Last Updated: April 24, 2018
Wondering how to start a blog to make money? I created a simple guide for beginners looking to set up a blog as soon as possible and start monetizing it. It’s easier than ever to start your own blog and it’s a must if you want to earn money online.
Blogging is one of the best aspects of my work and I now make over $4,000/month doing it. But it wouldn’t have been possible without first creating a professional-looking site and publishing content on it. Let me walk you through the steps of setting up your money-making blog today.
So many people want to start a blog but think it’s a long process that requires technical knowledge. Well, it isn’t.
Blogging is a wonderful experience. I’ve been doing it for many years now, have learned a lot on the way, and now do it effortlessly.
But it wasn’t so in the beginning.
I had no idea where to start, and had to make some mistakes, waste a ton of time, miss out on important steps and then make up for it with extra work, and more. I never really did my research in the beginning and didn’t learn from those who’ve already achieved what I was after.
That’s why I decided to create a quick guide on how to start a blog to make money. These are the steps you can’t go without, and that’s where your journey begins.
I’ll make it short and to-the-point so that you can get your first piece of content out there as soon as possible.
If you want to learn all the juicy details about blogging and monetizing a site, here’s my complete guide on how to start a profitable blog.
How to Start a Blog to Make Money in 2018: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners
Some of the links in this post are affiliate, which means I’ll earn a small commission in case you decide to buy a product or sign up for a service through them. This adds no cost to you, but helps keep this site sustainable.
Click here to start a blog on WordPress, then use the tutorial below for the easy directions.
1. Find your niche.
In the digital world, they say that the riches are in the niches.
There are 2 ways you can go about this: you can either choose a broad subject (like personal development) and niche down once you find your voice and have some readers. Or you can start blogging about something specific, which you have enough knowledge about, and see where that takes you (such as productivity tips for freelance writers, best places for digital nomads to work in Thailand, relationship advice for mums-to-be, etc).
Truth is, there’s too much of everything out there. So if you don’t have anything useful to say, your blog won’t stand out.
Make sure you know something about the topic you’ll cover, but also be interested in it, care about the problem you’ll solve with your content, and make sure there are others out there wanting to read about it.
You can dominate even a crowded niche if you’re serious about it, publish content frequently, include your unique voice, establish yourself as an authority in the field, and hang around long enough to be noticed and get traffic.
Once you find your niche, choose a domain name connected to it. That’s how your site is called, in my case it’s letsreachsuccess.com
2. Choose a hosting provider.
The next step in this tutorial on how to start a blog to make money is getting the hosting that will make your site live. It’s basically space where all your data resides.
My choice is Bluehost, one of largest and most trusted web hosting services that powers millions of sites. You can click here to purchase a domain name and create a blog, before you even have an idea for your first blog post.
The sign-up process is simple. Once you visit their site, and click the ‘Get Started Now’ green button, you’re taken to a page where you can select your plan.
I’m currently using Plus, but started with the basic one when I had less traffic and was new to this.
The next steps are as follows:
- Pick your domain name
- Enter the details about your account
- Select your plan
- Enter billing info
Once you’re done, you’ll receive an email from them. The login info is there.
Go back to Bluehost after that and simply login with your email address and the password your chose.
You have the server space for your blog, now you need a publishing platform where you can manage your content, and have the freedom to do things like open up a store and sell your digital or physical products, let people comment and share your content, optimize for traffic, edit your posts and style them in a beautiful way, choose a theme and design your website to look appealing to visitors, and do all sort of other things, without any knowledge about coding.
There are many blogging platforms and content management systems (CMS) out there, free or paid, but WordPress has always been number 1. If you want to know how to start a blog to make money, you need to be using it together with a trusted hosting provider like Bluehost.
Chances are, whichever popular site you’re a fan of, it’s hosted on WordPress.
People who aren’t serious about taking their blog to the next level and don’t want the freedom to do more with it and the ability to have full control over their site, can sign up with wordpress.com.
But the real deal is a self-hosted site with wordpress.org. That’s where you’re the owner of the domain name, and have the chance to make this website popular, make it look the way you want, and also start making money from it.
This guide on how to start a blog is about working with Bluehost as a hosting provider, and WordPress as a blogging platform.
