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How to Start a Blog and Make Money From Home

by | Jun 26, 2018 | Blogging Tips

id you know that Internet live stats data shows that are more than 1.3 million blog posts written daily?

Why would bloggers all over the world write more than 1.3 million posts daily if they do not make money?

The bitter truth is that not all bloggers out there make money because most treat their blogs as a hobby and not a business investment.

I know you are reading this post because you want to learn how to start a blog and make money with it.

Yes, you can make a full-time income out of blogging, but you need the right advice on how to create a blog and make money, which you will get in this post.

Ten reasons why starting a blog is awesome

  • It is a source of passive income
  • You will inspire and positively educate, inform or transform others
  • It gives you a platform to recommend products and voice your opinions
  • Helps you to become a better communicator, writer, and
  • It will open excellent networking, partnership, jobs and other business opportunities for you.
  • It makes you grow and develop intellectually because it is challenging and requires you to keep learning.
  • It will help you to build an online brand, presence, and expertise at something, which you can become a consultant or coach later in life.
  • It will help you to establish authority and trust, especially if you remain consistent in providing quality content and products.
  • It is easy and free, which means it requires no prior experience to start. All you have to do is follow all the step by step directions provided in this post on how to start a blog and make money with it.
  • It provides flexibility and independence in life because you become your boss.
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How to start a blog and make money from home in 10 steps

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1. Build your blogging idea/plan

I am not teaching you how to start a blogging hobby or side hustle. Instead, I want you to learn how to create a blog which generates income.

Every profitable business begins with a plan; even your blog should have one.

Four questions you must answer before you start a blog and make money from it

What market, need/problem will your blog exist to solve? And how will you solve that problem?

Every blog on the internet serves a specific function and most narrow down their focus to one or two niches/subject areas.

Learning how to start a blog and make money begins with clearly understanding the purpose your blog will serve. See examples below;

Problogger.com: Niche/market: Blogging, The problem it solves: Help bloggers who want to start a blog and grow a stable income online.

Makesenseofcents: Niche/market: Finance and personal income, Need/problem it solves: Offer information which helps people to manage and budget their finances better.

Healthhappylife: Niche/market: Health and fitness, Need/problem: Teaching/coaching people on how to live healthy and happy lives.

Recommended reading: 3 quick hacks to finding your blogging niche and How to create an online business idea for your blog

  Find a need

Who are the customers/ clients your blog will serve?

There are many types of users on the internet. For example, in the women category, there are girls, single women, teenage daughters, mothers, pregnant women and college girls among others.

Therefore, one single blog cannot exist to solve the needs of all women.

Thus, you must identify the specific audience personas you want to serve or reach/reach with your blog when learning how to start a blog and make money with it.

You must know their demographics, goals, where they buy, other blogs they follow, where they spend their time online and who they are.

Buyer persona information will help you to create content, products and promotional campaigns tailored to the specific needs of those audiences.

Recommended reading: How to create accurate buyer personas

how-to-start-a-blog-and-make-money-buyer-personas

How will you be unique and different from competitors in the market?

Learning how to start a blog and make money begins with identifying your unique selling proposition, which answers the questions below;

  • What unique value proposition do you bring to the market different from others offering the services, products, and content in your niche?
  • What is that unique thing you will do to succeed where others have failed?
  • What gaps have your competitors left that you can fill?

You are not the first blogger, and you will not be the last, and this means that you must create a unique idea which will make you stand out in the market with many other competitors.

Your customers will only choose you if you are offering value they get nowhere else on the internet.

Suggested reading: How to create accurate unique selling propositions

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Is that blog idea profitable?

Remember that making money blogging also depends on whether the idea you have chosen is profitable and viable or not.

There are many ways you can use to test if a blogging niche or idea is profitable or not.

  • Research competition: How much money do they make and what do they say about the niche?
  • Search volume: Does the idea has keywords with enough search volume?
  • Gather feedback: Create surveys with data gathering tools, such as Typeform and Survey Monkey, or use social media polls to ask your target customers, friends and family if the idea is worthy.
  • Affiliate networks or e-commerce site: Are products in that niche fast moving or best sellers?
  • Evaluate yourself: what do you feel about the idea? Is your heart ready and willing to give all the sacrifice it takes?

How-to-start-a-blog-and-make-money-test-profitability

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2. Select a domain name for your blog

A domain name is a unique name or network address identifier which will help search engines and your target audience to identify your blog on the internet with over 3.9 users and 1.9 websites daily.

Examples: sproutmentor.com, problogger.com, smartpassiveincome.com, Linux.org, and yahoo.co.uk among others.

I hope that you have noticed that there are many types of domain name extensions, such as .com, .org, .net, .edu, /Gov and .info among others.

