So you want to learn how to create a successful blog.
Not only is blogging a great pastime, it allows you to express yourself in a unique way, help others with problems you’ve overcome, establish yourself as an expert, and make money.
This comprehensive resource will walk you through the process to set up your blog in just 12 easy steps…
How to start a blog in 12 simple steps:
- Decide what to start a blog about (your niche)
- Choose a blogging platform (CMS)
- Pick a great web host
- Set up your blog's hosting
- Choose and register a domain name
- Build a blog design, starting with a great theme
- Install essential blogging plugins
- Create your important pages
- Brainstorm blog categories
- Make a blog content strategy and editorial calendar
- Publish your first blog posts
- Start growing your audience
The goal of this guide is for you to start a blog TODAY. Not tomorrow, next week, or next month… but right now.
From 5+ years of coaching and helping friends with their blogs, I’ve found that most people make the same mistakes, sometimes resulting in them abandoning the project altogether…
We don’t want that to happen to you!
Here's the deal:
Today I want you to take the time to thoroughly read this post. It’s pretty long, but it is a blogging for beginners course so it should all be easy for you to follow.
You’ve probably been putting this off for a while, I want you to set up your blog and share your knowledge with the world.
If you are a creator and not just a consumer, then commit to starting your blog today by entering your email below. I will get in touch with you, encourage you, and answer any questions you have.
Ready to create your blog today? Alright, let’s get right into it.
1. Decide what to start a blog about (your niche)
You probably already have a general idea of what to blog about, but let’s look at a few blogging tips for beginners just in case you are not quite there yet.
1. Avoid choosing too broad of a niche
For example, don’t just blog about fitness, blog about marathon running or resistance training in particular. Keeping all of your articles in a tight niche to begin with will help Google to see that your site is an authority on the subject and they will send you more visitors if this is the case.
The above isn’t designed to crush your dreams of making a huge site, this is quite possible later on. You can expand into new categories of course, but it is a lot easier to get the ball rolling with traffic if you stay focused to begin with.
2. Try to create evergreen content.
Write about topics that people will always be searching for, even in the future.
To give an example of this in the fashion niche (Notorious for this problem), people will always be searching for the best flats under $100 – this is unlikely to change massively over the years. If you write about a particular Chanel model that was popular for one season, expect that people may no longer need your content after a short amount of time.
2. Choose a blogging platform (CMS)
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Before you can even start worrying about how your blog will look, you'll need to know the best place to start a blog. This is known as a blogging platform (or content management system in tech-speak).
What are the best blogging platforms?
There are A LOT to choose from. You are able to create a blog with many different blogging platforms, such as Drupal, Tumblr, Blogger and more…
However, given that there are over 72 million active users using
WordPress today, it’s clear that WordPress is the best blog platform
All of my own blogs and sites are built with the WordPress blogging platform.
- It’s FREE for everyone to use: (including themes, layouts, and add-ons that many other blogging platforms don't provide).
- It’s super easy for you to set up on your own: I'll show you exactly how in a little bit…
- It’s safe & secure: WordPress is always updating their software and keeping everything sound and secure, so there’s rarely a worry of having your blog come under hacking attacks. No wonder NASA, Time Magazine, and even top university blogs are using WordPress.
- It's HIGHLY customizable: There are hundreds of free
themes and plugins that add more functionality to your blog, from
contact and subscribe boxes to plugins that improve blog performance
While the other blogging platforms are generally all pretty okay; nothing, in my opinion, has ever come close to matching the freedom and customization options that WordPress offers.
So without a doubt, go with WordPress. Especially when you are just starting out.
Why you shouldn't create a blog on a free blogging platform
Without a doubt, you need to self-host your WordPress blog. This means you are in complete control of your own website and content.
Think about it – what famous, successful blogger you know is using a free blogging website like “startbloggingonline.freeblogsite.com” instead of their own domain name like “StartBloggingOnline.com”, for example?
It’s not just that – free blogging platforms will cause you other headaches too.
It gets worse:
- You don’t control your content: the blogging platform does. They could shut you down anytime, and for any reason.
- The web address of your blog will be long and hard to remember (like www.yourfreeblog.blogspot.com) instead of a catchy, branded address you choose.
- You’re not allowed to advertise on most free blogging platforms, making it much harder to ever make money from blogging.
All of these limitations apply to the WordPress.COM blogs.
