Have you ever wondered how to start a blog and make money online? If so, then you have come to the right place. Making a passive income online if not a hard thing to accomplish. You do not even have to be a big blogger to do it.
In this guide I will walk you through how to earn money from blogging step by step. After starting the blog I will discuss the monetization strategies you can implement on your newly created blog to make money from it.
This guide is completely focused on how to make money with a blog for beginners. And here are the 6 reasons why you will love it:
This guide is very detailed, and yet very easy to follow – even if you are not very technical.
I guarantee that by the end of this guide you will have created your first website along with the monetization strategy of your choice.
This guide is intended for fast results. Within an hour your responsive and mobile-friendly website will be up and running.
I update this guide regularly to keep up with the latest web design trends.
We are happy to help. If you have any query feel free to drop a comment below, we will reach to you as soon as possible.
Your website will be running on the right and the most popular platform used on the web.
3 simple steps on how to start a blog and make money:
Choose The Right Platform
Build Your Website
Monetize Your Website
Choose The Right Platform
If you are wondering what is the platform we are trying to choose to build your first website, let me break it to you that we are trying to choose a CMS. Now:
What is a CMS?
In simple terms a Content Management System(CMS) is a blogging software that helps you create, edit, organize and publish your content on the web. It can change the entire look of your blog in just a few clicks, or else you would have to write hundreds of lines of code for it. It just makes your life a lot easier so that you can publish posts to your heart’s content.
The CMS allows you to change themes to modify the looks of your blog. Plugins can also be installed to add required features, for example an ad plugin can allow you to put ads on your blog.
There are primarily 3 popular CMS softwares: WordPress, Joomla and Drupal. However, WordPress is used by 65% of the websites powered by CMS softwares for being user-friendly, simple but yet very powerful. Thus, we will set up your very first blog with WordPress.
Why WordPress is the best choice for you?
- WordPress is available as a one-click install option with most web-hosting(server where your site will live on the internet) service providers, for the popularity it has as a CMS.
- It is a simple blogging software enabling non technical people to create website and build businesses around them, especially web entrepreneurs.
- WordPress is open-source and has a strong user and developer community, thus is constantly updated.
- It is incredibly powerful. By installing plugins you can add any feature to your blog form a simple form to starting an online store.
Now we know that Wodpress is the right platform to start your blog. That’s the first step complete of how to start a blog and make money. Let’s begin with the step 2.
The basic setup to start a WordPress blog involves following 3 steps(they’re easy):
Choose a blogging niche
Now that we have chosen the right platform to start your blog upon its time to set it up. Some people have clear idea of the topic they want to blog about before investigating how to start a blog and make money or how to make money blogging, however most don’t.
It is important to know what your blog will be about before setting it up. If you are confused about the blogging topic just pick something you are interested in. Here are a few topics you might be interested in to help you decide upon your blog topic.
- Jokes and Humor
- Life experiences
- Products or service reviews
- Travel experiences
- Personal Stories
Choose whatsoever blogging topic you like, the important thing is that you must be deeply interested in it and should enjoy blogging about it otherwise, you yourself would not like to do something you don’t love.
Once you start blogging you can start to explore other topics that peek your interest, to write about them. But it’s important decide on a topic before we start setting up your blog.
Once you have chosen the blog topic its time to choose your blog’s domain name and web hosting service provider. Let me explain these terms in simple words:
Choose A Domain Name
It is the URL of your blog people will use to open it in the web browser. For example, the domain name of Facebook is facebook.com. You should carefully decide upon the domain name of your blog . Here are some of the common tips in choosing a right domain name:
- Easy to type – Make sure your domain name is easy to type. You would not want others to get your blog traffic if they make a mistake in typing your domain name.
- Catchy – Your domain name should reflect your blog topic.
- Short – Short domain names are easy for the user to type thus there are less chances of a spelling mistake.
- Brandable – Your domain name also clearly reflects on the brand you are trying to build.
- Include Keywords – The domain name should have keywords related to your blog topic. For example, it is quite common for a technology blog to have the keyword ‘tech’ in the domain name. This also helps with better rankings of your blog in the search engine like Google.
- Avoid numbers and hyphens- You should avoid them as they confuse others and make it hard to explain your domain to others.
You can try it all now, use the tool below to check if the domain name you thought for your blog is available. If its unavailable, you will get relevant suggestions.
