How to start a Blog and make money using WordPress

How to start a Blog and make money using WordPress

Yes, I know that I already have a post on How to start a Blog and make money using WordPress but I wanted to go into it in more detail in this post. My previous post goes into what to do before you buy hosting and then who to buy hosting off obviously my choice is Siteground.

(If this post contains affiliate links please see our full disclosure policy although I have to say I tried really hard to make it interesting and even I struggled to write it so if you really must read it you can find it here)

How to start a blog in 11 steps and make money! So you want to start a blog, do you? You need to figure out why you want to start one to begin with this will determine how you start a blog.

Is it going to be a hobby or are you planning on making this blog part of your business?

Okay, let’s do this thing!

 

 

Here are the 11 steps you need to take to start this blogging thing. Here we go how to start a blog!

 

 

What is a blog 

Its a collection of information and knowledge on topics.

Each article is called a post.

The most recent article will be displayed on your homepage first.

 

 

Should you start a blog?

What will be the purpose of you starting this blog?

For me, there was no question I wanted to start my own business. If you want to make money from your blog then you can not start a blog for FREE its as simple as that.

 

FAQ:
☑️ How much does it cost to start a blog you can start if for less than $5 per month. 

 

If your curious (or in a hurry ) to find out what Plan is best then check it out here:

Check out which Plan to choose today
☑️ Start your own Blog today using option WordPress hosting

 

It’s an excellent choice for a beginner Blogger just check out the reviews BEST of all it’s under $4 per month on the startup plan. If you find it under $4 then its a bargain so grab it.

Starting a blog for FREE is great if you want to try it out as a hobby and decide if it’s something you actually want to do as a business ( it’s not a get rich quick scheme by the way ) or if you want to set up a link to apply for affiliate programs to make money on Pinterest for instance.

 

If you want to find out more about that then check out this post:

How to make money on Pinterest 

To start a blog for FREE you just sign up with a CMS company for example:

Blogger.com

WordPress.com

This is not a SELF HOSTED site you will not have your own domain name.

 

FAQ: Can I start a blog for FREE
☑️Some reasons why it’s not a great idea
  • The problem with doing this is you will find it hard be able to make money with your blog free services can limit how much you make and you will need to upgrade ( pay ) to use the site which means it will no longer be FREE
  • You will have little or no support if you need help with your site. The companies will also be trying to sell you stuff!
  • Only basic designs will be available and if you eventually want to switch it will be difficult and you may need to hire someone to do this for you
  • You are more likely to stick with blogging if you have to pay for it!

 

Why should you start a blog? Here are some popular reasons to start a blog:

 

To make money from home

If you are an author then it’s a good way to show your online presence

Get more exposure for your business – Etsy, eBay or even bricks and mortar shop

To write 

 

Which brings me on to how do bloggers get paid?

 

Here are some different ways you can make money from a self-hosted blog.

  1. Affiliate marketing using links which you earn a commission with
  2. Sell your own digital or physical products
  3. Sell a service

 

Want to read more:

How to Start Affiliate Marketing for Beginners: a quick guide 

7 Ways to Make money with Passive income 

How to make money on Pinterest

How I earned my first $100 blogging

Awesome tips for making Passive Income with Affiliate Marketing

 

 

 

What should you blog about ( Niche )

Now, this is important because what you want to do is pick something you’re interested in and feel you can write about for the next X number of years!

Some bloggers talk about Passion when they decide to start a blog I subscribe to the theory why start a blog about flower arranging even it’s your passion think bigger and more mainstream.

Gardening would be less niche you could look at what’s popular in the gardening niche at the moment everyone is going nuts about Succulents!

And you can make money with them so jump on that gravy train. 

Yep, you heard me don’t be unique! You want to do popular but do it better than the rest.

It’s only taken me till this month to fight the inevitable with this blog and realise this.

 

( PS you would have thought I would with the name of the website – Smartpennies I am making the blog more a personal finance based blog now! 

Forget lifestyle I couldn’t find my tribe and blogging as much as I like all the blogging stuff I can still incorporate it as a side hustle but my total focus needs to be finances, side hustling and making money online.

 

I didn’t fully grasp this till I started going through the $100k climb if you want to find out more click this link. 

 

It’s not blogging specifically that I am interested in it’s making money and saving money when I think back to all books I have read over the last 10 years they have all been about starting businesses. 

( hmm there is a post in there for that!)

 

Anyway back to starting your blog!

Here is a quick list of blog niches you really need to consider and have an interest in:

  • Finances Wealth/Money
  • Health
  • Beauty- fitness/ Diet
  • Fashion- ladies and men and kids
  • Love- how to find it and keep it, marriage
  • DIY and Crafts
  • Food
  • Home Decor
  • Parenting

Wanting to read more:

9 blog niches that can make money and help you gain traffic

 

And because I am interested in Crafts & DIY I decided to start a second site specifically for this – and I use this as more an experimental site as well so I tend to try out things with this one especially when it comes to Pinterest – we will come to that later!:

 

Smartpennieslife.com

 

 

 

How to start a blog and make money

So all things being equal you have chosen your niche wisely and now it’s time to set things up for success!

