Are you ready to start making some extra money working from home? Blogging is a great place to start! In this post, you’ll learn how to start a blog with WordPress so you can start making extra money today!
Starting a blog can seem scary and overwhelming. After all, there is so much information being thrown in your face all over the internet about the best way to start a blog.
I’ve been blogging for a few years and almost stopped a few times due to all the overwhelming information.
When I first started blogging, I created a blog that started out as a creative outlet. I was sharing crafts and DIYs and a few personal posts. Then my blog slowly transformed into more of a business where I shared lifestyle and frugal home tips along with a few recipes and kept the DIYs.
While that blog has somewhat of a “lifestyle blog” feel to it, it’s mostly niched down to a frugal living blog where I share tips and advice on ways to save money.
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Starting a blog can be a great creative outlet for you. If want to start a blog just to share life updates or things that you create, then you can absolutely start a blog for free.
However, you may decide that you want to make money blogging, therefore you’ll need to invest a little more time and money into a money-making blog. And I’ll show you how to do that.
But first, let’s learn a little more about what blogging really means.
What is a Blog?
According to the dictionary, a blog is “a regularly updated website or web page, typically one run by an individual or small group, that is written in an informal or conversational style.”
In other words, it’s an online journal or informational website. Content (or posts) are displayed in reverse chronological order, meaning the newest posts appear at the top.
There are over 500 million blogs out there! That’s a LOT of people creating a blog and blogging daily!
What is the purpose of a blog?
Blogging for personal use is a great way to connect with family and friends. Having a personal blog can be a great way to share your artwork, stories, or anything you create with a similar audience.
However, a blog can also be used to make money either as a full-time business or a little extra on the side. Money-making blogs are started every day and are growing tremendously.
Can you make money blogging?
The short answer is yes, you can make money with a blog.
But, it’s not a get-rich-quick type of thing. Blogging takes time and patience along with a lot of learning new skills. Before you can start making money with your blog, you have to build up your ranking in Google by creating a lot of quality content. This does take time. More than likely your blog will not rank within the first 3 pages of Google for at least 6 months, if not longer.
Also, with a money-making blog, you’ll have to invest some money upfront to create a business account. If you plan to place ads on your site to monetize your blog, you’ll have to upgrade to a business account. Free WordPress accounts are not allowed to have ads.
How do bloggers make money?
Even a new blogger can start making money right away. Most bloggers use the techniques listed below to make money with their blogs:
- Displaying ads
- Affiliate marketing
- Passive income
- Writing sponsored posts
- Selling books and eBooks
- Creating YouTube videos
The best way to start making money as a new blogger is through passive income. Displaying ads is nice, but it takes months (or longer) to start generating a higher income each month. If you’re going to rely on ads to make money with a blog, then you have to have tons of blog traffic coming in each month.
How much money do bloggers make?
I get a lot of questions asking how much money does a blogger make. Honestly, that’s up to the blogger.
As I said, blogging is not a get-rich-quick scheme. If you want to make money with your blog then you have to invest some money into it. Plus, it requires quite a bit of time and effort on your part. You must be consistent with your writing and have a good understanding of SEO and how to use keywords, both of which you can learn more about overtime.
So how much can a blogger earn? A few bloggers claim to have earned anywhere between $500-$10,000 per month just during their first year blogging. The highest-paid blogger as of 2021 is Gina Horkey. She is a virtual assistant who coaches others on how to make money with virtual assistant services. Her website, Horkey Handbook, usually earns a little over $20,000 a month.
6 Steps to Creating a Blog With WordPress
First of all, I recommend starting your blog with a self-hosted WordPress.org website. It’s more user-friendly than other sites and if you plan to make money with your blog then WordPress is the answer. (Learn the difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com here.)
A lot of bloggers start on other platforms and end up moving to WordPress for this reason. This takes a lot of time and there’s always the risk of all of your hard work getting lost in the process.
Tip: Before you start your blog you should figure out the niche you will be writing under. You can learn more about what a niche is and how to find your blogging niche here.
Step 1: Pick a name
Choosing a name for your blog isn’t as easy as you think. It requires a little bit of research. Ask yourself these questions if you’re having a hard time coming up with a name for your blog:
- What is your blog going to be about? Try choosing your niche first, then work on coming up with creative names that stand out in that niche. If you are going to write about fitness programs, then you don’t want your blog name to be Cat Lover.
- Who is your target audience? Who are the people you want to help? Knowing who your target audience is will help you choose a blog name.
Here are some helpful tips to help you come up with a name for your blog:
- Use your own name
- Choose a random, but memorable name (ex: Melting Butter is a popular travel blog!)
- Check out names of competitor blogs
- Use a blog name generator
- Use abbreviations or acronyms
- Consider using a word in another language
Write down a list of names you want to use, then make sure the name you want is available. These sites offer a free domain name search:
Step 2: Get hosted
After you’ve found the perfect name for your new blog, the next thing you need to do is register it with a hosting provider. This is where your blog “lives”.
Bluehost is a very popular and reliable hosting provider for bloggers. They work with WordPress so it’s hassle-free and easy to set up. If you have any problems, they will help you anytime, 24/7. And they are pretty cheap since they are less than $10 a month! Bluehost is one of the largest hosting companies in the world and an officially recommended WordPress hosting provider.
Click here to sign up with Bluehost.
Another great hosting site is SiteGround.
