How To Start A Successful Blog And Make Money

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If you’re already a writer or just love writing, learning how to start a blog and make money is a great way to get paid for doing what you love! And to be honest, you don’t even have to be the best writer. We live in a digital era where more people than ever are online, so interacting with others through a blog is a great idea for anyone. You’ll be able to share your story and what you love, and find people who are interested in the same things as you.

For some, learning about how to start a blog and make money from it can be overwhelming. But the truth is, with the proper guidance, you can have your perfect blog setup today. What’s more, building your community and gaining trust from the readers will lead you to make money from your blog.

I’ve created this comprehensive guide to help you learn how to start a blog and make money. Don’t worry if you don’t have some advanced computer skills – after reading this guide, you’ll know everything about managing a blog without issues, from choosing your domain name to making money from your blog posts. But let’s start with the basics first.

What Is A Blog?

Simply said, a blog is an online journal located on the web. It can also be a website that contains a category of written informational content. A blog is usually a website where writers or groups of writers contribute to different subjects and share their opinions.

The content that is published on a blog is known as blog posts. Usually, the blog posts are displayed in reverse chronological order, with the latest posts appearing first. They can include text, pictures, videos, animated GIFs, and links from other posts or websites.

Writers that write posts on a blog are called bloggers. They often write from a personal perspective and interact with their readers through the “comments” section below each post.

You’re probably wondering why anyone would want to start a blog and be a blogger. Well, there are many reasons to start a blog. The number one reason is that it can easily be monetized. Blogging can help you get potential customers and rank your website higher in search engines. It also has the ability to increase your reach and traffic exponentially.

So How Exactly Do You Start A Blog?

We’ve come to the central part of our guide – how to start a blog. Believe it or not, by following the below-mentioned steps, you can have a blog of your own in less than an hour. Although, you should definitely spend more time brainstorming before moving forward with the setup. Let’s get started and learn how to start a blog and make money.

Choose Your Niche

If you want to start a blog and make money from it, the first thing you have to decide is the niche you’ll be writing about. Think about what your passion is, something that keeps you interested, and you could talk about for hours. Is it health and fitness? Or maybe parenting, home decor, finance, self-development, technology, or something else? Your niche can be anything you’re passionate about! Just keep in mind that not all niches are created equal and some may not get the desired traffic you want.

When choosing a blog niche, remember that readers will come to your blog to learn something from you. For that reason, you’ll have to provide your readers with informative content that will benefit them. It would help if you chose a blog niche that you’re comfortable with and have enough knowledge about. Take my blog for example. It covers all things blogging where I can help others like you learn how to start a blog and make money.

Choose Your Blog Name

Now that you’ve determined the niche you’ll be writing about, it’s time to choose your blog name. It’s always better that your blog name is connected with the blog niche instead of just putting a random name. A great blog name should be well-descriptive so that potential readers can understand what your blog is just from its name.

Keep in mind that the blog name is used as a domain name. Also known as URL, your domain name is your address on the web. It’s an integral part of your blog because it creates the first impression. There are free domain name checkers to check your chosen blog name’s availability. Here is BlueHost’s free domain checker tool you can use right now!

Get Your Blog Online

Okay, you’ve chosen the niche and the blog name, you’ve checked domain availability, so now what? Well, you need to get the blog online! This might sound difficult at first, but don’t worry, as there are great platforms that make the process easy.

To get your blog live and running, you need web hosting and a blogging platform. On a positive note, these things usually come together. Web hosting is a type of internet hosting service that allows you to make your blog accessible via the web. It’s basically a company that stores all files from your blog and delivers them to the users.

The two most popular web hosts for new bloggers are BlueHost and SiteGround. SiteGround is a little more powerful and reliable but they are both great options for beginner bloggers. If you want to start off with a more advanced web host right off the bat then WP Engine is a great option and their plans include access to ALL premium StudioPress themes and the Genesis Framework. If you need help choosing a provider and want to know more about what each one offers, check out our list of best web host providers here.

When it comes to choosing a blogging platform, we recommend you to use WordPress. WordPress is the most popular way to create your own blog. In fact, WordPress powers about 50% of all blogs on the Internet. Through WordPress, you can easily build your blog and customize it according to your preferences. And the best thing is that many web hosts allow you to install WordPress with just a few clicks.

Customize Your Blog

The technical optimizations are now done and it’s time for you to customize your blog and publish your first posts. You can access the WordPress dashboard through your web host account and start customizing right away.

When designing your blog, the first thing you have to consider is the theme. Your WordPress theme plays a crucial role in your blog’s success and SEO optimization. There are thousands of free WordPress themes you can start with, but there are also many paid options. When choosing between a free and paid option, remember why a free theme is free. Free themes often do not come with any support or updates, and are not always as mobile-responsive or user-friendly. This can impact your rating in the search engines.

