Have you ever wondered if anyone can start a blog to make money?
Happily, blogging can become a part-time job or even a full-time business.
It all depends on the knowledge and dedication of the individual or team.
- 1 How Much Does it Cost to Start a Blog?
- 2 Step 1: Choose a Niche
- 3 Step 2: Choose a Domain Name
- 4 Step 3: Choose a Web Hosting Service
- 5 Step 4: Choose a WordPress Theme
- 6 Step 5: Install WordPress Plugins
- 7 Step 6: Connect Google Analytics
- 8 Step 7: Connect Google Console
- 9 Step 8: Connect Bing Console
- 10 Step 9: Legal and Informational Pages
- 11 Step 10: Menus and Categories
- 12 Step 11: Keyword Research Tools
- 13 Step 12: Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- 14 Step 13: Ways to Make Money Blogging
- 15 Step 14: Advertise your Blog
- 16 Final Thoughts
- 17 External Resources
How Much Does it Cost to Start a Blog?
To start a blog it costs anywhere between $15.00 to $34.00 monthly.
Costs to start a blog could be much higher if consumers purchase premium domains and dedicated hosting.
However, it’s possible to start a website for free without paying a single dime. Once you choose a web hosting provider and a domain name registrar, it’s time to build a blog from scratch. To start a blog, there are many components needed to make the entire thing work.
Think of a blog as a team of players working together to reach a common goal. The primary goal of a blogger is to inform readers what’s going on in a specific industry.
Some industries include:
However, if the blog you create has a weak or missing component, it may not be an effective communicator.
Here are the key components you will need to create a blog that works effectively:
*Keyword Research Tool
Step 1: Choose a Niche
How to Start a Blog to Make Money
When you first sit down to see a movie, you never start seeing the movie during the last action scenes. Similar to a blog, users need to start from the beginning and choose a niche they find interesting. What is a niche?
A niche is a targeted audience within a large industry like health and fitness or information technology. Why not talk about a large industry?
There are too many categories within big industries that one person can’t cover. You would need a team of writers and a huge budget to write about everything in one industry. However, if you picked a niche from a large industry like ‘home workouts’, this would have an audience.
Now you can easily create content about home workouts, and maybe later add outdoor workouts. As a one person team, you need to start your blog with a small niche and then later expand as you grow.
Niche Ideas for Blogging
Finding a niche is my favorite part because I get to discover fresh ideas every time I research.
What are the big industries?
- Health Services
- Financial Services
- Consumer Services
- Transportation Services
- Business Services
- Construction Services
- Government Services
- Real Estate Services
- Retail Services
- Security Service
Step 2: Choose a Domain Name
Now that you have selected a niche, it’s time to relate your domain name to your blog’s theme. As an example, we will use digital marketing as our primary theme and social media as our chosen niche. How would you name your domain?
Here are a few simple rules to follow when naming your domain.
- Don’t copy or use a brand name in your domain; For example, don’t use Pinterestwizards.com. Pinterest is copyright protected, and they can take legal action against you.
- Don’t create a domain that has ONE specific category; For example, socialmediawizards.com is not bad. The problem is that you might want to expand into bigger categories later on.
- I recommend creating a domain name that is not tied to a specific category. For example, my website name is Limberlink.com. Limber Link stands for a link that’s very flexible; My website is a flexible link that connects people to digital marketing and home jobs.
Domain Name Ideas
When creating a domain name, use short, easy to remember names. Always use the commercial domain .com extension; Other domain extensions like .net or .org don’t have the same search engine ranking power.
My two favorite places to purchase a domain are Namecheap.com and Godaddy.com. In addition, Godaddy.com auctions premium domain names which cost higher than a regular one.
The difference is that premium domains are not new, and they have established authority to rank faster in search engines.
So if you have a sizeable budget, go to the auction market in Godaddy.com and place your bids. Note that many website hosting providers like Bluehost.com offer domain registration. However, if you move to another hosting provider, your domain will remain registered with the initial hosting service.
I enjoy creating domain names, so I will give you a few examples you can use.
- Sports: exercisehub.com, strongandsteady.com, disciplinedbody.com, powerimpact.com, actiontraining.com.
- Health: aliveandwell.com, lovinglife.com, redhealthyheart.com, feelgoodhub.com, happybody.com.
