Do you want to know how to start a blog and earn an income from your writing?
Well now is the best time to start blogging and make a living with your own experiences and passions!
The best part is you need ZERO technical skills to get started, and by following our Savvy in-depth guide your blog online could be up and running in as little as 15 minutes.
We are Kelan & Brittany two professional bloggers who went from being clueless and frustrated to making over $10,000 in a single month in less than two years.
When we started our blog in 2016, we had no idea what we were doing. It was frustrating, time-consuming, and stressful.
This is why we put together the ultimate guide on how to start a blog. It contains everything we have learned over the years of blogging condensed into 9 steps to make it as simple and easy as possible.
We now help thousands of people every month start and make their blogs profitable in as little time as possible.
UPDATE: Bluehost is now offering an exclusive deal to our readers. You can now start your blog for as little as $2.95/month and it comes with a FREE domain name!
So if you have not already we recommend you take advantage of this deal and start your blog with Bluehost now. Then, come back and use these steps and tutorials with easy directions to finish up.
Quick Picks For Amazing Blogging Tools
Now some of you want to quickly know what tools are the best and which can help you set up a successful blog right now and start making money ASAP!
Here are our top picks for top-performing blogging tools:
- Best Webhosting Site: Bluehost
- Best Blogging Platform: WordPress
- Best AI Writing Program: Jasper
- Best Site For Search Engine Optimizing: SurferSEO
- Best Way To Create Landing Pages: ConvertKit
- Best Photo Site For Quality Images: DepositPhotos
- Best Way To Track Blog Traffic: Arhefs
- Best Program To Edit Your Work: Grammarly
Why Even Start a Blog?
- To Make Money Easily Online – The majority of the people wanting to know how to start a blog are doing it to make cash online. We make a full-time income from our blog and so do many others. Making money as a blogger is hard work but has very little risk and low cost to start. There is no other business in the world you can start with such little risk.
- Just For Fun – People have been blogging for years just for fun and there is nothing wrong with that. It is fun to have a place to express yourself and share your experiences with complete strangers.
- To Help Others – You will soon find many bloggers blog for the sole purpose of helping others. We LOVE talking about personal finance and how managing our finances literally changed our lives. The most successful blogs provide an insane amount of value to their readers.
- To Join The Incredible Blogging Community – We have personally been a part of many close-knit communities including things like college, dance, fire department, and law enforcement. I will say with no hesitation the bloggers in our community have been the most helpful of them all. Don’t be shy when you start blogging! There are so many people willing and able to help. You can join our private blogging group on Facebook Blogging with Purpose to get started.
- To Learn New Skills and Open Up Doors – When we started our blog, we had no idea how much there was to learn. We got over the learning curve fairly quickly and learned a TON in the process. I was able to land a remote work-from-home marketing position using our blog as my work experience on my resume. Starting a blog is a great way to learn how to run a website and learn digital marketing.
- To Market Your New or Existing Business – A blog is a great way for individuals and large corporations to reach their customers, provide value, and hopefully turn them into repeat paying customers.
- To Be Your Own Boss – It can be freeing to be totally in charge of your work, your hours, and sometimes it’s really mindblowing how productive it is to work by yourself
Do you see how starting a blog has many different purposes? After you understand why you want to start a blog everything else will fall into place quickly. So keep reading, let’s do this!
Here are my easy-to-follow steps to get start a self-hosted WordPress blog, no technical experience is required.
The 9 Easy Steps on How to Start a Blog
Here is a quick rundown of the 9 steps we used to create our own money-making, successful blog:
- Understanding your “WHY”
- Decide what topic/niche to blog about
- Choose a blogging platform/software
- Find a good web hosting provider
- Choose your domain name
- Get started on WordPress
- Customize and design your blog
- Writing your first article
- Optimizing your blog
Step 1: Understanding Your WHY in Starting a Blog
One of the most important steps in starting your blog is understanding why you want to start it in the first place.
For us, we just wanted a side hustle we could work on together and make a little money from. One that would finally allow me to work for myself and stop bouncing from job to job trying to find happiness.
