Disclosure: This is a professional guide to teach you the steps you need to take to start a blog and make money. I receive a compensation from some of the products and/or services mentioned on this page. I run a thorough test of every product and/or service that I promote as well as use it myself. This is an independent blog and is in no way related to any of the products and/or services mentioned on this page. All opinions expressed here are my own.
This is detailed guide designed to teach beginners the actual practical ways they need to follow from setting up their blog to making serious money with it.
You should follow every single one of these 7 steps as described and I guarantee that you will start to make money blogging very soon.
The guide is intended for those who are serious about starting their own blog and start making money as soon as possible. I will not discuss ways of starting a free blog on Blogger or WordPress or many other free properties because I completely disagree with the idea of starting a serious blogging business on a free sub domain that is someone else’s property.
Going for a free option is for those who like to procrastinate in making a serious decision today and would like to try it out and then decide if they will continue or not, which then usually never happens.
The following image does not show my blogging station, but it is pretty similar though:
If you want to start making money in relatively short amount of time then you must make that first step, which is the only step that will ever cost you any little money, and that is to find a reliable and affordable hosting and buy your very own domain name.It has happened many times before that people spent a lot of time and money investing in a free blog which then collapsed or simply got taken away from them for whatever reason (yes, they can do that because they own your blog).
So, if you seriously want to make money blogging and you are not afraid to make an initial investment of a few dollars, then proceed to the first step.
Table of Content:
- Find a Reliable Hosting and Register Your Domain
- Install WordPress Blog
- Install a Nice Looking Theme and Important Plugins
- Write Your First Blog Post
- How to Make Money from Your Blog
- How to Create High Quality Blog That Will Attract a Lot of Traffic And Make You a Lot of Money
- Market Your Blog With Proper Techniques and Watch It Skyrocket
Step 1 – Find a Reliable Hosting and Register Your Domain
You need disk space (hosting) where all of your files will be located and a property (domain) where all of those files will be displayed to the World Wide Web through a nice looking medium.
You can usually register a domain together with the hosting at the time of signing up with one, so there shouldn’t be two separate things that need to be taken care of.
I personally use two hosting providers for all of my websites, iPage and GoDaddy, which proved to be excellent in reliability, speed, support, low expense and everything else that I ever needed to make money from blogging such as free tools that help you with your website from a to z, and free AdWords, Bing/Yahoo and Facebook Ad credits to help you market your blog from the start.They both have an option to deal with the entire WordPress blog installation automatically, which makes the step 2 of this guide very fast and easy.
I cannot recommend any other hosting provider as I don’t have any experience with the rest of the herd, and I don’t think I ever will need to. These are my top recommendations, with iPage being the winner since it is cheaper and don’t have any limitations regarding the use of disk space and bandwidth, while GoDaddy has limitations on disk space, email accounts and MySQL Databases, therefore having various plans available (but more than enough for any average blogger).
Sign up with one of the following hosting providers:
Choose Your Domain
At the time of signup with iPage you will have an option to register a new domain of your choice for free, while GoDaddy charges a small fee for your domain.
I recommend you choose a domain name which is short and easy to remember, such as www.mynewblog.com or www.globaltourist.com. Also, people are most accustomed to *.com extension which might be the best for your website and might help to make more money with your blog, but feel free to choose *.net, *.org or any other extension as you prefer.
After you sign up with one of the hosting providers above, or the one of your choice, you will be able to enter the control panel from where you can install your WordPress powered blog on your new domain, which takes us to step 2.
Step 2 – Install WordPress Blog
I highly recommend WordPress as the engine to power your blog and I’ve never used any other blogging software in my online life. WordPress is an exceptionally solid blogging interface, easy to use, and it has a very steep learning curve.
You are now ready to install a WordPress and make your blog go live. If you signed up with iPage or GoDaddy this will all be done for you with a few mouse clicks and entering of few basic information you desire for your blog.
The process is fast and simple. Click on the desired image below to be guided through the process of installation step-by-step.
Don’t forget to write down administrator name and password that you choose at setup as they are your means to login to your blog where all customization and writing will take place.
If you have chosen a different host which does not support automatic installation of WordPress, you will need to proceed with this step by yourself, and hopefully make it through the end. Go to WordPress official guide for manual installation, which will guide you through the manual installation process.