What you really want is to self-host a WordPress.ORG blog – it's the same software without all the limitations!
Start with a self-hosted blog on your own domain from day one. That way you won't have to experience the massive technical headache I did when transferring from free hosting to self-hosted blog.
Setting up a blog like this is WAY easier and less expensive than you might think, especially with the special deal and coupon code I've got for you below…
3. Pick a great web host
Finding a domain name and web hosting provider
Now to the exciting part!
To set up a self-hosted blog on your own domain name, you'll need two things:
Domain Name – This will be your personal blog address where people find your awesome articles over and over again. For example, Google's domain is www.Google.com. Your new blog domain name will be www.YourBlogName.com, except you'll choose what's going to be behind YourNewBlog.
Web Hosting – This will be the home of your blog address and content that's on the blog. Without web hosting, you'll be unable to use your domain. Think of it as a computer hard drive that stores all your content on your blog (images, blog posts and so on).
The cost of good web hosting is usually somewhere between $10-15 per month, but you will get over 62% OFF with the coupon code below.
With my special deal for you below the total cost will come out to less than a venti coffee at Starbucks a month – so it won't break the bank.
It's a relatively small, yet extremely important investment for your long-term blogging success.
Where should I get my domain name and hosting?
When it comes to web hosting, there are only three things that matter.
- Page load speed: The average amount of time (in seconds) it takes your blog to load.
- Uptime: How often your site is up and running. 100% uptime is not really realistic, but a very good web hosting company will give you 99.9% uptime.
- Customer service: how responsive your hosting company is if you have a problem.
There are literally THOUSANDS of different web hosting providers.
They all offer you a similar service (domain name + hosting) with a relatively similar price.
And luckily for you, I've already done the research to narrow the list down to the one and only reliable service you should consider using for your first blog.
Note: As a longtime customer and independent review site, we get compensated if you purchase from the referral links below – at no additional cost to you. In fact, we have a killer web hosting discount coupon so you will actually pay less for the same service through the links below.
Remember, I want to help you avoid the same mistakes I made when I first got into the blogging world, and save you from experiencing any sleepless nights from scrambling to get your website back online.
I've dealt with and monitored many famous and recommended web hosting companies like Bluehost, iPage, Godaddy etc…but now I only use and recommend HostGator.com for 62% off your web hosting
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- Free SSL Certificate
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HostGator gets my vote as the best web hosting for blogging on WordPress since they really care about helping bloggers like you and me get started as quickly and easily as possible.
Want to know the best part?
Since I've been using HostGator for so long they gave me a special coupon to get my readers out on the blogosphere for cheap…
Typically you'd have to shell out over $10 per month to get a plan with a premium host but today you can get started for only $2.64/month.
That's 62% OFF on the only hosting plan you'll ever need with coupon code “startblog“.
But like all great deals this opportunity won't be around forever…
You'll need to act quickly because the exclusive HostGator deal from the link below expires when the clock strikes midnight at the end of May, 2019.
This is the best price for blog hosting you'll find anywhere. For just $2.64/month you have little to lose – and only tons of fun blogging experience to gain.
What makes HostGator so great?
Nothing has ever come close to HostGator for me in terms of blog load speed and uptime!
HostGator has great performance, they are easy to use, and it's absolutely the best pick for beginners like you.
Additionally, HostGator is one of the few places supplying web hosting with free SSL certificate as part of the package. The SSL not only adds trust with Google, but with your site visitors as well!
With an SSL Certificate, your domain name will start with HTTPS and show up as Secure with a padlock next to the URL in a browser like this:
Basically, with HostGator your website will look legit from Day 1.
I honestly believe HostGator is the best domain hosting provider, but you can always go with another hosting service as long as it's fast, reliable, offers unlimited bandwidth, and a free SSL certificate. This helps you to avoid problems later on.
Now that we’ve gone through the basics of blogging platforms, it’s time to start walking the walk!
With the next step, we’ll get your blog set up and running.
Let's get crackin':
4. Set up your blog's hosting
If you don't have a hosting or a domain name yet – don't worry. I'll be showing this in a minute…
At the end of this step you will have a fully working self-hosted WordPress blog on your own domain name!
Sounds promising, huh?
If for some reason you don't want to use HostGator, you can always choose another hosting provider. I can't promise they'll be that good, but the registration and the setup process should be somewhat similar.
