How To Start A Blog & Earn Money Online
The fact that you landed here tells me you are either,
- a mom who finally wants to find an alternative to a job that is not worth the lost time away from your kids
- someone who is sick of spending hours at a job that’s not fulfilling and only keeps you from pursuing your true passion
- a young entrepreneur that wants to break free from your 9-5 job and become your own boss
- a travel enthusiast that wants to earn money completely location independent while traveling the world
- someone who wants to write about your interests and things you are very passionate about
- or maybe, just like me, you fit into all five of these categories.
This list could go on and on, but I think you’re getting the point.
It doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from, all that matters is where you want to go next and how you want to reach these goals.
By coming to this place & reading this post, you already took the first step towards your new life.
Your Ultimate Guide on “How To Start A Blog & Earn Money Online.”
Today I am going to show you how to start a blog. You will see the exact steps I took to create this blog and started earning money at home from my laptop with no experience or any kind of special talent.
If I can do it, so can you!
Before we start, here’s a quick introduction to who I am & why I decided to start my Blog.
I am Mina, a young wife & first-time mom. I started my blog right after I found out about my pregnancy in December 2018. It took me several months to figure everything out, that’s why I decided to write this guide, so you can create your Blog and start making money with it right away!
On the 1st of November 2020, we started traveling full-time. (Yes… during a worldwide pandemic.) That’s when I decided to take this whole blogging-thing more seriously. I went all in and earned 100 US$ right in my first month.
It may doesn’t seem like a lot, but for a new Blogger, with no experience and only a handful of Blog Posts in that month, it is!
Let’s be honest for a moment. If you are serious about Blogging and earning an income online, you need to put in the work. Then some more. And the most important part is to be patient.
While there are Bloggers who easily make §10k every month, there are even more who won’t even reach 100$ in a year.
It is not impossible or „too late“ to reach these $10k months, but it will take time.
Blogging takes a lot of time, work, and commitment. It’s definitely not a get rich fast kind of thing!
But if you do want to put in the work and effort, continue learning, and are ready to stick to it, it will pay off. One day, you could be that person teaching others how to grow a 6-figure business from your laptop. But you will never get there if you
1) Stop reading now & quit before you even started
2) Quit after you already put in the work but don’t have the patience to keep working towards your goals.
The fact that you read this far hopefully means you’re neither of these.
You want to break free from the ordinary life and unfulfilling 9-5 job. Earning money online while spending time with your kids or traveling the world is something you desire. That’s why you’re here.
So without further due, let’s get started on
I. How To Start A Blog
1. Decide On Your Niche
Before you even choose a name or hosting for your Blog, you need to pick a niche! No idea what I mean?
A niche describes the segment within a market that targets a specific group of people. So instead of writing about everything out there, you should find one topic for one specific audience.
So grab yourself a piece of paper and a pen and start writing down the things you are very passionate about and feel like someone else could benefit from.
Now, try to imagine your ideal reader, what their interests are, what kind of struggles they may have, and what solutions you could offer to help them deal with these things.
Here’s my example:
I am a first-time mom and love blogging about everything that involves motherhood. So my ideal reader would be the mom that is looking for tips about pregnancy, birth, postpartum, breastfeeding, and parenting. These are the main topics I write about.
So now that you understand what a Niche is all about, you are probably asking yourself why it’s even necessary to choose a specific one.
Imagine someone wants to learn something about gardening and stumbles across your Blog post „Ultimate Guide On How To Start A Garden“. This person expects you to be an expert on that topic. The best case: The reader actually enjoys your post and decides to keep scrolling through your Blog. Only to find posts about finances, traveling, and your favorite summer fashion items.
This will make you seem implausible and your blog becomes untrustworthy. Chances are, this specific reader (and any following reader) won’t come back to your blog for more gardening advice. But that’s actually your ultimate goal: Hook readers to your Blog so they keep coming back!
SEO – Search Engine Optimization
While the first reason may seem obvious, we are now heading down towards the deeper stuff.
Niching down and sticking to this specific niche is incredibly important for the SEO (search engine optimization) of your page!