Step 3 – Install a Nice Looking Theme and Important Plugins
Install a Theme
Theme that you choose for your blog will be the medium through which all of your information will be presented to the visitors. You should make a good first impression by installing user-friendly, professional and nice looking theme. It will help you increase traffic and make money with your blog right from the start.
You can get themes directly from within your WordPres Interface, but I recommend getting professional and very nice looking themes for free (or cost if you wish) at one of the following websites:
Installing a theme is simple. Following video will show you how:
Install Important Plugins
Now that your WordPress blog is installed on your domain, you should be able to see it live if you enter your domain in the browser window.
To make money blogging online you are strongly encouraged to install few plugins on your blog in order to improve the user experience and to increase the chances of your traffic converting to potential leads, buyers and subscribers.
Following plugins are a must-have for every blogger:
- Akismet (Installed by default)– This plugin is an absolute must-have for every blog there is. It automatically detects spam comments and prevents them from ever being posted on your blog. The plugin comes with a default WP installation and it only requires you to activate it and register for free.
- All in One SEO Pack (Requires download)– This plugin enables many functions that greatly improve your on-page search engine optimization and makes your blog more search-engine friendly.
- Digg Digg (Requires download) – This plugin adds social bookmarking buttons to the beautifully looking floating bar to the left of your posts. The bar automatically scrolls as you scroll up or down the page. You can see it in action right now as you are reading this page (which might encourage you to click on one of the buttons and share this post with the rest of the world).
- Jetpack by WordPress (Installed by default)– This plugin also comes with default WP installation and it requires you to register for free with WordPress. There are several features that come very handy and they are all packed in one convenient package. Adding contact form to your contact page, option to subscribe to your blog via email, and seeing daily statistics of your blog visitors are just a few of the features it has to offer.
- Hello Bar (Optional, requires download) – This plugin is really simple and it adds a horizontal bar with short text on top of your window which directs your visitors to the page of your preference and promotes your most important content.
To download individual plugin, click on the name of the plugin and you will be redirected to a download page.
How to install a new plugin in WordPress? Following video will show you how:
Step 4 – Write Your First Blog Post
Now that your blog is up and running and you have a nice theme installed, you should immediately write your first post. Don’t wait until later or tomorrow, but write it right now before you continue reading. Be serious about blogging!
Write about anything that comes up in your mind. Write about why you decided to have your very own blog and make money with it. Write about something that interests you.
You should stop reading and write your first article. You have to make a decision to start the path of success right now! Don’t procrastinate and don’t wait until tomorrow to start your blog as it will be too late. You have to make that decision right now.
That didn’t take that long did it? Now that you have your very first article ready it is time to publish it on your blog. You cannot continue with the rest of the steps without your first article, so write one if you haven’t already.
Publishing a post is simple and will take little of your time. To see how to go through the process of publishing your post, see the video below. I also show how to change settings for permalinks (permanent links) so they will show only a post name after your domain name (better for SEO).
One of the most important rules to follow if you want to be a successful money-making-blogger is to write one post every day. One post on any subject, any length and any style you desire. It is best to follow your own intuition and ideas, and your own ability at writing as this will create the best end results in the long run for you and the visitors of your blog.
It might take some time that you will get the hang of writing compelling and interesting posts, but if you write on the subjects that really interest you, and keep the consistency at writing, you will soon be publishing amazing content.
There are many experts (probably most of them) who advise having your blog centered on one particular topic, in one specific niche. It is true that such practice usually delivers best results, but should only be undertaken if there is a lot of content to be written on the subject and if the subject really interests you.
I would say that there isn’t a right or wrong approach when it comes to blogging as writing on the subjects that interest you and organizing them in relevant categories is the only advice you should follow to make money with a blog.
Step 5 – How to Make Money from Your Blog
Now that your first post is live you should theoretically be able to make money with it. But, it will take more content and more time than that to attract traffic and convert them into your income.
Anyway, you are probably wondering how to make money from a blog with the content you are publishing every day. There are many ways to make money blogging and you can use one, two or all of the possible ways if it makes you more money and it doesn’t hurt the user experience.
It is usually best practice to use one or two methods and become really good at them than making your blog look like a cheap supermarket without any interesting content that will only send everyone next door. However, if you know how to make the best use of multiple sources of income, you will surely get more money and will not be at risk if one source of income dries out.
First of all, you should know that on the internet everything sells. Selling information, products, ideas, advertising space, affiliating customers to other products or services are some of the top used methods of monetizing your blog.