Unless you have a specific blog design in mind, we suggest using some of the most popular themes that allow designing beautiful websites, such as WPZOOM or StudioPress Themes. The current theme for Chasing Niches is the Balance Theme from WPZOOM and we have had no issues with it. We purchased the All Themes Package which is only $20 more than a single theme and it includes access to all 36 of their themes which can be used on multiple websites.

StudioPress Themes are also great. They are really fast, lightweight, and fully SEO optimized. They are definitely the most powerful themes we have ever tried and it’s powered by the Genesis Framework. We switched our food blog over to one of their themes (Foodie Pro) and it’s been the best decision! We highly recommend you to check them out if you want a more advanced and functional theme.

How to activate your theme:

If you purchased a premium theme then you would first download the zipped file from your dashboard on the theme’s website. To find and activate a theme on your blog, access the ‘Appearance’ category from the WordPress dashboard and click on ‘Themes’. There, you can upload your zipped file and click ‘Install’. Once installed, click ‘Activate’. And that’s it!

Ensure that your blog theme is user-friendly and straightforward, but most importantly, that it’s mobile responsive. These days, it has been estimated that almost 60-80% of users browse blogs from their smartphones, which is why it’s necessary for your blog to be mobile-optimized.

Where to get stock photos:

Another important thing when it comes to blog customization is having beautiful photos on your blog. Photos are a supporting tool of your content that makes your blog posts more visually appealing and interesting to the readers. If you don’t have your own photos to use, feel free to browse for stock images on platforms like Ivory Mix (which has Free Stock Photos and also a VIP Membership), Pixabay (has free and royalty free stock photos), or DepositPhotos (offers monthly and yearly subscription plans).

Add Blog Pages And Posts

Blog Pages are pages such as your About Me, Contact, Blog page, and Category pages. Access the ‘Pages’ category from the WordPress dashboard and click ‘Add New’. You’ll be able to sort the pages and change their names if you need, at any time. Depending on your theme, you can further customize it to fit your needs. If your theme did not come with any built-in tools, there are many plugins you can get such as Elementor or Beaver Builder to help with customization.

Now that everything is settled, you can start adding blog posts, the most exciting part for a blogger! To start blogging, click on the ‘Posts’ category from the dashboard and click ‘Add New’. You’ll notice that there is already a post automatically added on every new WordPress blog. You can easily delete it by clicking on the ‘Trash’ button under the post.

When you click ‘Add New’ post, you’ll be in the editor page. There, you have to add the title, the main content, the category, the photos, meta title and meta description, etc. When it comes to blog posts, it’s necessary for them to be SEO-friendly so that you can be found in search engines and further make money from your blog. If you don’t know much about SEO, you can get a free plugin such as Yoast SEO to give you some helpful tips and an analysis as you write your posts.

Important Content To Include In Your Blog

Apart from the regular posts you’ll be publishing on your blog, there are several important pages you have to include to provide the readers with the tools they need:

About Me Page – this page should include your personal story and the purpose of your blog. Include some details that are relatable to the blog posts you’re writing and tell the readers how your posts will benefit them.

Contact Page – this page should include ways on how the readers can contact you. For example, enter your email address, phone number, street address, etc. Or, you can put a contact form by installing a plugin such as WPForms and readers can easily connect with you. Finally, don’t forget to include links from your social media profiles if you have any.

Getting sued and facing legal problems with your site is REAL and happens every day. It is super important to have your blog set up and protected. But hiring a lawyer to do this for you is crazy EXPENSIVE and you often have to pay them hourly. That’s why I recommend getting legal templates instead. Everything is written out for you and all you have to do is plug your information in and then paste it to your web pages. Going onto someone else’s website and copying and pasting their legal pages is illegal! Protect yourself and your site by doing it the right way.

Amira from A Self Guru is a lawyer herself and has created these templates to save bloggers, like us, time and MONEY! You can purchase each template individually like the Privacy Policy, Terms & Conditions, and Disclaimer templates. But I highly recommend checking out her bundles (this is the one I purchased) to save money and get it at a more discounted price.

These are the legal pages every website needs to have:

Privacy Policy Page – this page should explain how you gather, use and manage users’ data. You must include a Privacy Policy page if you collect data from your visitors in any way. In addition, if you implement Google Analytics or Google AdSense, you’ll be required to have a Privacy Policy page.

Terms & Conditions Page – this page should include rules about how customers use and pay for your products or services. Therefore, make sure to have a Terms & Conditions page if you sell products on your blog.