SiteGround also works with WordPress bloggers as well WooCommerce if you own an online store. It’s suitable for all users, easy to use, and has a lot of tools available to help you run your business. They’re available 24/7 and they have special prices going on if you sign up now.
Click here to sign up with SiteGround.
Step 3: Install WordPress
Don’t worry, installing WordPress is absolutely free. And it’s super easy because if you go with Bluehost as your hosting provider, they do all the work for you!
For the sake of time, I’ll show you how quick and easy it is to install WordPress on Bluehost.
How to Install WordPress on Bluehost
Step 1: Log into Bluehost
- Log into your Bluehost account.
- Go to the My Sites tab.
- Click on the Create Site button in the top right corner
Step 2: Enter in your website information
Next you’ll need to enter your site name and site tagline. These can always be changed later, but I wouldn’t recommend changing the site name too many times.
Step 3: Choose your domain name.
Now you’ll be asked to select a domain name and path for your site. If you’ve already purchased a domain name, you’ll be able to select it from the drop-down menu. You can leave the directory path section blank and let Bluehost choose it for you.
You’ll also have the option to install some plugins, but I honestly wouldn’t worry too much about those right now.
Step 4: Click “next” and let Bluehost install WordPress for you.
Bluehost will now install WordPress for you, creating your new WordPress website and displaying your login information. They’ll also send you all the information you need to the email address you provided.
Congratulations! You’ve installed WordPress on your Bluehost hosting account! I told you it was easy! Now for the fun stuff.
One quick thing: After installing WordPress, make sure you change how your blog links appear before you start writing blog posts. The default isn’t very user-friendly and is not good for SEO. You want to change the setting from the default to “Post Name”.
To change the settings, go into your WordPress dashboard, click settings, then permalinks.
Next, click the dot beside “Post Name” and then scroll down to save changes.
Now every time you publish a blog post, it will automatically appear as yourwebsite.com/post-title. This is easier for people to search for and better for Google.
Step 4: Pick a theme
A theme is the overall design of your blog. Unless you’re a coder (and I’m certainly not!), choosing a theme is the easiest way to get your blog to look the way you want.
Honestly, this is the hardest part for me because there are so many beautiful designs out there that I have a hard time choosing the right one.
- Where to find a theme:
WordPress has a ton of free themes for you to choose from and there are premium themes you can purchase as well.
- Free themes:
1. On the WordPress Dashboard, go to Appearance > Themes > Add New Theme.
2. Search through all of the available themes until you find the one you want. You can preview themes before you install them to see what they look like in action. You can always change your theme later on.
3. Once you find the right theme for you, click the install button.
4. Click the activate button to apply the new theme to your site. Or you can test the theme with a live preview before you apply it to your site by clicking the live preview button.
- Premium themes:
Premium themes are themes that you pay for. These themes usually come with more features than free themes and some are updated more regularly. You can do a search for WordPress themes and you’ll get lots of results. One of the most popular places to get beautiful themes is StudioPress. Their Pretty Chic Pro Theme is one of my favorites!!
- Free themes:
This video is very helpful if you’re more of a visual person:
Step 5: Add plugins
Plugins are from third parties and add more functionality to your blog. However, these should be installed at a minimum. Too many plug-ins will slow your site down. A slow site equals less traffic on your blog.
The two most important plugins you should install first are:
- Yoast SEO
- Google Analytics for WordPress by MonsterInsights.
Yoast SEO is the best SEO plugin for your blog. (We’ll get more into why SEO is important later on, but in the meantime here’s a link to Yoast’s Definitive SEO Guide for you.)
Google Analytics for WordPress by MonsterInsights lets you track your blog’s traffic. It also has a lot of interesting data for you to see about your blog such as overall traffic, where the traffic is coming from, views per category, page views, and more.
Step 6: Write excellent content
Congratulations! You have now started a blog!
Now it’s time to start writing some excellent content for your readers.
- Content: Start off by creating an “about me” page or a “start here” page, whichever suits you better. Add a “contact” page and a “privacy” page and a “disclosure” page as well. If you are running a business then you may want to include a “FAQ’s” page.
- Photo: Add a photo of yourself and a short bio to let your readers know who you are and what you look like. This makes it more personal and helps readers feel more comfortable.
- Posts: Make sure you are consistent with your posts, posting at least once a week. This helps you build an audience and keep readers coming back. Focus on writing quality posts that answer questions people in your niche are asking. Be sure to write valuable content that solves your readers’ problems.
If you are struggling to come up with something to write about, here’s a list of suggestions for you.
After publishing your first blog post, follow these 6 steps to bring in traffic and gain a loyal audience:
- Promote your blog
- Track your stats
- Link to older posts
- Create 3-5 pins for Pinterest
- Send out an email
- Respond to comments
Following these tips steps to starting a blog on WordPress are simple and quick. Becoming an excellent money-making blogger isn’t something that just happens overnight. It takes time to rank your blog on Google and gain authority in your niche.
My best advice for new bloggers is to not let yourself get overwhelmed and frustrated. Don’t give up! Making money with a blog takes time and patience. And if you’re serious about making money blogging, you’ll have to invest money upfront.
What happens next?
After creating your blog and writing a few blog posts, you probably want to get your blog noticed. If you are starting a money-making blog, you’ll need traffic coming in and a loyal audience.
In the first 6 months or so after starting a blog, you need to focus more on writing user-friendly content and formatting your posts so they are easy to read and understand.
Later, you should start learning SEO and focusing on adding keywords to your posts. SEO and keywords, along with quality content helps you rank higher on Google.