to the business of creating your content. I recommend that you set up a self-hosted WordPress blog. Now, don’t worry if that makes no sense. I’ll walk you through what to do. What you DO NOT want to do is: set up your blog on a free site like Blogger or the *other* WordPress (wordpress.com) or anywhere else for that matter. These sites have too many limitations on what you can do with your blog as far as making money with it goes. Plus, you don’t truly have control over your content.
Here are the first steps you should take when starting a money making blog:
1. Get hosting!
I recommend Siteground for beginners. There are plenty of other hosts out there, but Siteground is inexpensive and does the job just fine for a beginner blogger. They offer great technical support and will even let you get a free domain name. Once you have built your blog into something popular with a lot of visitors, there are more robust hosting options. But for now, start with simple. Get Siteground Hosting.
When you are selecting your plan, you will see a screen similar to this (the prices may change slightly from time to time). I recommend you choose the Startup plan. It is fine for your needs as a beginner blogger. You can always upgrade later as your blog grows.
Sidenote: Many bloggers recommend Bluehost. But, I recommend that you read some reviews. They are slightly cheaper at first, but they are less reliable as a whole. Over time, as your blog grows, you may have problems. Spend a few dollars more and get the best from the beginning.
2. Choose a Domain.
If you choose to get your domain through Siteground, this is where you do it! For those that have a domain, you choose that option. If you have a website at another host that you want to move over, be sure to choose the free website transfer!
3. Choose a hosting period.
The longer your hosting period, the greater the discount. I also recommend you get the free SSL certificate, since Google is now penalizing sites that do not have the SSL. It’s best to start off on the right foot. If you already have a website, then you will want the free site transfer as well. If you do not, you can leave that unchecked. The SG Site Scanner is optional and totally up to you. It’s not a requirement.
4. Install WordPress
Once you have your domain and your hosting account, it’s time to finally get WordPress installed. Thankfully this isn’t hard!
- In the email Sitehost sends you, they will give you a link to your CPanel (control panel). You want to go there and log in. If you don’t have the email anymore, read this tutorial.
- Find “one click install” and then the WordPress Icon and click it.
- Click “Start” to begin the installation.
- Select your domain. If you only have the one, then that’s easy. Some people have more than one domain on an account and must choose the one they want to use.
- Under “Advanced Options” enter your username and password. Make sure you choose things that are not easy for others to guess. Definitely do not use “Admin” as your user name.
- Choose “automatically create new database.”
- Then click “install now.”
That’s it! It’s really easy to get the initial set-up done. Of course, you are not done yet though!
5. Find a Theme and install it.
A theme is a basically the template that you use. It’s what makes your blog look a certain way. There are thousands of WordPress themes out there. However, some are better than others. If you are low on money, it’s ok to start with a free theme. You can find those in WordPress.
However, I think if you can afford it, you should start with a Premium theme. Premium themes cost money, but they offer much more flexibility, technical support, and are generally coded better so that there are fewer problems.
I highly recommend you use the Genesis framework if you can afford it. Now here is where it gets a little confusing. Genesis is a framework. It’s what works behind the scenes of your theme. Genesis supercharges WordPress, basically. When you purchase the Genesis framework, you still have to also purchase a Child Theme to go with it. Now, Studiopress sells Genesis and they also sell many child themes. Definitely, check them out to see if there is anything there you like.
But there are other places you can get Genesis Child Themes as well. You still need to purchase the Genesis framework first. But once you have that, you can get child themes from places like:
Creative Market (make sure when you search that you look for Genesis themes, not just standard WordPress themes).
Those are just a few.
Now, one warning: Installing a theme does not make your blog look just like the demo. Here is where I may have to let you down. Each theme is different so I can’t really show you how to customize and set-up each theme out there. But once you’ve chosen and installed a theme, just remember that you will have some work to do. Most theme designers offer guides that you can use to walk through how to set things up. If it’s just too much, you may want to hire someone to get it set up the way you want it.
6. Start Writing!
Once you have all of the above done, it’s time to get started writing content. There are about a million blogging tutorials out there. But if you are serious about blogging, I would recommend you really invest in a good course to help you figure out the ins and outs of blogging. Anyone can blog. But to make money blogging, it’s important that you stick to the formula.
One of the best courses I’ve seen that is priced reasonably is called Building a Framework. It’s written by Abby Lawson of Just a Girl and Her Blog. For $97 you can learn all the basics about blogging. She even offers a book for just $27 if you’d rather do that than take the course.
There are more expensive options and more specialized blogging courses that are also great. But to start, this is good one.
The Bottom Line
Blogging is a great way to make money. You can set your own hours. You can work from home. It’s something that almost anyone can do. But, there is a learning curve. Don’t expect to start blogging today and making money tomorrow. It just doesn’t work that way. But the payoff can be huge if you take the time to learn what to do and how to do it.
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