So here’s how to combine the two by installing WordPress and finally get your site up and running (these are basically the next steps after creating an account in Bluehost):
How to Install WordPress on Bluehost with One Click
Log in, go to cpanel and click Install WordPress.
The next actions you’ll need to take to start a blog to make money are obvious. It’s also when you’ll choose your account details for WordPress.
After a successful installation, you’ll get an email with your WordPress login info and can then enter your new website.
First, you’ll need to choose the theme of your blog by simply going to Appearance/Themes on the left sidebar in your dashboard. Take some time to choose something which looks good but also makes it easy for the visitor to navigate.
There are plenty of choices, so just pick one you like, see it’s additional info and decide whether it’s the right one for your goals. Then, install it and play with it a little as there are ways to customize it and make it look even better.
If you want to check out some premium themes, ThemeForest are killing it.
Once you do that, you’ll be ready to publish your first post or page!
Next Steps to Start Making Money Blogging
Make Money Freelancing (Aside from Blogging)
Only half of my income comes from Let’s Reach Success (through sponsored posts). The other half is from freelance writing.
All experts suggest that freelancing (or getting paid for your services online) is the quickest way to jumpstart your career in the digital world. You could be doing it on the side while growing your blog.
Because freelancing has given me the freedom and independence to live the life I want, I wanted to share the exact steps I took to get there.
Everyone willing to make their first money online and ditch the 9 to 5 can follow them. So I created a free course which is the blueprint I used to define my niche, become a freelancer with no experience, set up profiles on the right sites for freelancers, create my portfolio, find my first freelance client and make my first dollars. Check out How to Make Your First Money Online Freelancing:
Monetize your blog through affiliate marketing.
Many bloggers and online influencers skip over affiliate marketing. They either think it’s too hard, that it’s a waste of time, that they will turn followers away, or that their followers just won’t be interested.
However, if you’re not earning money through affiliate marketing, you are leaving money on the table.
Although the basic concept is easy (link to other people’s products and services and earn a commission each time you make a sale), it’s actually all about creating systems, building trust, writing a ton of content and doing a lot of work. So I decided to purchase an online course from one of the best in the niche – Michelle from Making Sense of Cents. She built a 6-figure blog without millions of visitors or selling her soul. She’s now earning $50K/month solely through affiliate marketing so she shows what she’s doing. And she has created a course about it sharing her best tips.
Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing is a step-by-step affiliate marketing strategy course that shows you how to increase your affiliate income and make more money blogging. It’s also the first online course I ever purchased and totally worth the investment.
In it, she covers:
- What affiliate marketing is and how it works
- Why affiliate marketing is great
- The exact steps she’s taken to earn over $300,000 from a single blog post
- How to pick the right affiliate products to promote
- How to increase conversions
- How to build trust and not lose followers
- Required disclosures that you need to know about
- The one major tool you need for affiliate marketing
- Different strategies to use to promote your affiliate products
- How to use Pinterest to succeed at affiliate marketing.
If you too want to start a blog to make money and want to monetize through affiliate marketing, check out Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing.
Additional resources to help you on your blogging journey
Blogging Resources – To build a powerful site that turns visitors into buyers and monetize it well, you will need the right tools. In my Blogging Resources page, I’ve gathered the best of the best and the exact tools I’ve used to grow Let’s Reach Success and be able to make a full-time living as a location independent freelance writer.
4 Ideas for Side Hustles – Check out 4 side hustles you can start on your own and no later than this weekend that can be your chance to achieve financial independence.
My Monthly Income Reports – If you’re curious how bloggers make a living online, check out my income reports. I publish these monthly and share all the numbers together with the lessons I learned and the new things I’m working on.
How to Write and Publish Your First Book in Less Than 30 Days – Check out my guide on how to become a self-published author in less than a month. I’ve published plenty of eBooks and have included all the steps you need to go through, from choosing your niche and word count and committing to writing the content to editing, formatting and marketing the book.
How I Make a Living with Sponsored Posts – My monthly income reports won’t be complete without sharing the how-to of sponsored posts. That’s how I earn half of my income. In this post, I share more about how I started with it and what I charge.
So, are you ready to start a money-making blog today?
Click here to start setting up your new site now for less than $5 per month and begin your journey to making money online.
That’s how to start a blog to make money. Best of luck! Pin the image below if you found this post useful.