There are other “how to start a blog” posts on the internet, but this one here is focused more specifically on how to start a blog and make money from blogging.
Yes, I need to emphasize the importance of the “making money” part. Because virtually all other blog posts about this topic hardly covers this important aspect.
I want to walk you through how to set up a blog the right way and what you need to be thinking about every step of the way so when it comes to “making money blogging”, you will be completely set structurally.
I’ve written this guide in a way that an absolute beginner with no knowledge of blogging can follow along and have their new blog set up and running fast!
In a nutshell, to start a blog, you’ll need 4 main things:
- Web hosting – which is where your website will be hosted. It’s like the land for your house.
- A domain name – which is the url of your website. It’s like your house
- A good theme – It’s the skin of your website. Think of it like your interior and exterior decoration of your home
- WordPress – This is platform you’ll use to log in and manage your awesome new blog
Below, I’ll explain the most important info you need regarding the 4 main things:
Main Thing #1: Choosing a Web Host
Choosing a web host is a very important step. A web host provides space for your website to live on. Like in real life, a house needs land to sit on. A Web host is the “land”. Without the land for your house to sit on, you can’t have a house. It’s the same online – so you must have web hosting to start a blog.
3 Important things you need to consider when choosing a web host
- Speed – You want fast web hosting because it helps your webpages load faster. There’s no doubt you’ve loaded a webpage before and it just took forever and then you just hit the back button. You don’t want people doing this on your site – obviously! So a web host with acceptable speeds is necessary.
- Reliability – A web host is powered by computers. And we know computers don’t always function properly 100% of the time. Sometimes, a hosting company “goes down”, and when this happens, websites hosted there will not load at all. Obviously, this is bad – and you want to make sure you pick a hosting company that is reliable and/or has very reliable “up time”.
- Support – Most of us aren’t good with this internet stuff and aren’t technical. I highly recommend getting hosting that has a reputation of great support. Whenever you need help with anything, you can give them a call or start a support chat 24/7. This is super super important because you will probably need technical help someday – I know I do and I’m really good with this stuff.
My recommendation for hosting:
For beginner bloggers, I recommend BlueHost. They are the perfect hosting company for blogging beginners because they are low cost and provide good service (fast enough hosting & reliable uptime). Basically, you get really good bang for your buck with Blue Host.
BlueHost costs $3.49 a month. This is one of the lowest in the industry.
As your blog grows, I recommend upgrading your hosting to a more expensive option. This is basically necessary, because your website visitors will probably grow very large, and you need faster servers to handle the increased traffic. You will also benefit from even more reliable service as higher priced hosting plans typically offers this.
From a make money point of view, it’s best to start with something affordable and “good enough” while your blog grows and begins to generate revenue.
Once your traffic starts to take off and you begin to make money from your blog, you will have the revenue available to pay for better hosting.
Again, that’s why I really recommend BlueHost for beginner bloggers. Click here to check out BlueHost hosting plans.
Main Thing #2: Choose A Good Domain Name
Your domain name is very very important. It’s the URL of your website and what people will come to know you by.
Here are some tips for choosing a domain name:
- Shorter is better – the shorter your name, the more easily it will be remembered. Also, if you can make it clever or funny, it will also help your website be more memorable. For example, “budgetsaresexy.com” is a pretty memorable and funny/clever domain name.
- Try and use at least one descriptive word – I recommend choosing a domain name that describes your website topic. For example, the word “dollar” is in my domain name dopedollar.com, and it gives you hints that this blog is probably about money and finance. This helps people “trust” my website when they see it in Google and they will be more likely to click through and check out my articles.
- No slang, misspelled words, or profanity – I recommend keeping your domain name clean. A lot of people don’t understand slangs and therefore won’t understand your domain name. Misspelled words can be hard to remember and even harder to spell sometimes. You want to make it easy for people to type your website into the search bar. Profanity is a huge NO NO, unless your websites main topic is profanity based.
- Choose a name that you can expand on – This is a hugely important and something most people don’t think about. If you wanted to start a blog in personal finance, a blog called “moneysmarts.com” is a great blog name because we can guess it’s probably a blog about money advice – and we could also reasonably assume it could talk about topics like credit cards, car insurance, and budgeting. However, if you had a blog named “teensmakemoney.com”, it would be a little weird to have articles on there about getting a mortgage or maximizing credit card rewards. So make sure you pick a domain name that helps describe what you are doing NOW, and should you grow bigger and want to talk about other related topics, your domain name STILL makes sense. In the end, it will make your website seem more “trustworthy” and people will be more willing to listen to you and take your advice.