I will assume that you don’t have any of your own products or services to sell (yet?), which leaves us with four of the most used methods of monetizing: Donations, Pay per Click (PPC), Affiliate Marketing and Individual Advertising.
#1 – Donations – Donations are by far the least invasive method of monetizing your blog. This gives your visitors a chance to voluntarily contribute to your income if they choose so.
#2 – AdSense and Chitika Ads (PPC) – AdSense and Chitika ads are great pay per click advertising methods and can bring in a great stream of income. How much money you can make depends greatly on the content you have and the placement of your ads. Since you are paid per each click, it means the more visitors you have, the more clicks you will get and the more money you will make. Chitika ads are a bit different and can deliver very different results than AdSense. As you will get better at blogging and have a lot of traffic coming in, you should test various methods to see what works and what doesn’t.
#3 – Affiliate Marketing – Making money with affiliate marketing is a process where you are paid a commission for each customer that you refer who then buys a particular product or service from a seller. You can affiliate products from individual sellers or well-known programs such as Amazon or ClickBank. Amazon is great for physical products and books, while ClickBank specializes in digital products and digital services.
By doing a truthful and thorough review of a particular product or service and leading your readers to the page of that product through the affiliate link has proven to be the best use of affiliate programs. You are free to discover your own ways to monetize your blog through the affiliate mareting and time will teach you the best practices to do so.
#4 – Individual Advertising – This type of advertising involves making a deal with individual advertisers and advertising their business in an agreed spot on your blog for the period of time as agreed prior the placement of the ad. Such campaigns usually last for 3 months or longer. Now, all of these methods can bring in a lot of money, given you work for them and know how to build a quality blog, what marketing techniques to use to attract traffic and how to convert traffic into leads, buyers and subscribers.IMPORTANT: You should NOT use PPC and affiliate means of monetizing your blog from the beginning because you want to build your website some reputation before adding AdSense and affiliate links. Google and other search engines don’t like to see new websites that are fully monetized but don’t have any content yet. Sites like that can get categorized as money-making sites with the sole purpose of making money and not to deliver useful information to the visitors. That may put you in a bad position from the start, which is hard to recover from.
You should start adding AdSense and other means of monetization after a few weeks when you’ve build some content and reputation. As long as you don’t have a decent amount of traffic, putting up pay per click advertisements is pointless anyway as it won’t deliver much income, if any at all.
Next step will explain what kind of practices to follow to make your blog really stand out and make you a lot of money.
Step 6 – How to Create High Quality Blog That Will Attract a Lot of Traffic and Make You a Lot of Money
In order to make money blogging, you should know that quality content plays the MOST important role. If you are creating compelling and informative content and offer your readers additional content of the same quality, they are bound to stick around and subscribe to your blog and are more likely to buy some of the products or services you are selling or recommending as an affiliate.
Following are 4 techniques that will make your blog stand out, attract more traffic and make you more money:
#1 – Your blog should contain two kinds of articles. Articles that are keyword oriented and articles that are subject oriented. Keyword articles are primarily used to attract people from search engines who search for that particular keyword phrase, while subject oriented articles serve as the quality raising method in the eyes of visitors and search engines as they attract higher quality traffic from all kinds of sources. Both types of articles should be of high quality though.
#2 – Next, include images and videos whenever appropriate. Both readers and search engines like images and videos, which again raises the quality bar for your blog.
#3 – Make sure that all of your content is well organized in categories and easily accessible. People don’t want to click 10 times just to get to some desired content.
#4 – Try to include a call to action at the end of every post. A call to action is a response you want your readers to complete. This will ensure that when a visitor finishes reading your article, they will take further action such as bookmarking your page, leaving a comment, buy a product related to the content of the article, subscribe to your email list, recommend the article to their friends, read related articles or reviews of a particular product and so on.
#5 – To make money with a blog other than with the methods described above, you may want to offer your visitors something else besides great information. You may have a section of your blog selling your own quality products or services and create content on your blog that will orient around that particular subject and direct visitors to the buy section of your blog.
Step 7 – Market Your Blog with Proper Techniques and Watch It Skyrocket
So, let’s revise everything from the step 4 where you wrote your first post and published it on the blog. You added a nice looking image or two, and perhaps embedded a video from YouTube. You included a call to action at the end that encourages your readers to take some additional action (but not an affiliate link yet).