Sounds complicated, but it’s actually very simple: If you keep writing about one topic, and use the same keywords in your posts over and over again, Google will recognizing you as an „expert“in that field. Once that happens, Google will start showing your posts much higher in the search results.
So if someone is looking for „gardening tips“, google will show your posts on top of the page. Which is your second goal! The higher you score in search results, the more readers will find your page! More readers = More Money.
Makes Blogging Easier
Niching down makes creating content a lot easier. I know it seems like you restrict yourself once you choose a niche, but that’s not true at all!
If you don’t have a specific niche, you will end up feeling overwhelmed by all the different topics out there! Whenever you have an unlimited amount of options, it’s hard to decide.
One important piece of advice: Don’t niche down too far!
Let’s take my Blog as an example again:
I chose the niche motherhood for my Blog. Which can be anything from trying to conceive to sending kids to college. If I would have niched down to „Pregnancy“, I would only have a limited amount of options to write about and would run out of posts at some point. I mean, there is only so much you can talk about that has to do with Pregnancy.
Now you may ask yourself: „Why is she writing a post about How To Start A Blog“ then? Well, good question. I may not be a complete expert in that topic, or does it have to do with motherhood itself, but I do help moms who would like to stay at home with their kids and grow their own business.
Remember what I said about my ideal reader? Other moms that are looking for tips about motherhood. Becoming a stay-at-home mom still has to do with motherhood.
Same goes with traveling. You won’t find posts about the most luxury travel experience for solo female travelers on here. But you may find „a family friendly travel guide that won’t ruin your budget”- kind of post.
You can still write about stuff outside your niche, as long as your ideal reader can benefit from it!
Wow. So much talking about finding a niche. But that should proof to you how important niching down truly is! It’s probably one of the most important decisions for your Blog! So choose wisely.
2. Pick A Name For Your Blog
That’s where the fun, or not so fun, part starts. Choosing a name for your Blog.
It’s very important that you already chose a Niche to write about before settling on a name. Here’s why:
1. Ideally, your Blog name should have something to do with your niche.
Here are some examples:
These are names I came up with that include a specific niche and my name. You should always check if your name is still free or already taken & try to aim for names that end with .com. They are the most trustworthy and easy to remember.
In case you want to start new social media accounts with the same name as your blog, check if the names are available on there as well. It’s always a good idea to have the same name (and branding) on all your accounts. This will help people recognize and remember you much easier.
Looking back, I regret picking jotoha.com as my Domain Name. It’s the short form of Journey To Happiness and back then, it seemed so smart and fun.
While motherhood, traveling & growing my business is my personal Journey To Happiness, other people don’t really get it right away.
So don’t rush it & take your time. Of course, you can always change it later on, but that can be super complicated and cause quite a few problems.
To sum this up: Make sure your domain name is simple, short, easy to spell, and relates to your overall brand.
3. Choose A Web Hosting Provider
So here’s the thing, guys. You could start your Blog for free by using a free blogging platform. If you’re only looking to post about your interests and hobbies and are not planning to earn money with it, great, go ahead and use the free version. There is nothing wrong with that.
But in case you want to turn your blog into a business, you need to treat it as such! Do you want to earn money from day one? Then you have to invest in your business from day one!
Don’t worry, we’re not talking about hundreds or thousands of dollars. It can literally be as low as 3.38$ a month! Just to remind you: I made 100$ in my first serious month of blogging. You can too, by only spending as little as 3.38$! That’s still 96$ left on your bank account!
Here’s why you should choose a (paid) hosting provider:
- It is really hard, nearly impossible, to make money with a free blogging platform. That’s because most of them won’t allow you to monetize your blog in any way. Like using Google Ad-Sense or the Amazon Affiliate Program. These two are the easiest ways you can actually make money in the beginning.
- Companies notice that you have a self-hosted blog and will therefore take you more seriously. If they realize you are being serious about your Blog and actually turning it into a business, they will more likely be willing to work with you. For example by sending you products or paying you for a product review. Another great way to earn money with your Blog!
Great, now that we got this out of the way, we can start talking about your options:
When I initially started my Blog, I chose Bluehost as my web host. They are one of the most affordable providers on the market. Their hosting plans start from as little as 3.38€ a month.
