Today, I will take you through an easy, step-by-step process so you can start a blog that will be a source of income. From choosing a domain name to setting up blog hosting that will help you create a money-making blog in WordPress.
I’ve been blogging for almost 8 years and it’s become my only source of income, plus it’s fun and has allowed me to stay home with my kids. I’ll show you how to start a blog that will only cost you a few dollars each month! I’ll also show you how to host your blog on SiteGround, my hosting site, so that you can start your blog for less!
If you’ve started your blog somewhere else, SiteGround will migrate your site for free!
How To Start A Blog: Choose A Domain Name
Before your start a blog, think about what your blog will be about, who it represents, what passions you have, and what you want to write about. Choosing a good domain name, the name of your blog, from the start will save you headaches in the long run.
You do not want to go through the process of rebranding in the future, risking things like traffic and page rankings. Your blog is your brand – changing a logo or blog design is a lot of work, but changing your entire brand is the worst!
Think about a brand like Apple or Coca-Cola changing their names.
- Use Keywords: Using a keyword or keywords in your domain name can be key to appearing at the top of search engines. For example, if your blog will be about recipes that encourage kids to help in the kitchen, then domain names like “KidsCanCook.com” or “KidsInTheKitchen.com” would be ideal.
- Easy to remember: Keep your domain name short and easy to remember. Don’t use complicated words, words that are commonly misspelled, or a domain that takes too long to type.
- Domain name extension: Try to get the “.com” Top Level Domain (TLD) extension because it’s the most popular. However, securing your domain with extensions like “.net” can help protect your brand in the future.
Use WordPress to Set Up Your Blog
Why do I recommend WordPress to start a blog? It is the easiest and most powerful blogging and website content management system. Using free services like Blogger, Wix, or WordPress.org means that you will not own your content.
WordPress (the .com, not the free .org option) is open source software so you have a lot more control over modifications like plugins and templates. Things like plugins might not mean much to you now, but they will quickly become one of your best friends, I promise.
If you’re looking to create a money making blog with sponsored posts, advertising, and other income possibilities, owning your site – or hosting on WordPress.com – will ensure that you get many more opportunities.
To get started on WordPress, start by buying hosting for your blog.
Buy Hosting For Your WordPress Blog
Since you’re just starting your blog, you should opt for the cheapest, but most reliable, hosting service and plan.
Using my link, hosting with SiteGround starts at only $3.95 per month (due upfront in full) for up to 36 months. This is ideal because you won’t have to worry about the hassle of renewal as often. The cost is still extremely affordable compared to many other hosting sites and I’ve rarely – if EVER – experienced down time.
Something else you might want to consider when you start a blog is adding is adding Domain ID Protect. This feature protects your personal details from being publicly available in the Whois database and makes the contact information related with your domain name private. (You can order this feature from your User Area -> Add Services -> Domain Privacy). You can add this for only $12/year and it’s worth it.
Once you’ve chosen your blog name and registered your domain, just follow the steps below to buy hosting for your blog.
- Go to SiteGround and click the “Sign Up” button.
- Choose “Get A New Hosting Account”
- Choose “Register A New Domain” and enter the new domain name
- If you have a domain name already registered, choose “I Already Have A Domain Name” and enter it
- Choose your plan (I would start with “Start Up” plan
- Choose your hosting period (12 months to start, 24 months for a better deal, 36 months for the best deal)
- Choose extra services if you’d like, then enter your payment information
Connect your domain with your new host
If you’ve decided to purchase your domain name through a site like GoDaddy, then you will need to connect your domain to your hosting account. You will NOT need to do this extra step if you register your domain name with SiteGround.
How to modify your DNS Nameservers when you are using Go Daddy for your domain and SiteGround for your hosting
- Log into the GoDaddy.com Account Manager
- Click a domain name in the list to go to its DNS Management page
- On the DNS Management page, under Nameservers, click Change
- Under Choose your new nameserver type, select Custom
- Enter the custom nameservers your hosting provider gave you and click Save
For the next step, I cheated. I did a live chat on SiteGround, because their customer service is amazing, and had them help me add the domain to my hosting. But, it’s not difficult to do this yourself and it’s important to know if you ever plan on having more than one site (which many bloggers do!). Check out their super easy-to-follow tutorial here.
Start Your New WordPress Blog
Another thing I love about hosting with SiteGround is that they have a plethora of tutorials, but they’re customer service is stellar! If you don’t know what to do, they can guide you.
Here’s how to get started on your new WordPress blog:
- Once you login to your Customer Area for the first time, you will see a pop-up asking you if you want to start a new website on your account. Select that option and click on the WordPress button.
- A new section will appear where you should enter the login information for your new WordPress application. Once you are ready click on the Confirm button.
- Next, choose what Enhancements you wish to add to your account – if you want to add any. When you are ready with this step – click on the Complete Setup button.
- That’s it! You can now go to the front page of your site and check out the newly installed WordPress application.
Next, you’ll be ready to write your first post, add photos, manage all those comments from people who love your posts, and more. SiteGround has tutorials for getting started with your first WordPress post, too!
A Few Other Tips To Help You Get Started
- Sending newsletters or emails to your readers is highly suggested, I recommend ConvertKit for emails. It’s ideal for bloggers, easy to use, and has multiple uses. It’s also much more professional looking. I actually started with MadMimi but love ConvertKit capabilities, so I’m in the process of switching. You’ll want to do this as soon as your start a blog so that you can gather emails to build your list.
- If you want to change the design of your new blog, Genesis is the most popular and offers a huge selection of options. It’s what I use for my own blog. You could also start with free themes available from WordPress. To do this, click on “Appearance” on the left-hand side of your “backend” and click on “Themes.” This will allow you to at least get up and running really quickly! There are also sites that offer pre-made designs for relatively cheap and often, they can install them for you.
- Start considering the marketing streams (or ways you’ll make money). There are 5 main ones:
- Advertising (sidebar, newsletter, sponsored posts, giveaways, video, and other sponsorships)
- Affiliate Marketing (signing up with Amazon or other affiliate groups)
- Digital Products (E-courses, books, online classes)
- Physical Products (books, handmade products)
- Services (speaking, decorating, teaching)
We’ll have more on income streams in the future and will link here! We’ll also feature ways you can increase traffic to your site and more. We also recommend attending at least one blogging conference each year. But this will be enough to at least get you started. Let us know what you think!
If you have questions, please leave them in the comments and I’ll respond!