Well, it turns out after nine months working on our blog part-time we had grown it to the point where I decided to quit my job and run our site full-time!
You can see from our income reports our blog has blessed us in many ways financially. But it’s not about the money. It is about having the FREEDOM to not have to work for someone else, create my own schedule, and actually have an impact on others.
We get to spend more time with the family, travel more, and not stress about money like we use to.
I like to share our story because understanding your why is very important when starting a blog.
In starting your own blog you open your life up to the endless possibilities your blogging business can bring.
- Work from home – You no longer have to wake up at 6 am and take that long morning commute. You can work in your PJs all day long if you want. You can travel anywhere in the world and bring your blog with you.
- Make more money than a salaried job – The income potential is off the charts. Some of the top bloggers in a variety of niches are making over $100,000 per month!
- Positively impact and change the lives of people around you – As humans, we naturally want to help and serve others. There is no better way to positively impact people through your own personal blog.
- Become internet famous – Let’s be honest getting recognized for your hard work is special.
- Spend more time with your family & friends – Time is the only thing we cannot get more of in life. Create the life you want with your blog and start spending more time on what is important.
- Travel more and start new hobbies – Starting a blog can give you the freedom to travel more and start those hobbies you have always put on the back burner.
- Unlock your life’s potential & FREEDOM – Until you leave your daily commute to your 9-5 job with your horrible boss, it is hard to understand what freedom even feels like. Starting a blog unlocks the ultimate freedom of time and money allowing you to have full control over every aspect of your life. It’s hard to even begin to describe how incredible actually feels.
Step 2: Decide What Topic/Niche to Blog About
If you’re starting a blog for your business or organization, your blog should be centered around the products and services you provide.
If you’re an individual starting a blog you have a lot more flexibility when choosing your topic and niche to blog about. Here are some of the most important things to consider.
- Passion – You MUST pick something you have a huge passion for- at its core, this will be your personal blog, so you should write about what you care about. If you start blogging about something that does not interest you, it will most likely fail. Figure out what topic you can never stop talking about. Then take 10 minutes and come up with as many blog posts as possible. You should be able to come up with close to 100 potential blog posts with little effort, and your first blog post should be in the works as you get your blog started.
- Experience or Expertise – What is a topic you have lots of experience, education, or expertise in? You don’t need to be Dave Ramsey to be a personal finance blogger. You just need to have your own unique angle and story you share.
- Large Market – Make sure you pick a blog niche that you have the potential to grow within. A blog about personal finance has a much better chance to make more profits than a blog about taking care of monkeys. I mean, monkeys sound cool, but is there a big target audience?
The goal of any blog should be to become an authority in that profitable niche. You want to be the go-to blog people turn towards to help solve their everyday problems.
Step 3: Choose a Blogging Platform/Software
If you want to drive, you need a car. If you want to start a blog, you need a blog platform.
There are a few well-known blogging platforms to choose from. These include WordPress, Wix, Blogger, Squarespace, and Weebly.
Obviously, they all come with their pros and cons. But as you can tell from the visual below WordPress is by far the most popular. It’s easy to use, super flexible, and extremely functional. Not only that it has a massive community of users who all share ideas, tools, and plugins.
We have always used WordPress as our blogging platform and recommend it as the best option!
If you do start your blog on WordPress (which you 100% should) you have two options: hosted or self-hosted.
You want to completely avoid the hassle and headache that comes with a free hosted blog. If you go the free route you greatly limit your ability to make money with your blog, you don’t technically own it, and it can get shut down at any point in time.
With a blog on Bluehost, it’s the complete opposite. You have 100% control over every aspect of it, your ability to earn money from your blog is limitless, and it won’t randomly get shut down.
This blogging guide will walk you through how to start a self-hosted WordPress blog, the platform we recommended to everyone.
Step 4: Find a Good Web Hosting Provider
Hopefully, by now we have shown you the importance of starting your blogging journey with a self-hosted WordPress page.
So let’s break it down real quick. In order to have a blog live on the internet, you need two things: a blogging platform and a web hosting site to “host” it on the internet. Without having a web hosting company your blog cannot be seen or accessed.