Type of  Domain Name Extension Examples
Generic Top-Level Domains (gTLD) .COM, .NET, .INFO, .ORG
Generic Restricted Top-Level Domains .BIZ, .NAME and .PRO
Sponsored Top-Level domains (sTLD) .EDU, .GOV, .TEL, .JOBS
Country Top-level domains .QA for Qatar and.TR for Turkey.
Reserved Top-level Domains .INT, .TEST & .EXAMPLE

Seven tips to use when picking a domain name for your blog

  • Extension: The .com extension is the most advisable to use in a blog because it is memorable, universal and prioritized by Google.
  • Length: Stick to less than 15 characters. A length domain confuses your blog readers because it is hard to remember and type on search engines.
  • Simplicity: Avoid complicated names, keep it natural and memorable.
  • Keywords: Where possible add your target keyword in the domain name.
  • Special characters: only stick to letters and numbers to avoid confusing your readers.
  • Domain name search and generation: In case you are lack ideas for the perfect domain name, there are many domain name generators, such as Namestation and DomainsBot to crowdsource for ideas and suggestions.
  • Domain name availability: Use the right tools, such as Domainr and NameVine to find out if your chosen domain is available for use and not taken by another blogger.
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Where to buy a domain names

There are two places you can buy a domain name for your blog; domain name registrars and web hosting companies.

a) Domain name registrars

See a list of the best domain name registrars you can use to buy a domain for your blog below.

 

Domain Name Registrar Cost per Year
NameCheap $10.98
1 & 1 Network Solutions $8.99
NameSilo $8.99
GoDaddy £9.99
Netim $14.67

b) Web hosting companies 

Some web hosting service providers offer domain names free, such as Bluehost and Hostgator, while others, such as Siteground and host gator charge it as part of the package.

Suggested reading: Three things you need before creating a blog: domain, hosting, and platform.

Bluehost
SiteGround-WordPress

3. Choose web hosting service provider for your blog

Learning how to start a blog and make money with it means choosing the right hosting service provider who will not mess up your business and efforts.

A bad host can slow down your website and even cause you to lose all your files in the worst scenario.

Suggested reading: Three things you need before creating a blog: domain, hosting, and platform.

Type of web hosting you can use for your blog

how-to-start-a-blog-and-make-money-in-ten-steps-buy-hosting
Free Web Hosting

The upside is that it is free with zero costs, but the disadvantage is that it is less secure, has low customization options, and you have little control.

Free web hosting is offered by several companies, such as WordPress.com, Wix.com, X10Hosting.com, AwardSpace.com.

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Shared Web Hosting

Multiple hosting websites utilize one single server resources. The advantage is that it is pocket and beginner- friendly.

My advice: This is the best option to choose to start a blog and make money. Once your blog traffic grows, you can upgrade to a higher choice. 

Best Shared Hosting Providers: Bluehost, HostGator, and A2 Hosting.

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VPS Web Hosting

Unlike in shared hosting, where sharing of the server is random, in VPS the server is partitioned, such that you will have access to your private portion of the operating system, disc space, bandwidth and other server resources. 

Best VPS hosting providers:BlueHost, Hostgator, SiteGround, InMotion, A2Hosting, and LiquidWeb.

how-to-start-a-blog-and-make-money-in-ten-steps-buy-hosting
Dedicated Web Hosting

This is a hosting where you rent the whole server resources and become the sole owner without sharing with others like in shared hosting. The upside is it is more secure and fast loading, but it is expensive.

Best dedicated web hosting providers: Hostwinds, TMDHosting, SiteGround and DreamHost.

how-to-start-a-blog-and-make-money-in-ten-steps-buy-hosting
Cloud Web Hosting

While other forms of hosting use physical servers and data centers, this one uses virtual resources. This is a cheaper alternative to dedicated hosting.

Best Cloud hosting providers: CloudWays, SiteGroundGoogle CloudFastCometLiquidWeb

how-to-start-a-blog-and-make-money-in-ten-steps-buy-hosting
WordPress Web Hosting

WordPress powers more than 25% of websites on the web globally. The popularity of this CMS has motivated some web service providers to create a hosting designed explicitly for WordPress users.

Best Managed WordPress Hosting Providers: SiteGround, DreamHostWPEngineKinsta , BlueHost

4. Selecting a blogging platform

how-to-start-a-blog-and-make-money-in-ten-steps-blogging-platforms

I know it is easy to get confused here because some of you might be asking the difference between a blog hosting provider and platform.

Learning how to start a blog and make money with it means clearing all doubts and understanding all facts.

A blog hosting will provide your website resources a server where they can be stored and accessed by search engines or browsers every time a user requests resources from your website.

On the other hand, a blogging platform is an environment where you can use to create posts and manage other resources in your blog.

Types of blogging platforms

There are free and paid/ self-hosted blogging platforms, see a list of the best in the two categories below;

Note that: Most free blogging platforms have paid/self-hosted options which you can upgrade to later. WordPress.org is the most recommended platform for bloggers. Find out why here.

