So you’ve heard you can make money with a blog and want to get started.
There are a ton of bits and pieces of information out there and it’s kind of hard to know where to start.
That’s one of the reasons why I’ve put this 2 part blogging for profit guide.
Many ‘how to start a blog’ posts leave out the most important chunk of it all. How exactly do you get started making money from your blog, or ‘monetizing’ as we say in the blogosphere?
Well, here is a Table Of Contents to get you started.
It doesn’t matter if you are a veteran blogger or you are just getting started for the very first time, there are plenty of takeaways in this guide.
If you’d like to come back to it or put ‘finally start my blog’ on your to-do list you can either bookmark this page or pin it.
Why a lifestyle blog?
A lifestyle blog is awesome because you can write about almost anything you can think of (that falls under your general lifestyle category).
This way you won’t work yourself into a box, you have more options, and you don’t run out of things to blog about while making money in the process.
It’s the perfect set up for new bloggers to find their voice and find their strengths as they grow and learn more about blogging.
Not to mention, when you actually care about something, you’ll have a much easier time creating kick-ass content your audience wants to read.
Part 1: Start Your Blog
When you start blogging for profit, you’ll be tempted to go the FREE platform route. And I wouldn’t blame you. Who doesn’t want something awesome for free, right? But it turns out, it’s not the best idea.
Here are some of the downfall of choosing to go the free route:
- Your personalization and design options are really limited
- Your URL isn’t really professional ( viviansblog.blogspot.com)
- You can’t monetize well with ads (if you choose to go that route)
So its best to start a self-hosted blog using WordPress.org (not wordpress.com- the free version).
To be able to use WordPress.org to create your blog, you’ll need to get hosting— but more on that in a minute.
Step Two: Choosing A Solid Domain Name
This is where many people spend way too much of their time. And understandably so! It can be hard to make such a commitment.
For me, it didn’t take too long to come up with Teal Notes because I had kept a journal of brainstormed names for when I was ready to start a business (I just had no idea which kind of business I would start— enter blogging!)
A domain name is just a fancy way of saying your website’s URL. For example, my domain name is tealnotes.com.
Some people choose to use their own name as their domain name, which is great. Others tend to get a little more creative.
It’s entirely up to you.
Check out if your domain name is up for grabs below:
Some important tips for choosing the perfect name:
- It is always best to keep it short and memorable
- Make it something that won’t change in the future e.g. avoid numbers if you can
- Make it so that it reflects your brand and style (everyone’s is unique!)
Step Three: Sign Up for Web Hosting
On to step three.
What exactly IS hosting?
Hosting simply means buying server space from a company for your site to be stored in and up and running for people to visit.
With hosting, you want to get reliable service while taking care of your budget at the same time.
When I started this blog, I had come across Michelle’s Making Sense of Cents blog and decided to use her tutorial to get started. She recommended Bluehost as an affordable option for new bloggers and its what I’ve been using ever since.
This is why I also recommend Bluehost.
It’s a good option for beginner lifestyle bloggers because of a bunch of its features.
It’s what I’ve started with, paying less than $4 bucks a month, and I’ve yet to have problems with their customer service or my site.
What stands out to me from Bluehost is their 24/7 support feature that you can tap into every time you have any questions or concerns or if you’re ever confused about something.
On top of that, you also get a FREE domain name when you sign up with them here.
Paying $3.95 a month can still be expensive for some people (after all, it’s one whole burger and fries combo per month).
But once you get started blogging and find your way, you’ll see that the expense will be worth it and you’ll be able to make it back.
Investing in your blog will be worth it in the long run.
If you aren’t ready to financially invest in your new blog business, then you might want to reconsider blogging as a way to make income.
How To Easily Sign Up for Bluehost:
After you get on Bluehost.com, click on Get Started Now.
Then It’ll ask you to pick a plan. For blogging beginners, the best plan is the basic plan. For now, it is all you will need to get started successfully.
Next it’ll ask you to choose a domain name. Plug in your name to see if it isn’t already being used by someone else. If it is, it’s not the end of the blogging world, Bluehost will help you generate a variation of that name or you can choose a different one all-together.
The cool thing is, with Bluehost, you get a domain name for FREE. 😊
Once you’ve secured your domain name, it’s time to enter your account information.
Now, after entering your account information, you get to review your package info and pick the one you like best according to your own blogging goals.
You can either choose to uncheck the check boxes or leave them, as a beginner, I’d say you don’t need all the extra additions for now, and you can always go back and add them later.
Now, after processing your payment with your order, you’re ready to start installing WordPress.
Step Four: Install WordPress With Bluehost
To install WordPress, after processing your payment and accepting their terms and conditions, Bluehost will prompt you to log back in.
…And you’ll be met with this dashboard:
If you scroll down, under the Website section, click on Install WordPress.
Then It will ask you to verify your domain name. Click install and then click install again.
After WordPress is Installed, it will say Installation Complete and it will ask you to view credentials.
That is where you’ll get the login info to login to WordPress, along with your username and password to start publishing your first posts!
It will all be listed right there for you. You can’t miss it. 😊
Step Five: Picking A Theme
Now you get to pick your perfect theme.
There are thousands of theme options out there and it can take hours to decide which one you want that will be the best for your blog.
Hold on: What is a theme?
A theme is a framework for your blog. It’ll be the framework for how your site looks and functions. After you buy it you will upload it to WordPress account and you’ll be ready to publish your very first post.