 

What do you need to do now you have decided what you are going to blog about?

 

You will need to set up a SELF-hosted blog and choose a blog name.

All this means is you have a web address for your blog which is your domain name so you can find it and then you have hosting which is where your blog has a space on the blogosphere.

 

As I said above its impossible to make money from your blog unless its self hosted it also makes it look more professional too.

When it comes to choosing a name make sure you make it easy to spell and remember and keep it short.

That is three surefire ways for people to remember you.

 

How to set up your blog

Picking your domain name

Well first make sure you pick a name you can live with!

Make it short and make it easy to spell most importantly because if you don’t people will potential misspell your website address and not find you.

If you go to Siteground you can check if your chosen name is available by plugging into their domain checker.

If it’s available then you can buy it along with hosting from Siteground if that’s the way you want to go search around, for instance, Name cheap would be $7.98 per year for smartpenniescrafts.com or Godaddy is $0.99 but renewal is $14.99 around the same price the longer you can buy the domain for the cheaper it will be in the long run.

 

If you are looking for a hosting provider that will keep your site speed up ( most important for page views ) and is a good deal then Siteground is who I use.

They will also include a domain name as part of their package. 

You will need to purchase a domain name and hosting so it’s cheaper when you first start to do this as a combined package.

 

Find out if your prefered domain name is available.

You can look at having .com or if your UK .co.uk but don’t forget there are extensions like .co which might be cheaper if you really want your preferred name so don’t discount that one as well.

 

Once you have a hosting package bought most of them will provide you with software to run your blog with WordPress being the most common. 

 

If you get started with Siteground and have any issues they can help you 24/7 via their web chat and they have been super helpful to me on 2 occasions when my blog crashed- it was able to be fixed in 30 minutes.

 

Install WordPress on your site first.

 

How to set up your blog on WordPress

 

Don’t be like me I started two blogs in 2010 in Google sites ( free websites) they were terrible you can’t see them now and after a month I gave up I had no idea what to do!

 

I recommend Siteground check out their startup plan today using this link.

Why:

  • Faster sites using SSD storage for any plan with Siteground, built in caching with each plan ( basically once the website page loads on a device it is stored again for future loading more quickly), load faster anywhere in the world and latest technology for the network protocols which means again faster loading.
  • Their own website hosting security solutions including secure account isolation on shared hosting
  • Fast help when you need it – tickets reply within 10 minutes, Live chat instant reply 24/7 this is a fabulous service and have sorted out any issues I have had! and Phone 24/7 instant reply.

Not to mention they are very Cost effective when you are starting out check out their current prices today for under $4 per month

If your curious (or in a hurry ) to find out what Plan is best then check it out here:

Check out which Plan to choose today
☑️ Start your own Blog today using option WordPress hosting

 

It’s an excellent choice for a beginner Blogger just check out the reviews BEST of all it’s under $4 per month on the startup plan. If you find it under $4 then its a bargain so grab it.

Also if you can wait till there is deals say on Black Friday then you can get it when it’s on special offer too saving you even more money.

 

My advice would be to find out what is going to be cheaper in the long run. If you buy your domain name with your hosting company or separately sometimes you can get good deals for a longer term.

I have my domain for three years and it cost me around $40.

 

If your looking for more information on starting your own blog then check out these posts.

Related Posts to start a blog

How to avoid looking  like a Newbie Blogger

How to make money with a small blog

Can you still make money from blogging

Now that you have picked your domain it’s time to pick your plan.

Don’t forget the reason you need to have hosting is you want your own website not to be on WordPress.com.

If you are still hesitant about starting a blog with Siteground don’t forget it is easy to start and they give you a money back guarantee.

When you land on Siteground you will be faced with this page.

Get started by going to Siteground here then hit the Get started button under managed WordPress hosting. ( this should look the same in the US it automatically takes me to the UK site) 

 

 

There are 3 to choose from I suggest starting off with Startup that’s all you really need to start off with. Yes, you will notice it’s in British pounds again (I went with the Grow big account it’s still great value at $6 per month ) 

If you decide to go with a domain name via Siteground or transfer over your existing site then via Growbig and Gogeek you get free website transfers too.

 

 

If you decide to go with a domain name via Siteground or transfer over your existing site then via Growbig and Gogeek you get free website transfers too.

Now it’s just a question of finishing up so also don’t forget that Unlike many other hosting providers the advertised discount applies to any of the initial periods chosen during the sign-up process that includes just the one year option.

The best deals will be for the longer periods so if you can afford 36 months and know you will continue blogging for that long then this works out the cheapest.

Don’t worry about extras there is no requirement to add these all except the domain privacy – when I moved my domain over from my initial set up with When I first set up hosting with Godaddy I forgot to check this box – BIG mistake I had so many unsolicited calls asking if people can set my website up I had go back in and purchase it separately! ( cancelled it and moved to Siteground)

 

If you are still not sure what to do then contact the team at Siteground they will be able to help you set up in no time especially if you need to transfer from an existing web hosting company they can help you out with this too.