Not only are they the most budget-friendly ones, but they are also amazing for so many other reasons.
- You get a free domain name once you sign up with them (jotoha.com)
- Plus, you will get a free e-mail that fits your domain name ([email protected])
- Bluehost is super reliable and their customer service is awesome!
- They will even help you with installation, which is super fast and simple
- WordPress actually recommends using them
After my Blog reached a certain amount of monthly views, I decided to switch to Siteground. They offer a faster plan, which is what I needed. Switching to them was very easy, so I would still recommend you to start with Bluehost if you would like to keep the costs to a minimum! You can always make the switch afterwards!
4. Install WordPress & Log Into Your New Blog
In case you chose one of the mentioned hosts for your new blog, they will install the WordPress platform for you. Easy, right?
So you can basically skip this step.
The cool thing with Bluehost is: They made logging into your WordPress super simple. Bluehost actually created a user-friendly & awesome control panel. With only one click, you can login to your new WordPress Blog.
5. Choose A Theme / Layout
So you decided on hosting and installed WordPress, now what? There is this empty screen that basically does nothing.
Keep going. You own this page and soon, it will become your working, money-making Blog!
Let’s start with choosing a theme for your brand new Blog.
A THEME? WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?
The theme is the way your Blog looks. Starting from colors, fonts, layout, and the overall functionality of your site. And let me warn you, it will probably be the first hard and very frustrating thing about starting a new Blog.
Bluehost and Siteground will install the WordPress Default Theme for you. Chances are, you won’t stick with that one.
Choosing a theme for your Blog is a pretty big deal. It will be the first thing your future readers will see and will be the reason they come back or never look at one of your posts again. So choose wisely.
But don’t worry, I will guide you through the process, give you some helpful tips & advice, and will link some awesome Blog Themes at the end. Let’s Go!
The most important thing about a theme: It must be responsive. That means your blog will automatically adjust to fit on any kind of desktop, tablet and phone screen.
Did you know, that more than 80% of your future readers will be reading your posts on their phones? (In my case, it’s even 95%) So if your Blog just doesn’t adjust to a smaller screen, the readers won’t be sticking around for long.
Don’t Be A Perfectionist
Although it’s awesome to have an aesthetically pleasing home page and overall Blog Design, chances are your readers will probably never see your entire Blog.
So don’t get hung up on designing your Blog. Here’s a secret: You will probably never be fully satisfied with the layout, and it will become a never-ending project. If you get too hung up in the beginning, your Blog will probably never launch.
Also, here’s the reality: You write a post, create a pin for Pinterest (more of that later), a future reader sees your pin, is interested in the topic, and decides to click on the Pin to read the post. Awesome! Now, they will read what you had to say, be satisfied and most likely leave the Blog. Or, if you’re lucky, they will scroll through your recent posts and read another one. But what they won’t do is look at your home, about and contact page. At least the majority of your readers won’t do that.
Free vs. Paid Themes
Another thing you should be aware of is the how’s, why’s, pros, and cons of free themes.
There are actually a bunch of free themes available. In case you are not willing to invest in a paid theme yet, a free one is fine in the beginning. You can access all the free themes right from your WordPress Dashboard.
1. Go To Appearance & Choose „Themes“
2. Click The “WordPress Themes“ – Bottom
3. Choose One Of The Many Themes & Click Install
4. Active Your Installed Theme. Done!
While a free theme is fine for starters, don’t expect too much of them. There won’t be any support from a designer. I would also suggest choosing a free theme you’re satisfied with as it is because you probably won’t be able to customize it the way you want to and you will be completely on your own with that.
So in case you want to look more professional, have more options for customization and tech support, you should probably think about a paid theme.
I spent days, or weeks, looking for a theme that was fully customizable and had solid tech support. Cause let’s be honest, I have no idea how to do anything that is related to that kind of stuff.
During my research, I stumbled across the themes available to purchase at Creative Market. I loved most of the designs and since you do pay a one-time fee, you will have access to some tech support from the designer. However, since it’s only a small fee, the support may be limited. In case you are good with computers and coding, the themes offered at Creative Market are a great option.