Now, you need to start attracting visitors to your blog in order to make money blogging. There are two ways to attract new visitors:
One; you build a good link profile and get on top position of search engines for desired keywords and attract people from search engines searching for those information.
Two; you write relevant content on other blogs and article directories which, besides giving you a link, will also lead visitors of those blogs and directories to your website. Additionally, you can market your blog using paid methods of advertising.
Paid methods are most useful when you have something to sell or promote and when you know that the traffic will convert into money. That way, you will ideally make much more money from the amount you invested into advertising and all will be worthwhile. Sometimes leading people to sign up with something or subscribe to a list is also a great idea to get a list of potential customers that will convert in the future.
As a beginner to blogging, it is easiest to start building links and increase your exposure with following methods:
#1 - Article marketing is very effective and permanent solution. Write quality articles and distribute them to article directories with links back to your blog and individual posts. If you have money to invest you can have other people write articles for you and your only job is to submit them to directories. One of the best such services is iWriter where you can get articles written for as low as $1.25 an article.
Directories higher on the list are considered to be the better ones:
1. Squidoo – PR 7
2. Hub Pages – PR 6
3. Ezine Articles – PR 6
4. Articles Base – PR 6
5. Self Growth – PR 6
6. Go Articles – PR 5
7. Bukisa – PR 5
8. Triond – PR 5
9. Article Insider – PR 5
10. Article Snatch – PR 5
11. Idea Marketers – PR 4
12. Sooper Articles – PR 4
13. Info Barrel – PR 4
14. Article Alley – PR 4
15. Pub Articles – PR 4
16. Ezine Mark – PR 4
17. Article Rich – PR 4
18. Articles Factory – PR 4
19. Article King PRO – PR 3
20.News Reel Network – PR 3
21. More Free Information – PR 2
22. Ata Articles – PR 2
23. Article Submit Edge – PR 2
24. Articlicious – PR 2
25. Article – PR 2
#2 - Search Google for blogs on related subjects and ask blog owners if they would be willing to accept unique and quality article with a link to your blog. Give them a link to your blog and let them see the great content you have. The faster way (and maybe not always the best) is to search Google for “keyword gust post” or “keyword guest blogging” where “keyword” is replaced with your desired term. That way, you will usually find only those blogs that already allow guests posting content on their blog.
#3 - Visit forums, discussion rooms and other blogs related to your content and start contributing with your opinions and comments. Ideally, you will be able to include a link back to your blog. Such links are not of high quality and usually don’t increase the authority of your site, but will add greatly to the diversity of your linking profile and help you rank higher in the search engines.
#4 - This tip doesn’t include linking from external sources but something you should do on your blog. It is important that you interlink your posts and pages from within the content in order to direct visitors to your other related articles, improve linking profile as well, and to tell search engines that your site has content which is relevant to each other and that you’re not just a content farm.Remember that when you are building external links you should diversify your anchor text as much as possible. Anchor text is the text that is used as a link to your blog.
For example, if you wish to rank high for a keyword “vegetarian recipes” than your anchor text should include all kinds of variations such as: “best vegetarian recipes”, “vegetarian recipes for lazy cooks”, “where to buy vegetarian recipes”, “recipes for vegetarian barbeque”, “vegetarian cooking” etc.
A great deal of your links should also include anchor text such as “www.yourblog.com”, “http://www.yourblog.com”, “yourblog.com”, “Your Blog”, “click here”, “visit this page”, “find more info” etc.
As you will begin to make money with a blog, you are strongly encouraged to invest at least 25% of that money into paid advertising as well as get articles written for article marketing which will bring in even more sales, and as you make even more money, re-invest into advertising again and keep practicing this method.
When you will be re-investing like that, you will start to think like a real entrepreneur and soon all your work will be done by a hired team and you will enjoy a care free life full of adventures.
That is it. You have made it through more than 4,200 words of content, which makes you one of the most serious to-be-blogger and that proves that you have all what it takes to be successful in this business. All you need to do from now on is to reserve 2 or 3 hours every day posting content and marketing your blog on a consistent basis. Throw in your own faith in yourself and everything else is guaranteed.
P.S. This is an example of a simple call to action. It is an actual call to action by the way, and since you have stayed with me till the end I have an amazing free bonus video for you that will show you how much money some people make blogging by following a surprisingly simple methods.