Choose A Web Host
Hosting refers to the server where WordPress is installed and all the content you publish will rest. Its simply a server that stores your WordPress files and content.
There are many different types of hosting plans available when you are out to buy one but I do not recommend anything other than the shared hosting plan for the first time webmasters. A shared hosting plan is cheap yet powerful enough to build your blog.
However, it is not powerful enough if your blog starts to get a lot of traffic. Therefore, I highly recommend Bluehost. They are the biggest and most-well known web-hosting company. Besides Bluehost is officially recommend by WordPress and is a hosting company everyone using WordPress trusts.
You should start with their shared hosting plan to start your blog initially and then upgrade your web-hosting plan as it starts to receive the a lot of traffic. Bluehost also makes it quite easy and hassle free to upgrade your plan which is one of the reasons I like them very much.
Domain Name and Web-hosting go hand-in-hand if one wants to start a blog or website. A domain name costs $10/year but most hosting companies charge more for additional features. On the other hand, for Bluehost hosting packages start from $3.95/month [that’s low].
But if you use the link below you get a free domain name with your purchase of a shared hosting plan. Plus you even get over $150 in free advertising dollars. This saves you from the purchase of a domain name.
NOTE: At TechXpecs I believe in transparency. So if you sign up with Bluehost using the above link, we will earn a small commission from Bluehost at no extra cost to you (in fact, you will save money by getting a free domain and $150 advertising dollars). But I only recommend products that I believe will add value to our readers.
Let’s now go and purchase your domain and web-hosting.
Open Up Bluehost click on the Get Started Now button to get started on choosing your hosting.
On the next screen choose the plan you wish to purchase. The basic and the plus plans are the most popular.
Now enter the domain name (this is free with your plan) for your blog. Double check the domain name to make sure its free of typos.
Enter your account information on the next screen.
I recommend the 36 month plan because that’s the best value for the price. You will also find additional services that you can purchase on this screen. But I recommend you to not, as you can always purchase them later, if you feel that you need them.
Finally complete your purchase with your payment.
Once everything is completed you will receive an email with your login details to your hosting’s control panel (cPanel). You can control everything about your hosting from cPanel like email, databases and other things. You will also install WordPress on your web-hosting from cPanel.
2. Install WordPress
Now that we have purchased domain and hosting for you let’s get started with installing WordPress on it.
Login to your cPanel with the credentials you received in the email after your purchase. Navigate to hosting > home and scroll down to the website section.
Click on the Install WordPress icon and you will be redirected to a new screen.
Now click on the Install button.
On the next screen select the domain name on which you want to install WordPress from the drop down menu and then click on Next.
Now enter your Site Name and the Admin Username and Password (you will need these to login to WordPress to manage your blog) and click on the Install button.
The QuickInstall will start installing WordPress and you will see a success notice once the installation is complete in the top header bar.
You can now start managing your WordPress blog. Open a new browser tab and enter the following URL format:
Replace yoursite with your domain name and you will be redirected to your blog’s WordPress login screen. Enter your login details and click on Login to enter your blog’s dashboard.
Now we are ready to start customising your blog’s appearance, features and start make money blogging.
3. Customising Your WordPress Blog
Selecting Your WordPress Theme
The visual appearance of your blog is controlled by themes. By default a WordPress theme is already active on your blog and it will look like this.
This theme however is not very appealing to most WordPress users.
Changing your blog’s theme is a very exciting and fun experience you will surely love. This is also a crucial step in customising your blog, as your blog’s appearance is a very important aspect in building up an active user base.
There are thousands of pre-made themes that you can apply on your website to change it’s look and feel. They give a professional look to your website’s appearance.
The WordPress themes directory houses thousands of quality themes you can try to change your blog’s appearance for free. However if wish to give your website a completely professional look I recommend you to try these popular paid themes.
To change your blog’s appearance navigate to Appearance > Themes.
Click on the Add New button and select the theme you wish to use from the official WordPress theme directory. The 4100 free themes offer you a wide variety of choices to choose from so you can definitely find one for your suiting.
Paid WordPress themes have a great visual appeal with a lot of additional features. You can find many popular WordPress themes at the Envato marketplace.
If you decide to install a free WordPress theme, hover your mouse over it for the Install button to appear.
Click on it and wait for the Activate button to appear until your theme installs.
Click on the Activate button when it appears. The theme will become active on your blog. Now you can customise your theme by navigating to Appearance > Customize.