Another great option I found, that is very well-reviewed, are the themes offered at Genesis Themes. A bunch of successful bloggers are using them! If you’re not a fan of spending a lot of time customizing a theme or changing a bunch of stuff, Genesis Themes would be a great option for you.
Let’s come to the Theme I am using!
Honestly, as far as I am concerned, it’s the best WordPress Theme out there.
As I mentioned, I’m not a big techie & very much in need of some tech support. But I didn’t want to miss out on customization and actually create a Blog the way I wanted it to look.
So after hours of research, I found out about Elegant Themes.
I purchased the membership and downloaded the Divi / Extra Theme. (With a membership, you get access to over 80 themes. There’s something for everyone.)
So why did I chose The Divi / Extra Theme?
Well, Divi is absolutely amazing. Instead of coding everything to make it look the way you want it to look, you can literally drag and drop modules on your page.
You will still need a bit of practice, but it’s definitely much easier than coding stuff into place. The best part? Since it’s a yearly membership, you will have unlimited and amazing access to tech support.
Elegant Themes provides a training video for every part of the Divi / Extra Theme. All you have to do is sign in & watch a video of your problem. If the videos don’t help, you can always live chat with someone from the tech support and they are the most helpful people!
Since the Divi Theme is 100% customizable, there is no Blog that looks like mine. I think that’s pretty cool!
If none of the mentioned Themes (Companies) is an option for you, check out this great post that shares The Best & Most Popular WordPress Themes with you!
So far you’ve got a host, installed your WordPress Blog, and chose a theme. Now what?
II. Start Writing
You just have to start. It can be a bit intimidating to write an actual Blog Post. I struggled a lot to come up with ideas in the beginning, but I found this awesome post on bossgirlbloggers.com for you. They share some tips on how to come up with posts for your blog and give you over 100 Blog Post Ideas to start with!
You can always look for post ideas in your niche on google. Just type in „Blog Post Ideas for *your niche*“ and check out the image section of google as well as other posts you find on the search pages. While you can get inspired for your post ideas, don’t start copying the actual posts of other bloggers. Just write it in your own, unique way and share your own experience.
I suggest you write between 5-10 posts before you publish your Blog. This way, your future readers will have more options and your blog will look a bit more established and professional.
Once your Blog is published, make sure to regularly write and publish new posts. The best way is to set a schedule and keep up with it. I try to publish a new post every Thursday. One post a week is completely manageable & the routine is very important for the SEO of my Blog.
III. Promote Your Blog & Posts
So now you got a running blog and some awesome content on it, let’s share it with the world. The best, easiest, most effective & completely free way to get readers to your Blog is Pinterest!
(Make sure to publish your Blog before you start promoting it. It should still be in maintenance mode while you work on it.)
Pinterest would take a whole Blog Post (or E-Book/Class) to explain. When I started blogging, I read all about Pinterest and looked for the perfect Pin Strategy. And guess what, I found it!
So who could explain Pinterest better to you than her? Check out her awesome Blog Post about her Pinterest Strategy for more info!
Back then, I also decided to purchase her super affordable E-Book/Class & it was the best decision ever. I can highly recommend it to everyone who’s just starting out!
IV. Start Earning Money
So after you put all this work into your new Blog, you are probably wondering how and when to start marking money!
As I already mentioned, It took me quite a while to start being consistent with my Blog. To be exact, it took me around 22 months to take it seriously. But once I did, I was able to earn $US 100 in my first month. It may doesn’t sound like much, but I’m thrilled about it, and it’s only the beginning.
There are many ways a Blogger can earn money & I am planning to start a series in the future to share my own income and experience.
But for now, I am going to share this amazing post by wpbeginner.com with you. It includes super helpful and detailed information on how to earn money with your blog. They mention over 30 ways to make money with detailed instruction for every single one. So I’m sure you will find something that fits your needs!
That was it, you guys.
I hope this guide on „How To Start A Blog & Earn Money Online“ will help you start and grow your own online business to live the life you desire!
ONE LAST THING
If you are someone who struggles with sticking to new things and reaching your goals, you should check out my Free Guide on:
You will find a very detailed Blog Post on that topic & have the option to download my free guide that includes a 21-Page-Workbook with a customizable & printable Habit Tracker!