Our Tried & True: BlueHost
So what hosting website should you use?
We recommend Bluehost for your blog hosting account for many different reasons.
After using Bluehost for over two years with our blog, we cannot say enough good things about them and the service they provide. From our personal experience, we honestly believe Bluehost is the best blog hosting site for new bloggers to use.
Reasons to use Bluehost:
- Bluehost is extremely affordable for everyone at only $2.95 per month. The value is unbelievable!
- Bluehost has fantastic customer support that works 24/7.
- You can easily figure out a custom domain and get it off the ground!
- You will be self-hosted which will enable you to have complete control over your blog.
- Install WordPress through Bluehost, which is 100% FREE.
- Bluehost offers a money-back guarantee if you are not satisfied.
- You will look professional to readers, companies, advertisers, and anyone else that comes to your blog since you will be self-hosted.
Click here or the picture below to start your blog for only $2.95/month and receive a domain name at NO COST!
Selecting Your Web Hosting Plan
Next, you want to select which hosting plan you want to be on. If you are just starting out the basic plan will be more than enough and you can always upgrade down the road.
One thing to note is the option for “domain privacy”. This is a feature we recommend getting to protect your personal information. This can be added on during the checkout process for only about $1 per month. The next step will be selecting your domain name to use with your web hosting site. If you don’t have one yet that’s not a problem we have a nice hack to help you out. Either way, you can continue moving on to the next step.
Step 5: Choose Your Domain Name
You know what you want to write about, and you’ve got some blog post ideas- but what about your blog name?
You need to have a blog name that stands out, speaks to your blog’s purpose, and can be turned into a domain name for your website!
Your domain name is your web address, not the same as the blog hosting site. It’s what people will type in to find your site. For example, our domain name is TheSavvyCouple.com.
If you don’t have your name yet start thinking of something short, catchy, and easy to remember.
Don’t let this step trip you up! Remember to not overcomplicate it. It’s the blog content you create and not entirely the name that matters in the end.
If you have previously registered a domain and want to use it for your new site, enter it on the right. If you don’t already have one, enter the domain name you came up with on the left.
You can also try out a few using Bluehost’s domain name-checker below:
Enter your account information:
Now choose the hosting package you plan on using (we recommend basic starting out) and decide how far in advance you want to pay. Bluehost bills upfront on 1,2,3, or 5 years.
Unfortunately, they do not offer a monthly payment option. The hosting companies that do offer monthly payment plans are normally 3 – 5X the cost. As you can see for three full years of blog hosting it comes out to just over $100. That’s an insane value for starting your online blogging business.
You will see other add-on options when you are filling out your package information. Our recommendation like we mentioned above is to only select the Domain Privacy Protection for about $1 per month. Everything else is not needed at this time.
The total at the bottom is what you will pay today. So for example, if you choose the three-year plan you pay around $100 and you are set for three full years!
Step 6: Get Started on WordPress
You did it! Now you can start working on your blog right away. Now we recommend WordPress for your web platform as it’s one of the best free blogging sites.
You actually just install WordPress on your blog, and the best part is Bluehost makes installing WordPress on your blog super easy and it’s FREE.
Now, this may seem like a no-brainer for you, but to start a blog, you need a password.
Just think… how many websites have you been locked out of because you forgot your password?
This is a big deal! You want a strong password so your blog is safe from hackers, but you also need to remember your password so you don’t have to struggle to get into your account.
We recommend a password that’s easy to remember, but also motivates you or speaks to what your blog is about. That way it truly is a no-brainer for you!
Start Building Your Blog With WordPress
As we said, WordPress is our backbone for creating our blog and getting our blog posts out into the world!
And we aren’t the only ones- over 90% of bloggers use WordPress! So yeah, we do think you should use it to create a successful blog.
When you create your WordPress blog, you’ll be asked a few questions- like what kind of site you’re creating, who is it for, and then you’ll select key components of your site- like having an About Me page or having a store right on your webpage.
Once you’re wrapped up, your WordPress Dashboard will be ready to use and you can get all the other details into place.
The next step is picking a sure-fire theme from BlueHost to attract the masses!
