I started blogging on June 22, 2011. Back then, I knew NOTHING about blogging, and I made a lot of mistakes. Over the last couple of years, I’ve learned SO MUCH and I want to share it all with you.
Blogging has always been a creative outlet for me. It has taught me, challenged me, brought me to tears and has gotten me jumping out of excitement. With that said, blogging has changed my life for many reasons, the biggest being that I now make money online and get to interact with hundreds of people.
In this how-to-earn-money-from-blogging series, I am sharing with you step-by-step details to set up, grow and start monetizing your blog! From time to time, I will cover different topics and share tools and tips that will help you build a successful and profitable blog.
Click here to start a blog on WordPress, then use the tutorial below for the easy directions.
So You Want to Be a Blogger…
First off, let’s talk about the resources required to make a money-making blog.
If you want to earn money from blogging, then you have to treat it like a real business. As some say, “You have to spend money to make money.” If you are serious about making an income off your blog, you have to invest.
If you’re just blogging for fun, then by all means start with a free blog via Blogger!
So What Did I Invest?
First off, I invested MONEY. I purchased my own domain name, and with that a hosting plan. If you’re looking to start a WordPress blog for cheap, then choosing Bluehost for registering your domain and hosting needs may be your answer. Bluehost is one of the top web hosting companies in 2016 and you can start your own blog with them for as low as PHP 190 (USD 3.95) a month.
Next, I invested TIME and ENERGY. If you think you can blog a few hours a week and make a living off of it, you are wrong. Blogs take hours and hours of time in order to be successful. Usually, it starts with getting the content on your blog – researching for a topic, writing the post and editing the pictures. After that, there is networking – posting on social media and responding to emails. A blog takes a lot of time and energy.
Now that you know about initial investments, let’s dive into how you can start your very own blog!
The 6 Basic Steps to Starting a Blog
These are the main sections we’ll cover. Don’t worry, I’ll walk you right through.
- Decide what to blog about
- Choose a blogging platform
- Pick a domain name
- Find a host
- Install WordPress
- Design & use your blog!
Step One: Find a Right Topic for your Blog
Figuring what you will blog about and who are your writing to is vital. A good blogging topic or niche should fulfill the following three criteria (1) it is something that you or other people would like to know about, (2) it is something that you are passionate about because you have to write about it frequently, and (3) it is something you can create income – whether through advertising, sales or consulting.
Step Two: Choose a Blogging Platform
Of the many blogging platforms out there, WordPress is, by far, the most popular.
Personally, I use WordPress. I love its flexibility, functionality, ease of use and large community of people who share tools and ideas. It’s an excellent choice.
BTW, this guide outlines the steps to start a paid self-hosted WordPress blog. If you decide to go with a free blog service, skip Step Four and Step Five.
Step Three: Pick A Domain Name
A domain name is what your blog will forever be known as. You want to make your name creative, unique, but memorable. It’s said that having your topic in the name is a good idea so people know immediately what your blog is about (like MoneyGirlPhilippines is obviously about money and personal finance for readers from the Philippines because it’s in the name).
Once you have your name picked out, you have to register it. You can register your name and get your domain directly through Bluehost and make the whole process very easy. If you do this, you can get a FREE domain for the first year as long as you buy 12 months worth of Bluehost web hosting. This makes it well worth it to sign up for at least 12 months of hosting as you will be saving a good amount of money this way. You also get a cheaper monthly price when you buy at least 12 months of hosting, so the free domain just makes it even better. If you decide to get the free domain, just continue to the next step as you can buy your hosting and get the free domain all in one step.
Step Four: Buy Hosting for Your Blog
A host provides server space for your site. Put simply, this are companies that rent out digital storage space to users to make running a website possible. By being a self-hosted blog, you can pretty much customize the look and feel of the site as well as the functionality and options for your sites. It’s actually much easier to make money from a self-hosted site. (eg. It can be impossible or more complicated to add eCommerce/shopping cart functionality or to run ads on a free service blog)
An excellent host to begin blogging with is Bluehost. With Bluehost, you get an AFFORDABLE hosting plan, a FREE DOMAIN, and EXCELLENT customer service. For beginners, start with the BASIC PLAN. Once you’ve been blogging for a while and have pageviews exceeding 3,000-4,000, you may need to upgrade and pay more for your hosting service then.
You can get Bluehost using my discounted link for $3.49 / month. For this discounted price, you pay for 36 months upfront, and if you leave before the 36 months is up, Bluehost will give you your money back.
To setup your Bluehost account, click on this MoneyGirlPhilippines Discount Link and click the “get started now” / “start your website” green button.
Next, you’ll have the option to select one of three plans, based on price and specific features. Decide what’s best for you. Then enter your domain name that you registered in step two in the box provided that says “I have a domain name”.
Follow the steps to enter your account information.
What If you don’t want to continue paying for hosting? You can also receive a refund at any time. Some think that if they sign up for a yearly term then they are locked in a contract. However, that is not true. There are no contracts and you will be refunded should you decide to cancel. It’s a full refund within 30 days and then pro-rated after that. So whatever you don’t use, you’ll get back. There’s really no risk!
Next, decide which package you want to select. You get the least expensive rate if you signup for 36 months. You’ll be prompted to add other add ons, but you don’t need to add them now. You can add them later unless you know for sure that you need them.
You’ll then be prompted to enter your billing information and agree to the terms and conditions.
Once processed, you should see a welcome message, like the one below.
After you are signed up, you’ll be asked to create a password and login.
One you have your password set, you can log in to your account! You’ll see a welcome message that you can click “I can do it” (since I’m walking you through the process!).
After you’ve logged in, you’ll be on your Bluehost dashboard, which looks like the image below.
You’re all done! Well, at least with signing up for your hosting plan.
Step Five: Install WordPress
Bluehost makes it very easy to create a WordPress blog and it is FREE. On your Bluehost dashboard, click on the “WordPress” button under Website Builders. You’ll see the following screen, and on it you should click “start”.
Select the domain that you are signing up with (the only domain that you’ve registered).
WordPress will begin to install. Click on “show advanced options” in the screen that comes up. Choose your username and password for your WordPress website. You should choose something secure. I recommend NOT to use “Admin” as your username. Instead, create a username that is a combination of different letters, numbers, and anything else you can use. You will want to check “Automatically create a new database for this installation” as well.
There will be a green bar at the top of your screen that moves as your install progresses. When it’s finished the bar will have become full and you’ll see this screen.
You should receive an email from “Mojo Marketplace” with important information about your account in it, just like the one below. This is an IMPORTANT email that you should keep! Remember your username and password!
Log in to your website’s dashboard by going to www.YourSiteName.com/wp-admin (Admin URL). You’ll see the screen below. Enter your login information.
You’re now in your WordPress dashboard. This is where you’ll design your website.
WOOHOO! You now have a WordPress blog. You will have to work on the design and producing high-quality content, of course. Good luck!
Step Six: Design Your Site and Start Blogging
Congratulations! You are now the proud owner of a self-hosted WordPress site. There are many things you can do at this point. Blogging is about learning as you go and tackling things as you can. For more blogging-related posts you should take a look at my Blogging Page <COMING SOON!!!>.
Do you have a blog? Share your blogging mistakes as well! Was this post helpful? If so, would you consider sharing it with others who might appreciate it as well? Simply use the sharing buttons below. Thanks!
photo credit: neourban hipster office desktop via photopin (license)