Unlike HostGator, some hosting companies also do not have one-click install for WordPress. If that's the case, see this guide for installing WordPress manually (not recommended for beginners, though).
Remember: Since I'm using HostGator myself too, I’ve got an exclusive HostGator promo code for you as thanks for using this guide (62% OFF).
You will get premium hosting for only $2.64/month instead of $6.95! You will not find a deal this good anywhere else…
It gets better:
The coupon code “startblog” will be applied automatically when you click the link below! Enjoy
Don't delay since this amazing HostGator deal at the link above expires at the end of May, 2019.
5. Choose and register a domain name
If you already have a domain name, then just enter it in the right hand tab (I already own this domain) and keep reading…
How to choose a domain name
Choosing a bad domain name is one of the most common mistakes I see bloggers make. Be sure you choose a domain name that is…
- Easy to Remember: Don’t choose a nonsense name, something tough to spell, or a long name full of dashes. “best-tech-gadgets-in-the-world.com” won’t ever stick in someone’s head, but something like “techgeeks.com” rolls off the tongue.
- Unique and Descriptive: You want a name that reflects who you are and what you care about. Be creative and build an identity you’re excited about!
- Trustworthy: Domain extensions like “.com”, “.org” or “.net” are the most popular, with “.com” being the one most people think of first. Try to avoid crazy extensions like “.rocks” or “.biz”, as these are less commonly used, tougher to remember and not as trusted.
- Not your own name: There may come a day when you wish to sell your website. It makes it very hard to do so if the domain name is your own name!
- Is your own name: On the flip side, some people are blogging for personal fame and fortune. If this is you, and you are never going to sell your site this is the option for you. For example, if my name was Jessica Blackstone”, I would go for the domain name “jessicablackstone.com”.
Type the domain name you want to use in the “Enter Your Domain” box, then choose “.com” from the dropdown. If the name is available, you’ll be able to claim it. If it's not available, choose another one.
If the name you want isn’t available, HostGator will show you some alternatives that are similar – or you can punch in a new name and try again. I'd suggest you use something that ends with .com, .net or .org
How to create a blog hosting plan
Next I recommend the “Hatchling” plan for now – you can always upgrade later if you decide you want more advanced features, but you get more than enough to get started with Hatchling.
Next you will enter your contact and billing information as you would when making a purchase pretty much anywhere online, after which you will have to option to add or remove extras.
I would take a look at each of these additional services to see if you want any of them, but they are not 100% necessary for you at this stage, so for our example I have removed them.
You’ll see that it says “$250.20” as the hosting subtotal, but the “startblog” promotion code will be applied and as you can see, the total is update to $95.08.
Also, you will only pay $5 for your domain name instead of $15!
In the amount due, you have saved over $165.00! (See image below if you are unsure if your discount has been applied.)
Complete your blog hosting registration
Once you are happy that everything is correct with your order details, the only remaining step is to agree to the terms and services and click the “Checkout Now!” button.
How to create a blog on WordPress in your new account
It may take a few minutes for HostGator to register your account, so be patient. You will get a confirmation email from HostGator, and another from [email protected] when your new WordPress website is officially ready.
With most web hosting companies you would now have to go into what is known as ‘cPanel’ and install the WordPress content management system onto your hosting account, but guess what?
HostGator will do all of that for you so there isn’t even any need to learn how to install WordPress in cPanel when you sign up through my link!
Log in and check out your new blog
So now you have the email (shown above) that shares your login information, including the “Admin URL” (this is the “Log in here” URL in the email).
To log in to your blog, click this URL. If you forget this URL, it’s simply yournewblog.com/wp-admin (where “yournewblog” is your domain name).
You now know how to make a blog using WordPress. You've got WordPress installed and your blog set up, all on your own! (Well… almost! )
As you can see, it was really easy and straightforward.
Now that you know how to start a blog, read on to learn how to design your blog on WordPress and make your very first post.
6. Build a blog design, starting with a great theme
In this section, I’ll show you some WordPress blog basics, including:
- Changing your blog's design
- How to make a blog search engine friendly
If you’ve set up your blog, you’re now ready to start using WordPress and customizing your blog. I promise – it'll be pretty easy and fun at the same time.
Remember: You can log in to your blog by going to yourblog.com/wp-admin/ and using the credentials you set up with HostGator or any other hosting company you used.
