This post is all about how to start a blog for absolute beginners!
First of all, congratulations for being here! I’m so excited that you’re thinking about starting a money-making blog and potentially turning this blog into your full-time job.
I know how overwhemling this can be, but trust me, you’ll learn as you go. And 6 months from now, you’ll be so proud of all the progress you’ve made.
In the past eight months, I’ve started 2 blogs in completely different niches and published over 80 posts with more than 200,000 words written. LOL! If you told me a year ago that I would have two blogs online that people are actually reading, I would’ve laughed in your face and said: “Stop Lying!”
So I just want you to never underestimate your potential! If you’ve been wanting to start a blog for the longest time but never had the courage to do so. THIS IS YOUR SIGN TO START RIGHT NOW!
Here is the step by step guide on how to start a blog:
How To Start A Blog In 5 Easy Steps
- PICK A BLOG NAME
- CHOOSE A BLOG HOST
- DESIGN YOUR BLOG
- PROMOTE YOUR BLOG
- MAKE MONEY BLOGGING
STEP 1: PICK A BLOG NAME
Your blog name/domain name is basically your address on the web. And here are some tips for picking a blog name that you won’t regret:
- Make It Easy To Say And Memorize: Please don’t use misspelled words or a bunch of hyphens and random numbers. This will make your blog name super difficult to remember. Make it easy for your future readers to look up your blog on Google!
- Use Your Own Name: If you just can’t think of a good domain name for your blog, using your own name for your blog can’t go wrong. Unless it’s 30 characters long LOL! Another benefit of using your own name is that you can pivot your niche in the future without having to change or pay for a new domain name
- Avoid .net / .org / .co domain endings. When searching for a website, 90% of people will automatically type in .com instead of any other endings. So make sure to create a domain that comes with the (dot) com ending.
- Don’t Overthink It! Don’t spend two weeks trying to think of a good domain name. There is no “perfect” name for your blog! What I did was I wrote out a list of potential blog names that I liked. Slept on it, and made a decision the next day.
STEP 2: CHOOSE A BLOG HOST
Why You Don’t Want To Start A Free Blog:
A blog hosted on WordPress.com is a completely different thing than a self-hosted blog on WordPress.org. I know how tempting it is to start your blog on a free platform, but when you think about the downsides that come with it, you’ll understand why.
- Blogs hosted on WordPress.com (NOT SELF HOSTED) have restrictions when it comes to displaying ads and widgets.
- Blogs hosted on WordPress.com tend to earn less ad revenue than self-hosted blogs
- Limited features are available. With a blog hosted on WordPress.com, you have limited options when it comes to blogging designs and functionality.
- Unprofessional domain name. If your blog is hosted on a free platform like WordPress.com, your blog domain will look like this: anniesfoodblog.wordpress.com. Which doesn’t look professional at all!
- Will hinder you down the road if your goal is to allow your blog to generate a part-time or full-time income
Bluehost hosting only costs $3.95 a month. Trust me, it’s worth it! For around $50 a year, you won’t have to worry about the above-mentioned problems that come with a blog that’s not self-hosted.
When I signed up for Bluehost, the whole process probably took me less than 15 minutes. It was super straight-forward even for a non tech savvy person like me, lol!
Here are a few reasons why I recommend Bluehost for beginners:
- They have some of the most affordable web hosting plans out there!
- You can a free domain name when you sign up (so you won’t have to pay an extra $15 on GoDaddy for a domain)
- So many successful bloggers recommend Bluehost as well.
- Reliable and robust service and can support up to 500,000 visits monthly
Bluehost has very generously offered hosting packages starting at just $3.95 a month for readers of Just Jamila, along with a FREE domain name.
1. CLICK HERE AND THEN CLICK THE “GET STARTED” BUTTON:
2. SELECT YOUR HOSTING PLAN
I would recommend choosing the most basic plan for new bloggers! That’s what I started out with since I wasn’t making money from my blog yet and didn’t want to invest too much from the jump.
3. PUT IN YOUR DOMAIN NAME
This is where you get to input the domain name that you decided on in the very first step! If you have already purchased a domain from GoDaddy or other web hosting companies, you can simply enter it on the right side. Otherwise, create a new domain on the left!
4. CREATE YOUR HOSTING ACCOUNT
5. CHOOSE YOUR PACKAGE AND PAY
I personally didn’t choose any of these package extras when I started since there are WordPress plugins available that have similar functions.
As for choosing your BlueHost package plan, the 36-month plan at $3.95 a month is the best deal if you plan on turning your blog into a long-term career in the future. But if you’re just testing this blogging thing out and aren’t ready to commit yet, the 12-month at $5.95 a month would suit you better!