- Life: pathtovictory.com, standstrong.com, livetotell.com, lifetimehub.com, nonstopjourney.com.
- Careers: teamconnections.com, keystosuccess.com, reachandteach.com, educateandcreate.com, universalgrowth.com.
- Hobby: dreamdance.com, artandcolors.com, snapshothub.com, kitchenfever.com, craftyhomeideas.com.
- Technology: smartwebhub.com, techgeekideas.com, webengine.com, cyberchiphub.com, generationmicro.com.
- Misc: laughinglab.com, fatgreencoin.com, voiceforshare.com, travelrocket.com, petinvasion.com.
Step 3: Choose a Web Hosting Service
A web hosting service allows you to create and host a website on the internet. When choosing a hosting service, these are the crucial factors to consider:
- Customer Support- It’s important to have reliable support specially in the beginning when you are creating your first website.
- Features- Before committing to a hosting service, review their features and see which content management systems they offer. They should offer WordPress as one of their main platforms.
- Performance- Examine their performance status like website speed, downtime, and cached options.
- Pricing- Ask yourself, is the price worth it for the features they offer. Some hosting services have more features for a higher monthly fee.
Here are my top 5 Web Hosting Services
Since you are just started out, there’s no need to have additional features for a brand new website. I recommend working on one website and add basic features to go live on the internet.
Your hosting provider will help you get started by showing the steps needed to set up WordPress. WordPress is the easiest content management system to learn for beginners. If you need help to set up anything on WordPress, go to YouTube and you will find thousands of tutorials.
Step 4: Choose a WordPress Theme
It’s time to use artists skills to design a website that will catch our reader’s attention.
There are two options, you can use a free WordPress theme provided by your hosting service or paid. Paying for a theme is unnecessary but it will give you more customization options.
Here are my top 5 WordPress Theme Shops
Keep in mind that some free WordPress themes are upgradeable later down the road. For example, I recommend using the free version of Generate Press theme to start a new website. Once you make money, you can upgrade and purchase the full version of Generate Press.
Step 5: Install WordPress Plugins
My number one rule is the fewer plugins the better the performance.WordPress plugins are small programming language codes inserted into your website.
Depending on the quality of the plugin, they can slow down your website. Use the most updated, popular and commonly used plugins on your website.
Here is a list of my recommended WordPress plugins:
- Yoast SEO by: Team Yoast
- EWWW Image Optimizer by: Exactly WWW
- Envira Gallery by: Envira Gallery Team
- AddtoAny Share Buttons by:AddtoAny
- Cookie Notice by:dFactory
When installing WordPress plugins, set up the Yoast SEO plugin first. Setting up Yoast right away allows us to prepare in case we need to publish articles right away. To get started, go to YouTube and find videos on setting up Yoast SEO plugin.
Step 6: Connect Google Analytics
Once you write articles many people will visit your website to read them. However, you will not know how many people visited your website and read your posts.
With Google Analytics connected to your site, it will display loads of data about who visits your site. Google Analytics is like your personal news reporter that provides intelligent information about your website traffic.
Google Analytics Tracks:
- Who and were your visitors are coming from
- What they are looking for
- When and at what times they visit
- Where visitors go and how they exit
- Why they visit and the pages they visit
- How they found your website and where they go
The best part of Google Analytics is that it’s a free program and performs better than most paid software programs.
Begin using Google Analytics by visiting analytics.google.com website to register an account. Go to YouTube and find useful videos on how to set up analytics to your website.
Step 7: Connect Google Console
The most important part of setting up your website for success is to install Google Analytics before Console. Google Console is like a car mechanic that checks the engine performance of your vehicle. With Console, it will notify you of any errors that may cause performance issues to your site.
Google Console Errors include:
- Site map errors
- Page errors
- Site link errors
- Mobile errors
- Speed errors
- URL errors
- Coverage errors
Google Console is a superb place to fix all kinds of issues and keep your site running strong. I recommend connecting Google Analytics to the Console so they can share important data. To begin, go to YouTube and find quality videos on how to set up and connect Google Console.
Step 8: Connect Bing Console
Did you know that Google is not the only popular search engine in the planet?