Free Blogging platforms Paid blogging platforms
WordPress.com WordPress.org
Medium Wix
Blogger Squarespace
Tumblr  
Joomla  
Squarespace  
Wix  

Why you should not use a free blogging platform to start a blog and make money

  • They have limited capabilities and customization options
  • Low monetization potential because you will not be able to display ads and other monetization methods.
  • If the blogging platform closes or something happens to it, you lose everything making it insecure.
  • Little or no support such that if you experience a problem, you are on your own.
  • Most of these platforms have little trust and low reputation, which can easily damage your reputation to your target audience.
  • Most have limited resources, blogging tools, and design customization options.

Note that: This does not mean you should not start your blog if you have zero capital you can always begin in a free blogging platform but do not forget the disadvantages above. Also, remember that creating a self-hosted blog is very cheap starting from as little as $3.95 per month.

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5. Buy Bluehost hosting package and install WordPress

Remember I want you to start a blog and make money with it, and this explains why the self-hosted blog is the best for business.

A blog that makes money will require a good hosting and an excellent platform where you can manage your content efficiently.

Why Bluehost shared web hosting?

  • Recommended by WordPress.orgIf you are using WordPress as your website platform, you want to choose a host that is recommended by WordPress.org.
  • Popularity: Bluehost  powers over 2 million websites on the web, which means they are reliable.
  • Money-back GuaranteeIf you test out their services and do not like, Bluehost has 30-days money back guarantee.
  • Available supportBluehost has a vibrant support system through chat, email, forums and knowledge base support, such as the Get started Guide.
  • AffordableTheir shared hosting plan starts at $3.95, which is cheap and affordable considering the features available. The good thing about Bluehost is that it has a wide range of hosting types and plans, which you can upgrade to when your website begins to grow.

Why WordPress blogging platform?

  • Popularity: Over 25% of websites are powered by WordPress see them here in this showcase.
  • Theme and plugin ecosystem: WordPress has over 1 million+ plugins and themes which are all free.
  • For both technical and non-techies: If you are not the technical kind of person like me, why pay over $200 to hire a developer for something you can create for yourself by following these simple guidelines.
  • Availability of resources: There are countless blogs, websites and YouTube channels dedicated to teaching non-techies and beginners how to make the best use of the WordPress platform.

PS: I am talking about WordPress.org, not WordPress.com. Read a comparison of how the two are different.

A Step by step Guide on how to buy hosting and install WordPress for your blog

STEP ONE: VisIt BlueHost

Use this link to visit Bluehost and get a 50% reduced cost.

Once on that page, click on the “Get Started Now” button. See image below.

creating-a-website-for-your-business

STEP TWO: CHOOSE A PLAN

 

Bluehost has three plans available in the shared hosting type: basic, plus and prime. All are good for you, but we are going to choose a basic plan because we are just starting out. Once your website begins to get traffic, you can upgrade to a higher plan.

Click on the “Select” plan Button to be directed to the next step.

creating-a-website-for-your-business

 

STEP THREE: ENTER YOUR DOMAIN NAME

 

The good news is that Bluehost offers domain names for free, you do not pay for it as part of the hosting package.

If you are still struggling with this step and can’t seem to make up your mind, proceed to the next by clicking on the “Choose later!” link at the bottom.

creating-a-website-for-your-business

 

STEP FOUR: CREATE AN ACCOUNT

 

In this step you will complete five essential activities: provide contact information, complete package information, enter billing information, agree to terms and conditions and finally submit the application. See the images below.

Firstly fill out your contact information and other personal details……

creating-a-website-for-your-business

Secondly, complete the package information, such as choosing the duration and purchasing additional services…..

creating-a-website-for-your-business

Finally, provide payment/billing details, agree to terms and submit the application.

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STEP FIVE: INSTALL WORDPRESS

 

After completing step four above, you will receive an email with your Cpanel login details.

Visit Bluehost and login to your Cpanel dashboard.

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In the Cpanel, navigate to the website section and click on the “Install WordPress” option.

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You will be redirected to Mojo marketplace, a site that allows you to install WordPress at a click of a button without navigating through multiple steps. Click on the “Start” button.

creating-a-website-for-your-business

 

After clicking on the start button, you will be taken to a page where you will be required to select the domain you want to install WordPress on. Just select the domain you registered while you were purchasing the Bluehost hosting package and click on the “Check Domain” button.

creating-a-website-for-your-business

You can choose to edit username, password and site name details in the advanced settings, then click “Install.”

creating-a-website-for-your-business

 

 

Wait for a few minutes for the installation to finish, and a screen with your WordPress login credentials will appear.