Now that you know how to change a WordPress theme, let’s get started with writing your first blog post.
Writing Your First Blog Post
To write your first blog post navigate to Posts > Add New. This will bring you to a new screen with an editor where you can write your first blog post.
Once you are done writing your blog post you can publish your post to the world by clicking the Publish button on the right sidebar.
There are many other sections on the right sidebar besides the Publish button like Categories and Tags. These help keep your posts organised so that you can easily manage them.
You can add pages to your blog in the similar way by navigating to Pages > Add New. Though WordPress posts and pages look similar on the front end here are the key differences between them:
- Posts are timely, Pages are not.
- Posts are social, Pages are not.
- Posts are categorized, Pages are not.
Adding Features With Plugins
Once you are done writing your first blog post, you will probably want to add some features to your blog like a contact form, social sharing buttons, slider etc.
All these can be done by installing plugins. Installing a plugin every time adds some features to your site. However, the more plugins you install, the more server resources your website uses. But the possibilities of customisation are infinite.
Let’s get started with installing a plugin on your site. Navigate to Plugins > Add New and search for the plugin you wish to install in the default WordPress directory.
Once found hover over it and click on the Install button when it appears. Click on the Activate button that appears after the plugin installation is complete to use it on your blog.
NOTE: It is important that you install only reputed plugins that are updated regularly on your site or else your blog will be exposed to vulnerabilities due to plugin bugs. Constantly updated plugins are free of these vulnerabilities as they are fixed when detected.
You should always perform a Google search for the best plugin before installing any plugin. For example, if you want install a social sharing plugin perform a Google Search for the ‘best social sharing plugins’.
A newly created blog always has a basic plugin requirement. Here are the recommend plugins you should install on a new blog:
- W3 Total Cache – Speeds up loading of your website’s pages. This helps in better search engine rankings.
- Yoast SEO – An SEO plugin to optimise your posts to rank high in the search engines.
- Jetpack – Offers various powerful features for your site.
- Akismet – Prevents spam comments.
- iThemes Security (formerly Better WP Security) – For securing your WordPress site.
- Contace Form 7 – To create contact forms for your site.
- WP Statistics – To get statistics about your blog like traffic sources etc.
I also offer WordPress installation and setup service. If you decide to start your WordPress blog I can set it up for you for a cheap price of $10. You can contact me on Fiverr, I always reply within a few hours.
Moving on, we have successfully completed the steps 1 and 2 on how to start a blog and make money. We have bought web hosting for you and installed WordPress on it. You have started your first WordPress blog. Now its time to make money from it or monetize it. Let’s get started.
Monetize Your Blog
Now that you have created your blog and customised it to your liking you might be wondering how do bloggers make money from blogging, when in this whole process there was no one to pay you.
Here I will explain how to monetize your WordPress blog but there is nothing as a get rich quick scheme. Most of those are scams. However, popular bloggers do make a lot of money but it takes time to accomplish it. Harsh Agarwal who owns ShoutmeLoud earns $52,434 a month from his blogging income by leveraging various monetization strategies.
Here are the types of income methods implemented by bloggers to make money online blogging with WordPress:
Monetise Your Blog Content
Selling Digital Products With WordPress
Selling Services Using Your WordPress Blog
Monetise Your Blog Content
‘Content is King’ is a popular say among bloggers and indeed content is what makes your blog rock to generate revenue. Display ads had always been popular method of monetising content. This can be easily implemented on your WordPress blog too.
However, as make money blogging has evolved many different methods have emerged today. Here are the methods that work and are quite popular today:
1. Displaying Ads On Your Website
Display ads are the most popular and common method of monetising a website or blog. Goolge’s Adsense program is quite popular as it’s ads are quite targeted at the users than many other ad networks.
Once your blog is accepted by Adsense after you sign up you just have add a script provided by them to your blog to begin displaying ads. You get paid whenever someone clicks on these ads your site. These are CPC ads.
You might wonder what are CPC ads? CPC or Cost Per Click ads are the ones that earn you a fixed fee whenever someone clicks on them. There are also CPM (Cost Per Milli) ads that earn for you per thousand ad impressions.
As a beginner blogger Adsense is a great way to start making passive income online. You need to have a good amount of traffic to your blog to earn a decent amount. The amount you will earn for a month will highly depend on the traffic you received for that month.
2. Making Money With Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate Marketing is when you recommend a product or service to someone, and they purchase it using your special tracking link which earns you a referral income for recommending the product or service.