6. CONGRATS! YOU’RE DONE
There you go! Bluehost will automatically install WordPress for you. Then you can click on the login button to access your Bluehost C Panel, which will prompt you to log into WordPress.
The Bluehost C Panel looks like this:
Once you log into WordPress, spend some time to explore and get familiar with it. Because you will be spending A LOT TIME on your WordPress dashboard in the future to edit your posts, design your blog, install plugins, upload images, and much more!
It sounds overwhelming at first, but trust me, it’s pretty easy to navigate.
STEP 3: DESIGN YOUR BLOG
Now, this is the most fun part! But don’t worry too much about making it perfect because you can always modify it as you go.
When you first log into the WordPress dashboard for the first time, you’ll be prompted to select a theme for your blog.
You can select a free theme if you want, but I don’t really recommend it especially if you’re serious about turning blogging into a long-term business.
Here are some benefits of choosing a premium theme over a free one:
- A much more professional blog and user experience
- Attentive customer support from the theme creator
- Detailed step-by-step instruction on how to install your theme to WordPress
- Customizable options and mobile responsive designs
Currently, the theme that I use is Vivienne from 17th Avenue Designs. It was extremely simple to install (took me less than 30 minutes to figure out), and it’s super elegant and beautiful!
To install your theme, go to Appearance > Themes
(You can find this on the left side of your WordPress dashboard):
If you decide to purchase a premium theme, the theme creator will provide in-depth step-by-step instructions on how to install the theme into your WordPress. So don’t worry too much about this step, it’s so much easier than it sounds! (I panicked the first time and it wasn’t necessary at all, lol)
STEP 4: PROMOTE YOUR BLOG
If you’re just starting your blog, the quickest way to promote your blog is through Pinterest! When I started my first blog, I had ZERO views on my blog in the first month. Why? Because I was spending 100% of my time writing blog posts and not delegating time to blog promotion.
Then, I came across Sophia Lee and her course Pinteresting Strategies. Without a second thought, I spent my hard earn money on her course. First of all, she has over 10m+ monthly impressions on her Pinterest account, and has been able to generate over 500,000+ page views from her Pinterest alone! CRAZY! And second, she’s my age, and has been able to turn her blog into a full-time career generating 5 figures monthly, which is so inspiring!
In her course, she shows you the exact ways that she sets up her Pinterest boards, how she designs her pins, how many times she posts a day, and most importantly, how to optimize your Pinterest keywords to make sure your pins go viral! So much value! I highly recommend checking her course out if you want to quickly gain traction to your blog.
STEP 5: MAKE MONEY BLOGGING
There are four main ways that you can make money blogging by monetizing your blog:
1. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is one of the most common ways bloggers are using to make money. For example, Michelle Schroeder-Gardner from the super lucrative blog Making Sense of Cents, makes a whopping $50,000+ USD a MONTH from just affiliate income alone! Crazy right? She’s literally making more money in her sleep than people working 9 to 5 jobs. Amazing.
Her course, Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing is the first-ever affiliate marking course I’ve ever taken, and I’m so glad I invested this money in myself. Because she goes over the exact strategy that helps her generate this insane amount of money each month. And what better way to learn affiliate marketing than from Michelle, the genius blogger that makes over 1 MILLION USD a year from her blog!?
2. Ad Revenue
Ad revenue can either come from Google Ads or other ad networks like Mediavine, Monumetric, or Ezoic. To get into these ad networks (except for Google Ads), there is usually a minimum traffic requirement, for example: 10k visitors a month.
3. Sponsored Post
Sponsored post means that you’ll be teaming up with a company and get paid to promote their products. For example, some travel bloggers team up with hotels to promote their service to the blogger’s audience.
4. Digital Products
This is probably THE MOST lucrative way to generate income from your blog. However, this can also be quite time-consuming since you’ll basically have to create your own product or service. Some offer classes and some offer printables, eBooks, email courses, and paid webinars.
How To Start A Blog – Recap
1. Decide on a blog name (don’t spend too much time on this)
2. Choose a reliable blog hosting (I recommend Bluehost)
3. Design your blog (The blog theme I use is 17th Avenue Designs)
4. Promote your blog through Pinterest and other social media platforms- I highly recommend checking out Sophia’s Pinteresting Strategy to understand how exactly she’s able to generate 10 million + monthly impressions and over 500,000 pageviews to her websites using just Pinterest alone.
5. Monetize your blog through the four above mentioned strategies! For beginners, ads and affiliates are the most common ways to generate income. Again, I really recommend learning from the greatest! In this case, Michelle from Making Sense of Cents is without a doubt a genius in affiliate marketing. Check out her course Making sense of Affiliate Marketing to turn your blog into an actual money-making business.