If you want to go the route of using a free WordPress theme, once you’re logged in to your WordPress dashboard click on Appearance > Themes.
The downside with free themes is that you can’t customize them much, and you’re pretty much stuck with what you get.
But If you’d like to invest in one instead, there are plenty of places to find affordable themes.
Elegant Themes is a solid theme builder I like a lot. Check out their blogging themes to see if any catch your eye.
If you do purchase your own theme, it’s just a matter of uploading it to your WordPress account under Appearance > Themes > Add New and voila!
Step Six: How to Publish Your First Post
You’re now ready to publish your first post!
Here is a quick run through of the WordPress Dashboard:
P.S. Don’t worry if your dashboard doesn’t look exactly like mine. I’ve personalized some of the colors and added some plugins to the list on the left. Soon, yours will be personalized for your blog as well! ☺
This is where all your blog posts are kept. Think of it like the pages in your blog diary.
This is where all the blog images you upload are kept. Think of it like a photo album.
This is where all the part of your blog are separated into categories. For example you’ll have a home page, an about me page, a contact page, etc.
This is where you can manage all the comments people leave on your blog.
This is where you can customize your theme further by changing the Menus, the Widgets, etc.
How To Publish Your First Post
To publish your first post, make sure you are logged in to your WordPress. Then, go to Posts> Add New and you’ll be met with a blank page.
After you are done whipping up your kickass content for that post, you can click the ‘Publish’ button so your content is now live for the whole world to see.
You can click ‘Preview’ To see what it will look like to your audience.
Before we get into that, let’s take a minute to reflect back on how much you’ve gotten done.
If you’ve made it this far down, you are serious about making this blogging thing work for you.
It’s the first of many steps you’ll take to create your first profitable lifestyle blog.😊 You should definitely congratulate yourself for that.
To start making money with your blog, there a few steps involved to make it all work for you. But the simplified (very simplified) version is:
- Write GREAT content that people want to read and that SOLVES problems
- Put it in front of people that want that problem solved…constantly
On writing great content (important, don’t skip)
Writing great content doesn’t mean creating posts no one has ever seen before and aiming to be as unique as possible.
There isn’t such a thing. If you’ve seen one blog post you’ve seen all of them.
If you look more into it, have you noticed how many ‘home organization hacks’ posts there are? Or how many ‘DIY’ posts are floating around?
It’s because those bloggers have figured out that those posts work when it comes to getting found by your audience.
Basically, the shortcut to writing great content most bloggers ignore or don’t get is:
Find other bloggers in your niche that are hitting the success you’re looking for with your blog, find their most popular content, and write a better version of it with your own blog spin.
It’s really that dead simple because it takes the guesswork out of finding out profitable blog topics.
I’ll give you an example. I used to struggle for traffic when I was writing content about stuff like writing and grammar that no one wanted to read. I’ve since erased a bunch of useless posts and completely started over.
Now, I’m building my traffic up ( last month was 6,000 pageviews and climbing) as I create content that other people have found success publishing— like DIY posts, life hacks and round-up posts…everyone and their cat are always looking for those things online.
Not to mention they are perfect lifestyle topics…hence a lifestyle blog.
Moral of the story: Target the traffic in your niche by creating posts they are already looking for.
To succeed with a lifestyle blog you DO NOT have to reinvent the wheel, just put your own spin on what is already working. If you memorize that part you’ll be golden. ☺
Also, creating decent content takes practice and it’s something you’ll get better at as you go. There is no other way around it.
So keep creating it, even if you feel like you are burning out and losing motivation. Remember, slow and steady wins the race.
Also, ‘learn to rest and not to quit’ is another great motivating saying because believe me, you’ll need tenacity.
On putting your content in front of people
Your lifestyle blog is a business. That means you are better off treating it as such. A business needs to make sure people know about it, and that’s where Pinterest comes in.
It’s a blogger’s ultra-secret (well not that secret) weapon to getting people to read your blog and grow your blog audience. Pinterest is where people can find the lifestyle topics you write about, which means traffic to your blog, which means you’ll then be able to monetize that traffic.
So make sure you master Pinterest as the best traffic tool for your blog.
To help get you started on the right foot monetizing, here are some in-depth guides I’ve put together for beginner bloggers to learn how to create a profitable blog:
- Here’s how to get started monetizing your blog with affiliate marketing (the easiest way to start)
- Here is how to master Pinterest as a powerful blog traffic tool
- Here is the type of content you should be writing from the very beginning
- Oh, and here is how to format your content!
These are all things I wish I knew when I first started blogging, compiled into comprehensive posts (some longer than others). So grab some coffee, get comfortable, and read on. 😊
Your Next Action Steps
You are seriously off to a solid start and I’m excited for you! Here is what you should do next:
- Ideally, if you have the money to invest in blogging education, you should start by educating yourself properly as much as possible. It will hands down give you a head start in monetizing your blog faster.
- Read the guides I’ve provided to set a solid base for your blogging strategy.
- Start creating as much content that is already working as possible without sacrificing quality, publish it, and promote it with Pinterest
- Really really make sure you take the time to set up your Pinterest correctly, learn about that more here (it’s super important).
- Stay motivated and remember that slow and steady wins the race!
- If you have any questions/anything you think I can help you out with don’t hesitate to send me an email.
Lots of time, drafting, and effort went into creating this guide so that it helped you start a life-changing online business (your blog).
Remember to shoot me an email with any questions you may have.
And lastly, did this comprehensive guide help you understand the beginner blogging process better? It would make my day if you pinned it! 😊