Pick A Starting Theme (Remember It Can Change!)
When you start a blog, think of it as starting your own brand. Your name is important, but so is your color scheme, your images, and even your font.
The more professional your blog site is, the more readers will be attracted to it. And the easier the layout of your site, the more people will use it!
Selecting a theme is the last step to getting your basics in place. You can pick a free WordPress theme and hit the ground running, so do some scrolling and see what strikes your fancy.
There are some great free themes your could use for your blog, plenty of templates to choose from, or simply use as inspiration if you want to be more hands-on with your theme and layout.
You can use top-ranked blogs on Google from your blog niche community as you for inspiration- but don’t go copying too closely! A WordPress theme may be what they used, but those aren’t a copywrite problem, but you want your own individuality to shine through regardless.
You may want to make a list of details and components you think are key for good traffic- or you may find things you can’t stand as a reader on someone else’s blog!
Now, don’t forget that you can always change your mind. Your theme doesn’t have to be set in stone, especially as your business builds and grows. You may find that you branch out and your logo and theme don’t encompass your blog’s niche anymore.
Add Plugins To Make Things Easier
Now WordPress plugins can be your bread and butter, and many of them are free to use, so you don’t have to spend additional money to make your blog run smoothly.
You can run through the list of plugins on the left side of your WordPress Dashboard- it’s in the list, about halfway through and underneath appearance.
You can click “Add New” and simply scroll through for whatever you need. Here are some suggested plugins you may want to consider!
Some bloggers think plugins for easier affiliate programs usage, connecting with Google Analytics (sometimes quicker than just going to the Google Analytics page!), and even contact form templates so readers can get on your email lists.
It’s worth seeing what options your content management system (hopefully WordPress!) has that could benefit you.
Now You’re Basics Are Up & Running!
CONGRATULATIONS! You are now the proud owner of a WordPress blog.
Your site will start out with a temporary domain name. Don’t be freaked out!
New domains can take up to 24 hours to activate. Bluehost will take care of this step automatically.
Here is a video showcasing the basics of navigating around the WordPress Dashboard:
Now it’s time to buckle down, get your blog fully fleshed out and designed, and start making some killer content. Can’t wait to see your blog up and running!
Step 7: Customize and Design Your Blog
Now that you have your new WordPress blog set up and you understand the basics of how to use WordPress it’s time to make a few customizations that we feel are important.
Things to customize right away:
- Change your domain from HTTP to HTTPS – Yes, this sounds super technical but it’s not. You are simply making your site secure and Bluehost does this automatically with the switch of a button.
- Change your permalinks – Change your URLs to just show the slug.
- Change your username – Make sure you change your username from “Admin” to something a little more secure.
- Install the essential plugins – Install the following essential plug-ins we recommend all bloggers use Jetpack, Wordfence, SEO Yoast, Google Analytics, and Short Pixel.
Step 8: Writing Your First Article
You’ve got a new blog up and running- but it’s in desperate need of content!
You can’t just start a blog and somehow make an income from it without writing blog posts!
Have you thought about what you’re going to write? You need an idea for your first blog article.
You picked out your blog niche, and probably have some ideas running around in your noggin, so now it’s time to put pen to paper.
Or in this case, fingers to keyboard.
If your niche is cooking, maybe your first blog post is how you started cooking, who taught you to cook, and one of the first recipes you ever cooked.
If your niche is reviewing products (yay affiliate sales!), you can start with one of your favorite products that you use all the time. Or you could write a blog post about the worst product you feel like you wasted money on.
Your options are endless, but the main takeaway for writing your first blog post is this- write things that encompass your niche.
You’ll want to do keyword research to know what article topics are ranking well in your niche, and use those to make your articles stand out.
Besides that, you just need to brush up on your writing skills and make sure your grammar is good. If you’re worried about that, make sure you use a program like Microsoft Word or Google Docs, which have spelling and grammar check, or sign up for Grammarly for a free grammar check assistant!
Now once your blog is up and running, you may want to spend less time writing- but how?
Well, Jasper is a new program that you could use to auto-write unique and quality content. Jasper is an AI program that will follow commands to write content with only a few prompts and input on your end.