Install WordPress on your site once you have bought hosting and you will then have a login page like this:

You will be presented with a login page like this:

 

How to start a Blog and make money using WordPress from picking your domain names, picking hosting, and your WordPress theme.

Please, Please please whatever you do – DO NOT use the following as your username:

  • Your email listed on your contact page
  • Your name
  • I wouldn’t even use my private email

Pick a username that:

  1. You will remember and
  2. Will not be easy to guess

Ultimately why make it easy for Hackers to gain access to your website!

Once you have reached this step you will have two user names and passwords 

-one for your hosting provide Siteground hosting to go to your cPANEL don’t worry about this just now you won’t need to go into your Siteground hosting much unless you have issues with your site.

-one for your WordPress site – this is how you will be logging in to your site and adding posts.

 

Make sure you also have a security plugin once you get started as well!

For instance I use Sucuri free plugin them out if you want to find out more they are free to add to your WordPress site.

 

You will be confronted by your dashboard like this:

How to start a Blog and make money using WordPress from picking your domain names, picking hosting, and your WordPress theme.

 

Don’t be alarmed!

You can do this!

Mine will not look exactly like yours at this stage as I have my plugins already set up and you can see how to do it in one of my next posts.

Once you get the hang of things it will be so much easier believe me don’t worry.

So next we need to talk about what your website will look like.

You will have a default theme on there with things like Hello world on the front page just click on your website name at the top left of the dashboard to visit your website to see.

 

Customize your blog

So next we need to talk about what your website will look like.

Your blog layout is called your theme in case you were wondering what I am harping on about in the next section.

 

You will have a default theme on there with things like Hello world on the front page just click on your website name at the top left of the dashboard to visit your website to see.

 

Please don’t spend hours and days picking your themes or struggling to make a decision – pick your theme and move on.

 

I do suggest a PAID theme but don’t jump in with all the bells and whistles you will just scare yourself- I decided that I would pick DIVI theme for Elegant themes big mistake! As a new blogger it’s hard enough getting your head around everything without trying that as well.

 

It suppose to be really easy to use – but it’s expensive and I found it really confusing when I was starting out. 

My advice try out a free theme for a few months if you like it upgrade the theme to the paid version – I use the total theme which I upgrade to a paid version and its simple and easy to set up – let me tell you when I start earning significant pennies I will not be doing this myself!

 

 I will pay someone to set up a new theme and transfer me over!

 

Need more information then check out this post:

 

Create a stunning website

 

You will also need to add Pages and Posts.

Pages will be important pages on your blog like

Your 

  • Home page 
  • About me page
  • Privacy page
  • Disclosure page
  • Contact page

 

To create a page go down to the dashboard and click add a new page.

You will need to add the pages listed above.

 

If you have no idea what to add in your About me page have a look at this post:

 

How to create an About me Page

 

Next, you need to brainstorm the different Categories you want on your blog. When you choose your Categories these are your main topics for your blog.

These are your hubs and your blog posts are the spokes of your bike wheel.

 

Don’t stress you can change these as you upgrade your blog.

 

Ok, so now that you have these you need to add them as categories.

 

PRO- TIP
☑️ don’t go wild with lots of categories choose a maximum of 5.

 

 

Develop a content strategy

 

Now the important thing you need to do is develop your content strategy.

 

Once you do this you know what blog posts you are going to be writing.

 

There are plenty of online calendars you can use but to begin with try Google Drive spreadsheets its FREE and you can also use google doc’s to create your blog posts. ( I suggest you write them here first before copying and pasting it to your WordPress site.

 

Pen and Paper are equally good too.

 

When you write content to make sure your first posts are jammed full of great content if you’re not sure how then I suggest using the Skyscraper technique by Brian Dean.

 

Don’t forget to change your permalinks you will find more information on all of this on this page

 

 

Write and publish your first post

 

If you can have a few posts ready to go on your blog this will help give you a head start but it’s not totally essential.

 

Here are some more tips for publishing your first post.

Promote your blog

Before you can make any money with your blog you need to promote it and one of the best ways to do this FREE is via Pinterest.

 

If you want more tips on how to set up your Pinterest account check out this post.

 

How to increase page views to your blog

Make money blogging

 

Next, you want to be making money from your blogging activities.

There are lots of options to do this one of the main ways is to use Affiliate Marketing.

They all depend on traffic to your blog though so your first steps should be generating traffic and writing great blog posts.

 

Tips for making passive income with affiliate marketing

 

How to make money with a small blog

 

Start your blog today don’t wait as I did for 10 years before starting a Self-hosted website start yours today with Siteground.

 

Web Hosting

 

So know you have no excuse for not starting a blog today. Don’t wait it is not that hard to get started.

Next up is picking your Themes- FREE VS PAID what should you do?

Create a stunning website

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