Start a Blog – Let’s start things off on the right foot and cut through the bullshit. If you want to start a blog that makes money then one of the best things you can do is start a blog that teaches people how to make money blogging.
Because that is a problem with a solution that people are willing to pay for.
Many people start blogs around topics that they have an interest in but not many others. That is backward thinking because if you are going to start a business don’t you want to start one that makes money?
The problem with starting a blog that teaches you how to make money blogging when you don’t make money blogging yet is that it’s not genuine.
Some people give it a shot and they do the whole fake it till they make it routine and usually it doesn’t work out because people are already skeptical.
So, you are here because you are wondering how to start a blog, that isn’t about how to make money, right?
No worries, I’ve got you covered.
In this article, you will learn all the steps necessary to get off to a good start along with how to set yourself up for success in the future.
I must admit you are quite lucky to be starting a blog at this time. When I created my first blog in 2003 the web was a different place. Blogging software was also a lot different because it was much harder to configure and use. Now you can just click a couple of buttons and you are well on your way.
Why You Should Listen to Me – Start a Blog
Here’s the thing. I’m not the first person that started a blog on how to make money blogging and I certainly won’t be the last.
You are reading this blog and I’m about to go over some of the steps necessary to start your own money-making blog, but am I a hypocrite if I say you can make money blogging without talking about how to make money blogging?
This is just one of my blogs.
I actually run over 5 different blogs. Some of them make money and some of them are building up to the point of making money.
I also make money through membership sites. So while I do make some of my money teaching other bloggers how to make money blogging, my portfolio is diverse enough to show you how to start a blog that makes money without diving into how to make money.
Before we dive into how to start a blog let’s go over the reasons for why you would want to start a blog.
Why Start a Blog?
There are a ton of reasons as to why you would want to start a blog. You might fall under some of these, you might fall under all of these, or you might fall under none of these.
- You know you are meant for something more, which means being able to work from wherever you want and doing your own thing. This is top of the list for good reason. A lot of people start a blog because they want to start making money on the side. Then things start to blossom and they quit their jobs and they are making a full-time income by working from home. In fact, with blogging, you can work anywhere you want and make some money. If I could make it so everyone in the world could work from wherever they want I would make it happen in a heartbeat. Nothing beats it.
- You heard it’s great for marketing. If you already own a business then blogging is a great way to bring in potential leads. It is pretty hard to find a successful company today that doesn’t have a blog. They allow you to make sure your brand’s voice gets out there on a platform that you control. The reason why blogs are great for marketing is because they allow people to understand who you are and what you represent.
Why Start a Blog?
- Open up more opportunities through awesome connections. Blogging can help you build a tribe (audience) and when that happens you open yourself up to a lot more wonderful things. If you want to write a book and get a deal from a publisher it becomes a lot easier when you have a tribe already. If you want to get more speaking gigs then no better way than gaining exposure through a blog. Blogging introduces you to thousands of people from around the world that you wouldn’t connect with otherwise.
- You just want to speak your mind. The original function of blogs was for people to share their thoughts. Blogs are still used for that today so if there is something on your mind that you are dying to get out into the world, then a blog is for you. You have to be careful, though. If you want to create a blog for your business or one that is meant for making money with a new business you might not want to do too much ranting on your blog. You can always set up a secondary blog for such things. I have my own personal space for thoughts that don’t fit elsewhere.
Okay, now that we understand the reasons why you would want to start a blog how about we finally look into what it takes to start a blog.
The Steps to Starting a Blog
There really aren’t that many steps. It can be either 5-7 steps depending on what you do. That isn’t very many at all right? The steps that we are going to cover are:
1. Decide on a topic
2. Choose a blogging platform
3. Pick a domain
4. Find a web host
5. Install WordPress
6. Start blogging
It really is going to be that simple.
6 Steps to Starting a Money-Making Blog Today
These are just the beginning steps of getting a blog up and running but they are so easy that it almost seems like making money with a blog is going to happen tomorrow.
Unfortunately, that isn’t the case, but if you are going to make any money you need to start somewhere.
Step 1: Pick a Topic to Blog About
There is no point in getting everything setup if you aren’t sure what you want to write about.
Even if you are starting a blog for your business you will need to take the time to figure out what you are going to write about. You can’t just blog about yourself all the time because nobody will get any value out of that.
Your blog needs to be one of the go-to places for X. X being whatever topic you decide to write about.
So, how do you choose a topic to blog about? While this is something I cover in better detail in how to decide what to blog about, the main gist of it is:
You need to enjoy it. Don’t pick something that you will hate writing about after the first month. If you don’t enjoy it, don’t bother with it. Please note, this is completely different than following your passion.
Start a Blog
You need to either have knowledge about the topic or go through the process of attaining knowledge about the topic. You don’t have to blog about things that you are only an expert at, you can blog about things that you are in the process of learning. My very first blog was about web design and I started it to help me understand web design better. I shared what I was learning, it got popular, and I sold it for $20,000.
You need to write about stuff that people want to discuss. People like to talk and so you want to write about topics that leave room for discussion. People are selfish and if you aren’t offering them something they want, then they won’t bother reading.