Your tracking link is special as it helps the product or service owner know that it was you who recommended their product to the customer thus getting you paid.
If you decide upon affiliate marketing as the monetisation method for your blog, you can get started with it by joining affiliates programs. There many affiliate programs available across the web for almost all niches from fashion to technology and what not.
You should start your affiliate journey by promoting the products you already use and you think your website’s audience might be interested in. You can then join an affiliate program for the product.
You can choose a product from almost any category from these affiliate market places:
Honorable mention: Viglink is a great tool to convert your blog’s simple URLs into affiliate links if they point to a merchant site.
Once you have decided upon the products, you can start promoting them on your blog and when someone makes a purchase through your link, you will get paid.
To go about this a professional way you should cloak your affiliate links using a plugin like Shortlinks by Pretty Links or ThirstyAffiliates. These plugins help shorten and clean your messy affiliate URLs. They also provide detailed statistics like how many times a link was clicked or from where etc.
This information is very important as it helps you decide which products or services are beneficial and you should keep promoting. On the contrary you can drop the bad performers.
Affiliate marketing is quite easy to get started with. Amazon’s affiliate program it quite popular and is houses thousands of products in every category. Just select the products you want to promote and write about them on your blog.
3. Writing Sponsored Reviews
In this you get to try the products or services related to the niche of your blog and get paid for writing a review about it. You should only review the products which are closely related to your niche as your audience will only be interested in such products.
Websites like PayPerPost and SponsoredReviews help you connect with the companies that might be interested in giving a paid review. But you can always directly approach the companies on your own and ask about a paid review if isn’t listed there.
4. Making Money Online By Flipping Websites
Many businesses or individuals like to buy an already established website for your their own needs. If you know how to build a website and can bring a decent amount of traffic to it, then your website is more than enough to seek a good price for it.
You can sell your website and make money. Website like Flippa hold website auctions where you can buy or sell already established sites. You can put your site on auction and make money by selling it.
This requires you to have a sense of the type of the website that people are likely to buy and how you should price them.
Sell Digital Products With WordPress
5. Sell E-Books On Your Blog
If you are the master of knowledge of a particular topic in your niche, you can turn it into an e-book and sell it as digital product. If you have been blogging for a while you can use old posts as chapters for your e-book.
Once your e-book is written it needs a great cover too to attract the customers. Canva is the perfect tool to turn your cover idea into reality. It comes pre-designed covers tool you just have to tweak them a bit to suit your book.
Now turn your e-book into a pdf file and it is ready to be shipped to your customers. Easy Digital Downloads is the perfect plugin to create an online store for your digital products. It is easy to use and offers a wide range of features too like analytics, different payment methods etc.
6. Create And Sell Online Courses
E-books convey the knowledge you wish to impart in a textual form. Transform this into a visual form and you have an online course. Selling online courses is another very popular method of making money online with WordPress.
Many popular bloggers often use this method as their source of income. Online courses sell for a much higher price than e-books for their visual appeal. However you should be careful with your pricing and choose it according to your expertise at the course subject.
You will have to create your course material and leverage a learning management system (LMS) plugin like LearnDash or MemberPress to deliver it. You may also offer personalised support with the course, however bloggers often offer it at an extra price for the course.
Selling Services Using Your WordPress Blog
7. Start A Consulting Business
Consulting is a great to make money online and you can use your WordPress blog to acquire your customers. You basically share your expertise with the requester and charge an amount for it.
As a consultant you make sure that you guide your client on the right path and come up with a strategy that will benefit him or make him effective.
To start accepting consulting requests you can simply set-up a request page with a contact form the clients can use to contact you. Contact Form 7 is a great plugin you can use to create the form.
8. Promote Your Freelance Service
Freelancing is yet another popular method to make money online. You can use your blog to offer your freelance service. As a blogger you are already an expert on your niche. You can promote your freelance service to your established audience to get job requests.
You can set up a hire me page on your WordPress blog with a contact form to accept job proposals from your clients.
Now that you know how to create your blog and the monetization methods, the major major question is how much money can you make blogging.
The answer is simple the traffic of your blog and the monetization methods you implement to make money greatly determine your income. However if you do everything just the right way you will start with a small income and eventually grow big.
I hope that you found this tutorial on how to start a blog and make money helpful. If you have any queries, we are always ready to help, just drop a comment below with your query. We will reach to you ASAP.