Change your blogs design (themes & layouts)
WordPress blogging platform uses design templates called “WordPress Themes” to figure out how your site should look. Changing your blog's layout and design is as simple as installing a new theme.
There are over 2,000 professionally designed, fully-customizable and free themes to choose from – so you’ve got a lot of options. If you want to see premium themes and designs like the Genesis Framework, head over to Themeforest.net.
Here's how to find and install a theme you'll love:
When you log in for the first time, you’ll see a dashboard or admin panel that looks something like this:
Mouse-over the “Appearance” tab in the WordPress sidebar, then click on “Themes”.
On the next screen, you’ll see several themes are already installed. If you don’t like those, click the “Add New” button at the top, or the great big “Add New” square to start searching for a theme.
Now, you'll see tabs where you'll find featured, popular and brand new themes, as well as a “Feature Filter” and search bar.
I really like the “Feature Filter” option, because you can choose themes in certain color schemes, select specific layouts and even choose themes with built-in advanced features.
Just choose the options you want, then click “Apply Filters” on the left hand side. If you’re finding this challenging, just search by keyword – there’s no wrong way!
When you’ve found a theme you like, click “Install”. You’re nearly done! Once the theme has been installed, all that’s left to do is click “Activate” on the next screen:
Configuring your blog to be search engine friendly
There a couple of things you need to do to make your blog more search engine friendly.
First, get rid of ugly and clumsy URLs like:
A much better way is to use: yourblog.com/how-to-start-a-blog
See the difference? One is filled with irrelevant information and the other one is short, clean, neat and contains the theme of our article which in this case is “how to start a blog“.
In order to change your links to a more cleaner, click on the Settings > Permalinks and use the following settings:
Secondly, prevent spam comments.
Unfortunately, lots of people want to leave automated spam comments on your blog. They do that for a couple of reasons – to get people from your blog to their blog and to advertise their services/products.
To avoid that, make sure you moderate your comments. Here's how to do that:
Go to Settings > Discussion and tick these two options.
7. Install essential blogging plugins
So, you might feel like a kid in a candy store when you first get to searching for plugins in the back end of WordPress, but hold your horses there! The first thing you need to know is that it is not a good idea to install too many plugins because…
- Installing lots of plugins WILL slow your site down
- Building on the above, low quality plugins are ‘heavy’ and will slow your site more
- Some plugins cause conflicts when used together and this may crash your site!
I have done a ton of experimentation over the years to find the essential WordPress plugins for bloggers and here are the only plugins I feel you need to begin with. These guys will play nicely together so there is no risk to your site either.
To find them, simply head to your WordPress dashboard and go to Plugins > Add New and type the name of each plugin into the search field.
1. Rank Math
Although we have covered some basics of setting your site up correctly for search engines, the Rank Math plugin will help to add a few more valuable SEO tweaks, and on top of this you get to learn how to use SEO in your actual articles in a completely painless way and for free!
Jetpack has a ton of features, but here are a few of my favorites:
- Social sharing buttons
- Site monitoring (is your website up and available to the public?)
- Easy to create and activate contact forms
- Brute force attack protection (security)
- Image CDN (Puts all your images on their server so your site loads faster)
- Site stats (give you data about how well you are doing for visitor traffic)
Plus around 20 more features!
This may sound like it flies in the face of having too many plugins on your site, but with Jetpack, the plugin is…
- Made by Automattic, the creators of WordPress so it will always be updated and secure
- The code is incredibly clean and light
- If you are not using some of the features just switch them off and they are no longer loaded on your site (no excess bulk code that you don’t need)
- Removes the need to add multiple other plugins which do the same jobs
3. WP Super Cache
This plugin will help you to make your site faster by serving a cached version to your visitors. This is very important as it will both directly and indirectly help your site to get more traffic from Google.
4. UpdraftPlus – Backup/Restore
Although your host will usually have a backup of your site and/or be able to roll your site back if you break something, I always hover on the side of caution and create my own site backups. This plugin will take care of that by regularly sending a copy of all your sites files to Dropbox, Google Drive, or one of many other services so you always have the peace of mind of knowing you will never lose all of your hard work.
When you are creating articles you will no doubt be adding images, and these images are often the largest parts that your site has to load for visitors. If these image files are too big then it can really cause problems for your loading time. Optimole reduces the size of these files so that the site runs like greased lightning for your visitors, but that's not all it does.