If you use our link, you can have a free trial with Jasper to check it out, plus you can learn more about why you should use it and how with our Jasper AI Review.
It’s $29 a month for the basic package. That can be about $350 a year, but it could cut your writing time in half!
So your blog posts are written quicker, and you can publish more to make more money! It’s certainly an option to consider once your blog starts to generate a profit.
Step 9: Optimizing Your Blog
Now that you’ve got some blog posts, do you know about optimizing them?
You need to get your blogs ranked on search engines like Google, and to do so, you need to optimize your content specifically for search engines!
Optimizing your blog is how bloggers get more people on their blog, and the more who read it, the more likely people will click links or buy things.
So that’s how you’ll be bringing home the bacon!
You need to make sure your content is being seen by as many people as possible, and here’s how to make that happen.
Here are a few things you should know to win at SEO management:
- You need to pick popular or applicable keywords in your niche- for example, a good one for a cooking blog would be “cheap meals” or “spend less on groceries”
- You need a blog post title that stands out and a short but clear meta description- you can use the top competitors on Google as guides to pick a good title for your blog post, like “21 Best Cheap Meals For Your Picky Eaters” with a quick rundown on why people need to read that article (aka- stressed parents have enough to worry about, cheap meals for kids would help!)
- Backlinks and Interlinks- you not only want to link your own content in your new blog post (interlinking), but you also want to link to other websites with a high authority (domain rating) that adds to the readers’ experience, like if you linked to a nutritional website about what kids need to eat for good health that relates to your meal ideas
You’ll first want to learn about search engine optimization (SEO). We actually took the course Stupid Simple SEO to learn about all the different elements of SEO, and it changed how well our blog posts did right away!
Then you may want to consider Ahrefs or getting a Google Analytics account to track your traffic and get more details on your blog’s performance. Google Analytics can help you get a good visual for how a single blog post is doing or even your entire blog at a glance, with just a few clicks.
Now for our blog, we trust SurferSEO to optimize our writing and make it more likely to rank on Google and drive organic traffic on our blog.
Once we pick a keyword- a topic we want to talk to people about- we use Arhefs to learn more about our competitors for that keyword, and if we have a chance to get onto page 1 of Google.
If you’re on page 1, you’re more likely to get clicks!
So we see if we’ve got a shot, and then we pop over to SurferSEO and create a new document for our keyword. Once you do, you can start putting in text and images, with Surfer making suggestions for how long your post should be, what keywords you should use, and even how many images you may need.
What’s cool about this product, besides the great SEO work it does, is that you can create Audits of old blog posts and go through them to make sure they’re optimized as well!
Check out more about this program with our in-depth Surfer SEO Review, and get the skinny on how to use it to make better content.
Tips For Monetizing Your Blog & Gaining Traffic
So your site is up and running and now you’ve got content that you need people to read- and not only that, you need to do some affiliate marketing in order to bring in some money!
Here are the main ways to gain traffic on your blog and how to properly monetize it.
Tell People About It!
Seems like another no-brainer, but seriously, if you don’t talk about it, who will?
You can create business cards and think of your blog like a product you want to sell- any way you go about it, you need to bring it up and tell people about it!
When you start a blog, it needs to stand out, but you must also think about how people will find it. And your first fans are the people who already back you up now- your friends and family.
Tell your friends and family about your new blog, give them a link to share on social media, and see how your personal network grows your business.
Another thing you may want to consider is creating a Facebook page or group, as well as a mailing list so fans can interact and follow you, get notifications about new articles, and even create a community around your niche topics.
We use ConvertKit to create landing pages and email lists, that way we can promote our own Savvy products and info with our readers. If you want to learn more of the nitty-gritty on how ConertKit works, check out our review!
Network In Your Niche
On that note, have you connected with any other blogs or even blogging groups on Facebook?
We have our Facebook blogging group, where we share new blog posts as well as talk about blogging resources and see how other bloggers are doing on their business journey.
It helps to find other bloggers, because even if they may not be your target audience- and they may not use your links necessarily- you can backlink content from their blog and make it more likely they’ll do the same.