- Make your name brandable – You want to make your name brandable for two main reasons. First, you want a memorable name that people will KNOW you by. You don’t want to be generic. So pick a cool unique name that you like and feel comfortable building “what you’re all about” around. For example, I chose “dopedollar” because I’m fairly young and I like the word “dope”, and overall, I feel it’s a easy to remember name and it’s easy to write. I mentioned “budgetsaresexy” earlier, which is another great example of a domain name that has been branded by J Money. Everyone in the personal finance space knows who he is, and his clever domain name makes him extra memorable and branded.
The second reason why you want to brand your domain name is because a lot of domain names are taken and it’s hard to find the perfect name. You will need to get creative! A few examples are: dopedollar, wallethacks, makingsenseofcents, thepennyhoarder, frugalbeautiful, and frugalfanatic. These names have a major keyword that describes what the website is about, and another word(s) that makes it unique and brandable.
- Try and choose a .com domain – I prefer a .com, .net, .org in that order. If you can, do your best to get a .com. Everyone recognizes a .com and it’s the most popular one.
Main Thing #3: Choose A Great Theme
Your theme is the look and feel of your website. We all decorate our rooms, homes, vehicles, whatever, a certain way. Because we want it to look and feel good for us and others who visit.
When it comes to making money online, your website MUST look professional and clean. I repeat, it MUST. Nobody will want to take your advice or even listen and read your content if your web design is ugly and all over the place. Picking a good theme will go A LONG WAY to making your website inviting and welcoming – and ultimately be a big factor in making you money.
A few key points when choosing a good theme:
- Try and pick a theme that makes it easy to customize it on your own – Themes with built in options to change things like colors, menus, sizing sidebars, etc makes life much easier
- Try and pick a theme that has a clean and clutter free feel
- Pick a theme that has a good “feel” for your blogs main topic. For example, you’ll find many blog about personal finance have a green color and a white background. It’s a typical “feel” for blogs about money. obviously, not every finance blog is like this, and thankfully not! But keep the colors and feel of your theme in mind when picking a theme
The nice thing about themes is that you can change it later on. If you are just starting off, you can choose a free theme from WordPress. There are hundreds to choose from. If you start with a free theme, you will pick your theme when you install WordPress (after you’ve set up hosting and chosen your domain name with BlueHost).
However, if you want to start blogging with a great theme right away, choose a quality premium theme right off the bat. Most premium themes cost money, but they are so worth the money. I don’t know any blogger who makes serious money using a free theme.
Main Thing #4: Use WordPress
WordPress is simply the best platform to use to manage your blog. It’s really easy to use for beginners who know nothing about HTML or programming or anything techy. It’s a super easy way to publish blog posts and get started making money blogging without the headache of anything technical. I’ll walk you through how to set up a blog using WordPress below.
3 Steps To Start A Blog Fast & Properly (Step by Step instructions on Starting a money making blog)
Below, I will walk you through step by step on the process of setting up your blog with BlueHost, and walk you through buying a domain name. By the end of this tutorial, you will have a blog set up and ready to write your first article for the world to see! Yay.
Step #1: Sign Up For Bluehost Hosting
Go to BlueHost and sign up for their Basic Plan. It costs $3.49 per month. If you feel you maybe want more than 1 website today or sometime in the future, then sign up for their Plus Plan, which will let you host more than 1 domain – it costs $5.95 per month.
Step #2: Choose Your Domain Name (Your Website URL)
After you choose your hosting plan, you will then be shown a page to choose your domain name. Feel free to scroll back up and re-read my tips on choosing a great domain name!
Step #3: Register Your Account
After you choose your website URL (YAY!), the next page is the last page. It’s where you’ll register your account with details like your name, address, and payment info. After you enter this, you’re all set up!
You’ll be emailed instructions on how to proceed with accessing your blog after this!
Note: Most hosting companies don’t give free websites. It’s typically an extra cost (around $10 typically for a .com domain). BlueHost gives you a free website which is another reason why I recommend them for beginner bloggers looking to make money blogging.
If you have any questions about this tutorial hit me up in the comment sections below. I’ll be glad to answer them!