Microsoft Bing has their own search engine and they can help you bring more readers to your blog. Go to Bing webmaster tools and sign up for an account.
Since you registered with Google Console, you can import your settings using your Google account. Go to YouTube, and search for videos on how to complete the entire process.
Step 9: Legal and Informational Pages
The fourth page is the easiest one to create, name it ‘Contact’ for people to get in touch with you. With a brand new website, I usually write my website email address and social media links. Later down the line you can invest in creating a contact form using a dedicated WordPress plugin.
The About Page is Important
The last piece of information and the most important is the ‘About’ page. The About page should discuss a little about the author and the mission of the website.
I have to be honest that I often check the About pages of other websites I like just to learn a little more about the author. Again, you don’t have to write your life story but a short reason you started the website is super helpful.
Things to add to your About page:
- Author’s image
- Author’s story
- Author’s contact information
- Website’s mission
- Website’s most helpful posts
Step 10: Menus and Categories
Before we write, we need to build our menus and category sections to have everything organized. For now, create two menus in WordPress, name one ‘Main Menu’ and ‘Footer Menu’.
Create at least one ‘Category’ for your posts in the categories section. This way when you post your first article, you already have a category created. The more organized your blog is, the more attractive it will look to your readers. For example, if you will blog about cars, a category could be sports cars.
Move your footer menu to the footer bar in the widgets section. To learn how to create a menu and organize your pages, go to YouTube and find a tutorial.
Step 11: Keyword Research Tools
Before you write, you need to research topics related to your niche. The best way to find plenty of topics to write about, is to research keywords. Luckily, there are various keyword research tools both paid and free to use.
My Favorite Tools for Keyword Research:
- Google Keyword Planner (Free)
- Ubersuggest (Free)
- Wordstream (Free)
- Soovle (Free)
- Tools SEO Book (Free)
- Ahrefs (Paid)
- Keywords Everywhere (Paid)
- Semrush (Paid)
- Jaxxy (Paid)
- Secockpit (Paid)
When starting a new blog, you need to find 30 keywords related to your niche. These keywords are the most important ones that will build the foundation of your website.
Once you have your most critical keywords, you can begin writing articles. Keep in mind, each keyword must be strategically placed inside your post. The process is called search engine optimization (SEO) and it helps Google and other search engines understand your article.
Step 12: Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
When you write an article, there are two types of readers, your audience (humans) and search engines (robots). While you may be an expert writer, search engines like Google may have a hard time understanding your content.
Therefore, you need to know a little about SEO.
SEO is one method of marketing your blog to attract new visitors. Search engine optimization is a huge topic and you can find useful YouTube videos about the topic.
Step 13: Ways to Make Money Blogging
Once you have a few articles written, you may begin monetizing your blog. If you’re blogging for business, the most important thing is that your blog generates money.
There are multiple ways to make money with a blog, each one has their own approach. Advertisements are very popular and can help you make money on your blog.
Platforms like Google Adsense are free to place on your website. Each time a visitor clicks an advertisement on your website, you get paid.
Affiliate Marketing is Popular
Affiliate Marketing is another way to make money by referring your readers to a company’s service or product. You sign up with a company like Ebay, and you become their partner advertising their products on your website.
Each time a person buys a product through your website’s link, you get paid a small percent of the sale. Selling digital products on your blog can help you earn income while you sleep. Digital products like ebooks are great to advertise on your website and make money.
Opening an e-commerce store on your website can generate a lot of money. For example, if you have physical products you can display them on your website. Educational courses are fantastic to make money on your website. Create a membership area on your blog where people can pay to watch your educational videos.
Step 14: Advertise your Blog
Now that you have a blog full of significant information, you need people to see it. Search engine optimization can bring an excellent amount of free traffic to your site.
However, there are other ways to attract visitors to your blog like social media. With social media, you need to build a vast audience to promote your blog effectively. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram are all superb sources of traffic.
If you have a budget, you can pay for advertisement within these social media platforms. Email marketing is another strategy you can create to build a list of faithful followers. This marketing tactic takes a while to create, but once you have a big audience, you can easily promote products and services.
Congratulations! Pat yourself on the back, you created an exceptional blog with a potential of making a passive income for years ahead. Considering all the steps and research you did on your own, there is an easier way to start a blog to make money.
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