Being linked on other blogs can get your name out there and attract more readers in your niche. Plus, you could even write guest blog posts for them and vice versa if you get some good networking opportunities!
Now paid advertisements may be a bit difficult for a brand new blog that hasn’t made any profit yet, but it is a good avenue for marketing once you’ve started making money.
Think of it as an investment- if you spend some money on Facebook ads, you could potentially reach a larger audience than you could without the ad.
How many ads on Facebook have you been tempted by? It could be your ad on Facebook or Instagram drawing in the masses!
Want to learn how to get the most out of your ads? Check out Flourish With Facebook Ads, a course we took in order to boost our affiliate marketing strategy and increase the income we made from our blog.
Check Competitors Affiliates
When you were thinking about your niche, your blog name, and all that jazz, I’m sure you did a lot of research and have some go-to blogs that you like and think of as strong competitors.
Well, doing keyword research and reading through the top articles on Google can be a good way to find out what businesses you should be connecting with!
If you see affiliate links in your competitors’ articles, odds are you should consider joining their affiliate programs and getting articles written about them.
Now you’ll notice we’ve got affiliates and our own links throughout this article- as a finance blog, we get links for jobs people are interested in, for courses to help you all grow as professionals, and even businesses to help you manage your money.
For example, we’re part of the Bluehost Affiliate Program and wrote a review on our affiliate experience– because we recommend them as an affiliate to join but also because their web hosting services are amazing and top-notch.
You can do some of the same with whatever niche you’ve picked! For a cooking blog, write an article about delivery services and get those affiliates; for a blog that reviews products, get Amazon affiliate links for the products people should be trying out too.
Now we don’t have an affiliate link for everything we recommend though, so don’t limit the links you include for your users- quality experience for them is always the goal, and that’s how you get dedicated readers and repeat visitors!
Look For Sponsorship Opportunities
Sponsored blog posts could be a huge moneymaker depending on your niche.
Sponsored posts are essentially a post you’re paid to write about a company’s products or services, where you use their affiliated links, and give your own input on the good and the bad of whatever it is.
For a cooking blog, it could be a paid post about new kitchen tools or even meal delivery services! For a product review blog, your opportunities are huge because they could be from any industry!
Even when you’re a small blog just starting out, it isn’t impossible to get a sponsored blog post. Just like finding affiliate partners, you can use competitors in your niche to find brands to contact for sponsored articles.
Other than that, you can cold contact brands you like or use middle-man websites like Tap Influence (our favorite), Blog Meets Brand, and Tomoson that can connect you with brands who want bloggers/influencers to write and tell people about their products or services.
Make & Sell Merch
Selling your own products or services is another way you can earn income from your blog.
As we mentioned before, we have a Shopify store where we sell printables and shirts, even online courses to teach you even more.
Your earning potential is all about what you make and sell- whether it be a cookbook to sell or even your own version of popular products, you can create something to sell to your readers.
Think about the blogs, podcasts, and even Facebook and Instagram pages you follow- they have custom shirts, stickers, anything you can think of!
So, once again, brainstorm what you would be willing to design or order from another company for your fans.
When in doubt, as always, see what your competitors are up to!
Total Costs Of Running A Blog
The costs of running a blog all depend on what options you take out of all the stuff we’ve talked about and more.
With the very basic cost of starting your blog- literally just the website- your cost could be as little as $36 using BlueHost your first year.
After your website is made, how much you spend is up to you- you could spend $200 a month hiring a freelance writer and as much as $500+ on programs or software to optimize your blog.
Here are the main costs of running a blog that we’ve encountered:
BlueHost is an affordable open for webhosting, with all the basic options you need at a good cost. You can pick free options to save money, but they have their limitations like most free programs do.
BlueHost is only $2.95 a month if you use our link, and the domain name won’t cost you extra! Some other sites can cost $15 a month, or even $80 a month! Tally up the costs, and you could spend $180 – $960 a year for a more expensive webhost!
Employing Just Yourself Vs. Paying Others
Will you be writing blog posts for your blog or is your goal to hire freelance writers to create blog content?