Once you get the basics of blogging down and you want to start adding great looking design features, buttons, graphics, social sharing widgets, carousels, and a whole bunch of other stuff you NEED to see (you can customize your whole website without knowing any coding at all!)
You can’t go wrong with Elementor. It’s incredibly easy to use and you’ll find it invaluable on your new website.
And that’s it!
You will of course end up installing more plugins at some point later in your blog’s life, but the above are what I consider some of the best WordPress plugins for news sites and they are more than sufficient to get you off to a fantastic start with your site.
8. Create your important pages
One of the first things you will likely be a little confused about when you get into the admin area is the difference between WordPress pages vs posts. I like to think of it this way:
What are pages in WordPress?
Pages are not the actual ‘interesting’ meaty content of your site, they are more likely to be the sort of thing you will find on almost all sites such as the ‘about me’ page or legal pages.
The first thing I'd do is create a proper “About Me” and “Contact” page. This lends some credibility to your site both in the eyes of your visitors, and search engines. Here are two resources I created on these subjects previously.
- Creating a perfect about me page (This is usually the most visited page on your blog)
- Adding a contact page form on your blog (So that your readers could contact you)
As I am not a lawyer, it would be irresponsible for me to tell you what to put on any legal pages you create (so please don’t consider this legal advice), but it is always a good idea to add…
- Terms of service
First of all, don’t panic! This may look like a nightmare but it is really quite painless and there are a couple of ways to go about doing this for free (although you could invest in having a lawyer draw up these pages specifically for your site at a later date).
The second method is to use a WordPress plugin which will essentially do the same thing. This is slightly easier, but I personally prefer to keep plugins to a minimum and usually go the first route.
How to create a WordPress page
Simple, head to: WordPress dashboard > Pages > Add New and a new page will be created. The layout here is very similar to what you see when you create a new post (see below).
9. Brainstorm blog categories
OK so you may now be asking yourself “what categories should I have on my blog?”, and while there is no concrete answer to this it helps to understand what categories are actually used for on WordPress.
Basically, categories are a blog topics list to help visitors zoom in on the particular subject matter that interests them the most by placing them in a neat section.
Let’s take our marathon running example from earlier…
Of course, our overarching theme here is marathon running, but the marathon specific categories which sit under this might look something like this:
- Diet and Nutrition
You get the idea right? You often see links to a sites multiple category pages like this on the sidebar or in the header menu on a website.
Don’t get overwhelmed with this to begin with!
As mentioned earlier in step 1 on choosing a niche, pick a couple of categories to start the ball rolling and post heavily on those first as this will show Google you are an authority on these ‘sub-niche’ subjects and they will send you more traffic. Later as you start coming up with more ideas for articles you can begin to add more categories as you see fit.
10. Make a blog content strategy and editorial calendar
This might sound like a boring stage that you can just skip right?
You know what you want to write about so why not just get on with it!
Well, there are a couple of reasons:
- Spending a day strategizing your posts for the next month allows you to just get to writing every day without having to sit down and think about it. This will turn you into a blog engine which pumps out content.
- Placing your planned posts into an editorial calendar is like setting goals and will help you stick to a structured plan.
How to create a content strategy
With regards to your content strategy, try to plan out all of the different articles you want to get written for the upcoming month.
- What will the title/headline be?
- What will the subsections (subheaders) be?
- What are the particular keywords this site will target?
- What are a couple of great resources you can look into about this subject matter?
- Is this related in some way to existing content you have written? If yes, make a note to link internally to it.
Try to get all of these details down for each article you plan to write for the next month. When it comes time to write you will have everything you need in front of you.
What should you use to make this plan?
You can use something as simple as Google docs or even a text note, but I like Trello as it fits nicely in with learning…
How to create a content calendar
The basics here?
Take each piece of content that you have planned and add it into some sort of calendar system where you can keep track of how you are doing while actually following your plan!
Also be sure to make an appointment with yourself at the end of each month to create your content strategy for the following month so that the cycle continues.
Trello is absolutely amazing for this purpose, you simply create a card for each piece of content which will contain all the details you put together when developing your content strategy. Then you add a deadline to each card which will be the publish date.
You can even add people to your Trello boards at a later date if you start hiring writers, but that’s not the best part. Wait for it…
It’s also free!
More info that you might find interesting:
11. Publish your first blog posts
So you have learned how to start a blog from scratch and by now you should have a fully working WordPress website on your very own domain name. You should also have a custom blog theme that fits with your blog's topic and have a blogging strategy and calendar.