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Login to your WordPress dashboard with those credentials and begin the next processes.

creating-a-website-for-your-business

 

6. Make first initial settings for your new blog

A new blog needs several settings before you begin to make money.

You can find detailed step-by-step guidelines for each of the setting alive in this post ten things to do immediately after creating a new blog.

Ten settings to make in a new blog

  1. Set site title, tagline and time zone
  2. Configure permalink structure
  3. Set the right reading, discussion, and admin settings
  4. Install a theme
  5. Install recommended plugins
  6. Verify property with webmaster tools
  7. Set up Google analytics
  8. Create your first post
  9. Brand your site
  10. Visit Bluehost Get Started Guide to learn all the settings you have to complete from your cPanel, such as setting a professional email for your blog among others.

7. SEO your blog

how-to-start-a-blog-and-make-money-in-ten-steps-SEO

In order to start a blog and make money from it, you will need an active audience and blog traffic.

You can get free organic traffic from search engines if you learn to use SEO the right way.

SEO is divided into two broad categories: on page SEO and off page SEO.

Blog SEO tips you need to remember

  • Do keyword research and use at least 1-2 long tail keywords per post or page.
  • Make sure your blog is mobile friendly because 80% of your target audience will access your blog through mobile devices.
  • Optimize your images by resizing and naming them appropriately.
  • Make internal and external linking to related content a habit within your blog posts.
  • Wring original and long-form content around 1000 words and above.
  • Use an SEO plugin, such as Yoast SEO.
  • Make sure that your blog loads fast to reduce bounce rate and increase conversion.

RELATED

8. Monetize your blog

how-to-start-a-blog-and-make-money-in-ten-steps-monetize

Learning how to start a blog and make money from it involves using the right monetization methods.

In case you are wondering how bloggers make money from their blogs, below is a list of ways you can use to monetize your blog.

Visit this post to get a detailed explanation of all the monetization methods below: How to make money from a blog.

  • Affiliate marketing
  • Display ads, such as Google Adsense
  • Sell physical merchandise
  • Sell digital products, such as eBooks and courses.
  • Sell your services, such as freelance writing and coaching among others.
  • Earn from sponsored posts/content.

9. Promote/market your blog

In this process, starting a blog and make money from it means making sure that its content gets to the right target audience.

90% of your right blog readers will never find you unless you tell them that you exist by promoting and marketing your blog.

Smart bloggers use the 80/20 rule where there spend 20% effort writing a post and 80% marketing it in different platforms.

You can find a detailed explanation of the promotion methods below in this post; how to promote your blog to drive more traffic.

Methods of promoting a new blog to attract right readers and drive traffic

  • Email marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • Search engine marketing
  • Forum and community marketing
  • Influencer and outreach marketing
  • Content upgrade and repurposing
  • Paid advertising

It is easy to get lost in all the above methods as a new blogger because each has its unique process of promotions and rule of operation.

My recommendation: Yes, I use all the above platforms, but the one that I have experienced most results from is Pinterest.  Most bloggers will tell you that Pinterest for business is the best social media platform most bloggers use to drive traffic to their blogs.

10. Avoid these common mistakes when starting a blog

  • Choosing a slow, insecure or lousy hosting provider: I would recommend you select Bluehost or SiteGround. I use SiteGround, and you can read ten reasons why I love SiteGround hosting.
  • Picking a bloated and wrong theme: A poorly responsive and coded theme can profoundly harmful to your blog SEO. I use Divi theme from Elegant themes, and you can read 20 reasons why I love divi WordPress theme.
  • Failure to measure progress from Google analytics and social media analytics insights to know if you are progressing or just wasting time.
  • Not creating an email list from the beginning
  • Failure to engage and network with your readers and other bloggers.
  • Imagining that you will start making money overnight. It takes persistence, consistency and right practices to make a full-time income from a blog six months down the line.
  • Waiting too long to launch for a “perfect ”
  • Recommended reading: 40 online business mistakes to avoid in any business, such as blogging.

how-to-start-a-blog-and-make-money-in-ten-steps-avoid-mistakes

RELATED

Conlusion

F inally, you got to the end of this guide!

Yes, it took me too much time preparing this guide just for you to learn how to start a blog and make money from it.

My joy is helping you with as much information, which will get you started on this journey of starting an online business.

Remember that blogging is just one of the type of online business you can start out of this comprehensive list of 40 online business ideas you can start today.

The good news is that some online businesses are free to start and others can be done from the comfort of your home, which leaves you with no excuse why you cannot start your online business today.

Therefore, take action today and use all the ten steps explained in this guide and start a blog and make money from it from today.

 Feel free to leave a comment below asking a question or even better provide a suggestion of a post you would like me to write about.

Did you like the post? Kindly pin it or share it.

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My name is Hildah Mwende. I am a freelance writer and a blogger. Find a comprehensive list and description of all my competencies and specialties here.

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