If you write everything yourself, your profit is all your own pay- so it isn’t exactly a direct cost of running a business unless you specifically decide to pay per hour or something.
Your cost is more about time, not money, and how much time you put in can only increase your profits!
If you pay someone else, it costs money of course- a freelance writer can charge around $22 an hour. It can increase your blog post output and give you more affiliate opportunities, but it can be hard to pay someone when you aren’t making much profit.
Programs & Memberships
Besides a web host, there are some other technical costs to running a blog.
How will you get photos for your site? How do you know your blog post will rank highly on Google?
There are stock photo sites where you can pay a monthly fee or pay per photo, and those costs will add up depending on how you add photos.
Next, there are other great blogging resources you can use to make sure you rank well on Google.
As we discussed, the higher you rank, the more likely you’ll get seen- getting seen means more money-making opportunities, plus increasing your Domain Rating on Google!
You can use SurferSEO to compare what you’re writing to the top competitors on Google. It’s a paid service, with plans starting at $49 a month, so the cost does add up to $588 per year.
But, SEO optimization is your best bet to get traffic on your blog, so the profit potential dramatically increases using a program like SurferSEO!
Final Thoughts on Starting a Blog
I truly believe anyone can be successful blogging if they put in the work. The learning curve can seem a little overwhelming but as time goes on things will start to click.
Starting a blog is by no means a get-rich-quick scheme. It’s starting an online business that can change your life and provide for your family for years to come.
Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years? Are you happy with where you will be? Do you want to be working the same 9-5 job that takes up all of your time and limits your income?
I know I wasn’t going to let that happen!
I took the leap of faith and started our blog not knowing anything about writing content, navigating WordPress, or even how to drive traffic.
The key is just getting started! If you tell yourself “I will start my blog next month” you will regret it. It’s just like trying to lose weight, excuses don’t work- the action does.
We have a private Facebook group Blogging with Purpose specifically for helping bloggers turn their blogs into profitable online businesses.
So no more excuses. Head over to Bluehost now to start your blog and your journey on completely changing your life!
FAQs About Starting a Blog
Can I start a blog for free or does it cost a lot of money?
Certainly, but you will greatly limit your ability to make more income in the long run!
If you look around there is no professional blogger out there not using a self-hosted blog. When you get a self-hosted blog you have complete control over every aspect of your online business.
Free blog sites like Blogger, Medium, Wix, etc are great if you just want to blog as a hobby. But if you plan on making money you need to have a self-hosted website.
Other reasons to not go the free blog route:
- They can completely shut down your blog at any time. You have no control over it.
- You will limit your ability to make money with low-quality setups.
- You will end up having to purchase many upgrades from your free account anyways.
- Free blogs have very basic features that limit your ability to be successful.
- If it’s free you won’t take it seriously. It’s proven when you invest in something you put more effort into it.
- Companies will not take you seriously if you want to partner with them.
How do I log onto WordPress?
The easiest way to get onto your WordPress Dashboard is to type in yourdomainname.com/wp-admin. Obviously, you would put the unique URL that you just created in front of /wp-admin. Once you successfully log in for the first time make sure you bookmark this page as you will use it very often.
When in doubt, make a bookmark on your browser! That way you don’t have to search for it every time, and the link will be at the ready anytime you need to get back to the ole grind.
If you forgot your login credentials you can always use the “forgot password” method. But we have found it easier to go to your inbox and find the welcome emails sent from Bluehost.
Reminder there will be two separate logins:
- Bluehost – where you manage your hosting, backups, domain names, and pay your hosting bill.
- WordPress – the dashboard where you create posts, customize your website, and manage your entire blog.
How do I change the design, look, and feel of my blog?
I’ll show you in the video below how to customize your WordPress theme to get it looking just the way you want it:
You need a blog theme to present your content the way you want it to look. Your theme can be changed at any time and each one comes with a variety of different customizations you can make.
Starting a FREE theme will most likely fit your needs but as you get further into blogging a premium theme is a must for many reasons.
We are big fans of WordPress themes and encourage you to look through them to see if one of the free WordPress themes is exactly what you’re looking for.