Congrats again – you've done a LOT and I'm proud that you've managed to get so far.
Here in the penultimate step, I’ll show you how to write your first blog post and share some tips for writing blog posts.
In this section, I'll show you…
- How to write a post in WordPress
- How to add images, links and format text in WordPress
- Some quick tips and tricks for writing great content
Using WordPress to blog
To add a new blog post, click the “Posts” section on the left-hand side-menu, then click on “Add New”.
On the next screen you'll see something like this:
You can add the title to your blog post in the top field, and your content goes in the big text box below the title.
You can save your draft or publish your content live by using the box menu on the far right of the page. You can even schedule the post to be published later – or make the post private so only friends can see it.
Once published, your new post can be found in the “All Posts” section of the “Posts” tab, so you can edit it anytime.
Let’s take a quick look at some things you can do to spruce up your post:
How to add images in WordPress
To add an image to your post, click the “Add Media” button right above the lower content field.
Tip: Before you click “Add Media”, be sure you’ve left your cursor inside of your blog post where you want the image to show up. Otherwise, you’ll have to move it later on.
Next, click the “Upload Files” tab on the screen that pops up, then click “Select Files”.
Once you’ve found the file, double-click it and WordPress will upload it automatically.
When the upload is finished, make sure the image you want is selected, then click the “Insert into post” button to add the image to the post you’re writing.
How to add links in WordPress
Linking out to other websites is a great way to build relationships and share interesting content. To add a link, click on the icon in the toolbar that looks a bit like a chain link.
On the pop-up, you’ll need to enter a few important bits of information.
- URL is the web address of the link you want to share. Make sure you include “https://” before the website address, or your link will be broken.
- Link Text is the text you want people to click on to get to your link. It might be “Click here”, or anything you choose.
- Open link in a new window/tab: it’s a smart idea to check this box. Otherwise, when someone clicks your link, they’ll leave your blog.
- If you want to link to existing content, you can use the “Search” section to find a post or page you’ve already created and click it to add a link.
Finally, click “Add Link”, and your link will be added where you left your cursor in the post you were writing.
Adding headers and editing text
It’s a good idea to use headers and bolding to make your content easier to read and scan.
How to add headings and subheadings in WordPress
To add a heading, click on the drop-down menu on the bottom left of the toolbar.
Try to only use “Heading 1” once within your page (usually done automatically with the title so you will probably never need it), and use “Heading 2” or “Heading 3” for other sections in the copy, as this is better for search engines.
Tip: You can also highlight the text you want to change in your blog post, THEN click on the drop-down menu and select the format you want the text to be in.
How to change fonts in WordPress
You can also bold, italicize, underline and even change the color of your text in a click or two.
- “B” is for bolding
- “I” is for italics
- “U” is to underline your text
- “A” will open a dropdown menu where you can select font color
As you can see, this is all pretty simple for anyone who has worked with Microsoft Word before.
Finally, if you are struggling to come up with ideas for your articles then take a look at 135+ blog post ideas for your NEW blog (warning: HUGE list).
12. Start growing your audience
Now that you have set up your blog and know the basics, it's time to make your blog successful. Many beginners struggle at that point, thus I've put together a handful of guides to get you going easier.
First I'd suggest you go and check my blogging resources page. It contains all the content that I've published on StartBloggingOnline.com over the past couple of years.
Read that? Now take a look at these two articles:
- 8 Common blogging mistakes (that many bloggers make, including me)
- Where to find FREE images for websites (without breaking the copyright)
For those who want to learn how to start a blog AND make money
Once you have some content on your blog it's time to get some traffic and make it profitable.
- Submit your site to Google ( and the other search engines)
- How to promote your blog (I've used those techniques personally and they've worked well)
- How to monetize a blog (Affiliate marketing, selling advertising space, getting new clients etc…)
- Add a subscription box (So you could email your blog visitors personally)
- Blog analytics (set up Google analytics to track your blog visitors)
Want to learn more about how to start a blog business and get paid?
Great! I would be more than happy to help you out, head on over to my FREE blogging course signup page and lets get you even more valuable information to help you seriously crush it!
Frequently asked questions about blogging
Q: How do you start your own blog?
A: Simply follow the 12 steps on this page:
- Decide what your blog is about (choose a niche)
- Select the top content management system (CMS)
- Get the fastest WordPress hosting available (at a competitive price!)