The end goal is to have your blog become known as an authority site on a topic.
With all of that being said I’m going to be straight up with you and tell you that there are only 7 blog niches that you consider starting a blog in if you want to make money sooner rather than later.
Step 2: Choose a Blogging Platform
This guide assumes you are going to use WordPress as your blogging platform, but that doesn’t mean you have to choose WordPress. If you want to explore the different blogging options I’ve written a nice guide for you on how to choose the right blogging platform.
I’m using WordPress for this guide because it is the most popular blogging platform in the world. In fact, it powers over 25% of the websites on the Internet. That is a ridiculously high number of sites.
No matter what your blogging situation is, I will always recommend WordPress over anything else. There are platforms with better interfaces for the way you might want to write, but WordPress is the one platform that can encompass any type of site you wish to create.
Two Types of WordPress
When you look at WordPress you might get a little bit confused because there are two types. There is WordPress.com and WordPress.org. This guide focuses on WordPress.org which is the self-hosted version of WordPress. That means you need to find your own webhost to host the software for you.
Step 3: Choose a Domain
This is probably the hardest part of this guide. Finding a domain you like is a very personal thing. I have over 50 domain names and most of them I don’t even use! I just think of a cool domain, buy it up, and put it on the shelf.
If you are setting up a personal blog one of the obvious choices for a domain name is your own name. For example, I own shahriarkabir.net even though I don’t use it for anything.
If you don’t want to use your own name or the domain is already taken then you can spend some time thinking of words that pertain to your niche and trying those out. It’s amazing what you can come up with when you use a combination of words.
There are a number of different sites that can help you by providing you with domain name suggestions based on some keywords. I like to use NR Hosting because it also lets me know if the social media accounts for a domain are available as well.
When it comes to buying a domain name I use NR Hosting because they are no nonsense. They don’t spam me with upsells and making sure my contact info is private is something they include by default.
.com, .co, or Something Else?
There is an endless number of TLDs that you can use. TLDs are the letters that follow . in a URL. For example, the TLD for this site is .co. I chose it because I really wanted to use the word obstacle and obstacle.com wasn’t available.
A general rule though is that I try to stick with .com as my TLD because it is what everyone in the world knows so that means less confusion. However, more and more people are getting used to seeing other TLDs so if you really see one you like, don’t hesitate to go for it.
Step 4: Find a Web Host
If you want people to visit your blog you will need to make sure it is hosted somewhere. That means you need to find a web hosting provider to host your site. This can be an amazingly annoying thing to do because there are tons of web hosts out there and everyone will have a different opinion on which one is the best.
If you are just starting off with a blog then you can assume that it won’t require that many resources. This is a good thing because it allows you to use a cheaper web host. However, when you start to build a tribe and your site becomes more popular you will want to move to a web host that can ensure your site stays up.
In this guide we are going to use NR Hosting to setup a blog. Why NR Hosting?
Because they are an independent company that rates well in customer service.
Start a Blog
Now all web hosts aren’t created equal. I have no problem recommending NR Hosting because I’ve been following them for years. I stay up to date on the pulse of the blogging community.
SiteGround reviews always stand head and shoulders above other companies. One of the best things about them is that you get a free SSL certificate with your hosting. That means your blog url gets https:// in front of it instead of just https://. Google loves that.
Reading other blogs you’ll probably see Bluehost recommended and the reason why is because they have the highest affiliate payouts.
Now, you might be safe going with Bluehost as they are the cheapest option but your experience might not be as smooth as you want.
In other words, your mileage may vary.
If you plan on starting off strong and want to make sure you never have to worry about web hosting, even when your site grows, then I would look into one of the dedicated WordPress hosting services such as WPEngine.
Step 5: Install WordPress
Most web hosts make this extremely easy by using what they call 1-click installs. This means that in their control panels you should see a button that says something like Install WordPress and by pressing that you’ll magically end up with a WordPress site.
If your web host doesn’t provide an easy way to install WordPress then don’t sweat it because WordPress is still pretty easy to install. What you’ll need to do is get the FTP credentials for your account, download the WordPress package from WordPress.org, and upload the unzipped filed to your site’s public folder.
From there you should be able to hit up your site and WordPress will walk you through the installation.
However, if you are just starting off I highly encourage you to find a web host that makes installing WordPress quick and easy for you. The last thing you want to do is fumble around with server settings trying to get things to work.
Step 6: Start Blogging
You’re all set. You have a blog waiting for your awesome content. You can definitely continue to take things a step further by installing plugins and a nice looking theme. In fact, even though I showed you how easy it is to get started with a blog that doesn’t mean you should jump right in and start blogging today.
Instead, you probably want to ensure you set your blog up for success as quickly as possible, right? For that to happen you need to beyond just having a basic WordPress blog setup. There is a lot more stuff to do, but don’t worry, all of it is easy.
This Is Just the Beginning
This is merely the beginning of your blogging journey. If you want to get a bird’s eye view of everything you need to learn to build a successful blog. Go through the other articles by me regarding blogging.
Posts here that will further help you along your journey include How to Get More Traffic to Your Blog: A Guide to Reaching More People. And How to Make Money Blogging: A Beginner’s Guide to Working at Home.