But as we said, premium themes may be a benefit for you down the road if you want, here are our two favorite places to find premium themes:
Theme Forest – A huge marketplace of themes you can search through. This is the perfect place to start and find a premium theme that will fit your needs.
How do I get traffic to my blog without paying?
Search engines are part of what makes your blog successful- and how well you do in a search will determine the traffic you get.
Driving traffic is a very important part of becoming a successful blogger. The three main ways of driving traffic to your blog include social media, SEO (search engine optimization), and then paid traffic.
When you are first starting out Pinterest should be the social media platform you master. It’s a visual search engine and unlike most social media platforms the users are actually looking for content. Much different from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram where your posts are being shown without the user asking for that content.
Another thing to consider when starting out is understanding the importance of a long-term SEO strategy. Search engine traffic might be the most advanced traffic to understand and be successful with. But if you learn the basics upfront it will save you hours of time in the future going back through and auditing old content to be optimized for SEO.
You can also learn more about increasing blog traffic by reading How to Increase Blog Traffic: 7 Tips We Used to Drive 300,000 Page Views.
How do I make money with a blog?
Most people start a blog to make extra money on the side or use it for a full-time income.
There is nothing wrong with starting something with money as a goal! We started our blog as a side hustle to make some extra money each month, and it turned into so much more.
Once you understand how to create quality content and have the traffic coming to your blog it’s time to start learning how to monetize your blog.
Here are the 4 main ways to monetize your blog:
- Affiliate Marketing
- Sponsored Blog Posts
- Selling your own products and services
Read our own blog post How to Become a Full-Time Blogger & Make Money Within a Year for more information on making your blog profitable.
How do I switch from HTTP to HTTPS with my Bluehost account?
Bluehost makes this very simple once your domain name is set up and working on your site correctly. Remember once you register your domain name it will take Bluehost up to 24 hours to activate it on your site.
Bluehost makes it very easy to “secure” your site. Which is important for a few reasons.
First, it keeps Google happy which is very important for SEO. Google has stated the standard for getting ranked in search engines is to have a secure site. So don’t put yourself at a disadvantage by not doing this.
Second, if your site is not secure your readers will get a huge warning when they land on your site telling them it’s not secure. This will hurt your trust with them right off the bat making it much harder to collect emails, make conversions, and sell your products.
So here is how to turn on your FREE SSL Certification with Bluehost. Changing your URL from HTTP to HTTPS and in turn making your site secure.
- Log into your Bluehost account
- Click “my sites”
- Click “manage sites”
- Click the “security” tab on the next screen
- Toggle the “Free SSL Certificate” to the on position
That’s it! Give it a few hours to install your SSL certificate correctly and your website will not be secure.
You can verify it’s secure by seeing the “lock” in front of your URL.
What are some of the biggest mistakes when starting a blog?
As we have mentioned above, blogging has a fairly large learning curve so mistakes are going to happen.
But in life, I have found those mistakes are the real way to learn what works for you. Once you make a mistake, learn from it, and never let it happen again.
We actually went out and interviewed over 20 professional full-time bloggers and asked them what their biggest mistake was when they started their blog.
Their answers are extremely valuable to newer bloggers. Click here to read the article.
How do I keep my blog legal?
There are a few disclosures, terms and conditions, and policies you should be aware of when starting a blog.
We actually used Legal Bundles to learn about being compliant with the law and making sure our blog was safe.
It’s not critical to have these as soon as you start your blog but it is something you want to take care of quickly.
Having the proper legal templates on your site will be the safety net you want in a place to prevent yourself in the rare occurrence of being sued.
Click here to read how to keep your blog legal from the start.
Help! I am stuck setting up my blog. What do I do?
If you run into trouble setting up your blog through Bluehost simply reach out to their customer support for some guidance here.
Actually calling customer support in general always seems to work better than using chat. If you’re in the US, call 844-213-7846. They should be able to answer any questions you might have, access your account, and get you pointed in the right direction.
After you have started your blog you need a community to support and motivate you. Take a minute and join our private Facebook group Blogging With Purpose. We have some of the leading experts willing and able to answer any blogging questions you might have.