Disclaimer Page – this page can help protect you from legal liability for the content you produce on your website. This page lets users know that the information on your site is for informational purposes only and that they should seek the proper professional for their specific needs, whether it is medical care or even legal advice. This page can also include your affiliates disclosure.

How To Promote A Blog

Creating a professional blog with great content is just the start. Now, you need to promote it so potential visitors can be aware of your new website. The more visitors you have, the bigger visibility and opportunities are there for making money from your blog. Here are a couple of ways you can try to promote your blog.

Use Social Media

These days, almost every person and every business are present on social networks, posting and sharing informative content with their followers. You can also create accounts on some of the most popular social media networks like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, etc. and reach a bigger audience.

Post links from your blog posts on your social media accounts and make sure to post relevant articles from other sources that would benefit the readers. Try to engage with your followers and reply to their comments or private messages every now and then. If someone finds your content interesting, they might share it on their private accounts and help you gain more followers.

Connect With Other Bloggers

Another great way to promote your blog and gain more visitors is to engage with other bloggers in the same niche. This can open a place for collaboration with other bloggers such as guest post opportunities or shout outs, something which will benefit both parties. Who knows, maybe the readers of someone else’s blog would become your readers too!

Engage With Your Readers

Just like it’s important to engage with your followers on social networks, it’s also important to engage with the readers that leave comments on your blog posts. You won’t always have the time to respond to every single comment but remember to at least answer any questions anyone has.

Post On A Regular Basis

If you want to have a huge community on your blog which will help you make money from it, you have to post new content on a regular basis. You can create a content calendar that will make it easier for you to keep up with the work. In the beginning, a good blogger will try to post consistently 2-3 times a week. You want to post regularly and keep your readers engaged.

Use Email Marketing

And the last but not least way for promoting your blog is email marketing. You can add a subscription form on your blog site where readers will leave their email addresses. Then, you can notify them when you add new blog posts or have promotions to share with them.

This will help you make readers come back to your blog, so you can build a closer relationship. There are some email marketing tools with free plans that allow you to add a simple code to your blog and it will place a form to collect email addresses. ConvertKit is great for beginner bloggers and has a free plan for up to 1000 subscribers. Constant Contact is the best choice for professionals and growing businesses and they offer a free 60-day trial to test out their features.

How To Make Money From A Blog?

Once you’ve set your blog, written a great number of posts and gained an audience, you are ready to make money blogging. Blogs have the potential to be extremely profitable, but it could take eight months or a year to see a great enough stream of income. Blogging requires attention and commitment, and once you have built a community, there are a number of ways to make money from your blog.

On-Page Advertising

One of the easiest ways to start making money from your blog is through on-page advertising. Once your blog became popular and you have a large audience, you can apply for Google AdSense and start adding ads on your blog to earn from traffic. All you have to do is to place the Google AdSense code into your posts and the ads will start running. Every time someone views or clicks on an ad posted on your blog, you’ll earn a commission.

If you have higher traffic, you can sign up for ad networks with higher payouts such as Mediavine and AdThrive.

Affiliate Marketing

Another great way to make money blogging is through affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission by promoting other people’s or company’s products. You can easily join an affiliate network, such as ShareASale, to find programs to promote. Your job is to find products you like and that could provide value to your readers, generate links and share them. When your readers click on the links and purchases some of the products you promote, you earn a commission. However, don’t forget to include a disclosure that you are an affiliate for that product.

Selling Your Products And Services

If you have your own products and/or services, selling them through your blog is a great way to monetize the blog and increase your income. Or, you can create your own products after you’ve gained a community and sell the products to the readers. For example, you can sell e-books, e-courses, video tutorials, memberships, and more. On top of that, all these products and services are digital, so you won’t have shipping costs! You just need to find an online course creation platform such as Teachable or Thinkific to get you started.

In Conclusion

Congratulations! You’ve learned how to start a blog and make money. You know how to set your domain name, web hosting and blogging platform, and learned ways you can monetize your blog.

Starting a blog can be a challenging, but exciting experience. You might find it hard at the beginning, but once you understand how managing a blog works, you’ll have a great time creating top-notch content and growing your audience.

Once you’ve customized your blog and promoted it on the internet, you can start making money from it with the above-mentioned steps. And remember, hard work and consistency is the key to having a successful blog that brings you extra income!

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5 months ago

Very helpful, for me I just knew I wanted to write and share my passion. I wish I have this article before.

5 months ago

These are great tips – all true and relevant for new bloggers!

5 months ago

This was very informative. I’ve been blogging about a year but hadn’t heard of those sites you mentioned regarding stock photos. I’m looking forward to checking those out! Thanks for sharing!