- Set up hosting
- Choose and register a domain name
- Design and customize your WordPress blog
- Install the most useful WordPress plugins for blogs
- Add the essential pages for a blog
- Brainstorm popular blog categories in your niche
- Create An Editorial Calendar And Content Strategy
- Publish your first bundle of articles
- Get more traffic to your blog
Go ahead, scroll to the top and you can get started.
Q: What are blogging platforms?
A: A blogging platform is a place that will be home to the content you write on your blog. Some blogging platforms are free, while others are paid. If you intend to make money from your blog then avoid the free platforms.
Q: Which blog site is best for earning money?
A: A private domain name set up on WordPress.org with private hosting is the best blog site type for making money as everything belongs to you and there are no restrictions as to what you can put on your site.
Q: What blog site should I use?
A: WordPress if you intend to make money. It is the most popular platform, powering over 30% of the web! If you just need a free blog maker site for personal blogging, have a look to see which of the best blogging sites is right for you.
Q: Can you teach me how to create a blog for free and make money?
A: Unfortunately not. Most of the free blogging platforms do not allow you to sell or advertise products on their platforms.
Be happy about this however! If anybody could make a website and earn money for free it would be a lot more difficult. The small investment needed is a gateway to entry that keeps those who are not serious out of the picture.
If that interests you, the guide to blogging for beginners laid out on this page is likely the closest thing to free you are likely to find.
Q: How do you start a blog for free?
A: If you are not interested in learning how to start a blog to make money and just want a personal blog then WordPress.com, Medium.com and Blogger.com are some of the top free blogging platforms and are all great choices depending on your needs.
Personally, I would still use WordPress as you can move the blog to a paid option more easily later. Here's an article showing how to make a free WordPress blog.
Q: What should I write about? What blog should I start?
A: Recipe blogs, fitness blogs, and business blogs are some of the most popular. You can get paid to blog about anything just about! Here's how to choose a blog topic that people really want to read about.
Q: Can you really make money from blogging?
A: Of course! I have taught a ton of people how to start a blog and make money with things like Amazon associates and Google AdSense over the years. These huge companies provide ways which allow you to make money with their ads and services, and they definitely wouldn’t waste their time creating these opportunities if blogging for profit didn’t work for both parties.
Q: How do bloggers make money?
A: There are a number of ways including advertising and promoting digital products, but some people just do it for fun. Check out my article on how to monetize a blog.
Q: Are there any other ways to make money with a blog?
A: Yes, here is an in-depth list:
- Affiliate marketing
- Selling your own digital products
- Memberships (recurring)
- Selling the actual website
- Sell courses
- Accepting donations
Q: How do bloggers get paid for blogging?
A: This all depends on how you are monetizing your site, there are many types of blogs that make money, but usually you will receive payment from most companies via direct deposit to your bank account, via check for linking to products (Amazon for example) or by showing advertisements on your site (like Google AdSense).
From here you can move onto more advanced monetization methods, but the above are my recommended ways on how to get paid for blogging on WordPress for the beginners I help.
Q: How much money can you make blogging?
A: It all depends on how hard you are prepared to work at it, but the reality is that the sky’s the limit! Once you have some small successes and start to earn money from your website you can reinvest that money into more writers and multiply your blogging output and financial income.
Q: Is blogging dead?
A: It may feel like you are writing for a ghost town for the first 6-8 months, but no way! Over 409 million people read blog posts every month (and that's just on WordPress!) You're reading one right now in fact!
When you start blogging, just be patient and put out plenty of quality keyword rich articles and traffic will come.
Q: What's the difference between a blog and a website?
A: Blogs are frequently updated with articles while a website is generally “set it and forget it”. Blogs might have fewer features than a website and just focus on creating really good content. For this reason, a blog is more socially active, with shares and comments.
Q: If I buy a domain name do I need hosting?
A: Yes! Think of your domain name as your home address, while hosting is the ground it is built on.
Q: Can I buy a domain from one company and use it at another web host?
A: Yes, this is pretty standard practice and doesn’t complicate the process much.
Q: Is Namecheap a good domain registrar?
A: Yes, I have used Namecheap on many occasions in the past and they are very cheap, but also reliable and well known. Take a look at our Namecheap review for more info.
I would take a look at each of these additional services to see if you want any of them, but they are not 100% necessary for you at this stage.