How to Set Up a Blog that Actually Makes Money
When I started entertaining the idea of making money from my blog, I was sooo overwhelmed by all the advice floating around out there. I was determined to make this blogging thing work, but I wanted to make sure that I did things the right way…to limit headaches and make the most of my investment.
I already had a hobby blog, but back then, I didn’t realize that the way you set up your website REALLY matters! If you want to make money from your blog, you need to treat it like a business. And with most businesses, you want to be able to own, operate, and customize your business to your liking.
This is where proper blog set up comes into play!
This post probably contains affiliate links. You can read my full disclosure here.
First off, I want to clear up a few misconceptions about blogging, and then I’ll go through the five basic steps of starting a profitable blog.
MYTH # 1: It’s hard to start a blog.
You guys, setting up a blog is probably the easiest thing you’re going to do today! With the beauty of modern technology, you can have your website up and running within minutes. It’s so easy, and I’m going to show you how to do it.
MYTH # 2: It costs a lot of money to start a blog.
This is probably the biggest misconception about blogging, and nothing could be further from the truth. You can set up a blog for less than $4 a month. And with a little help from your friend (me), you can save even more money on hosting by using my fancy little hosting trick. Learn about it >> here<<!
MYTH # 3: You can’t make any money from blogging.
Every circumstance is different, and the income you earn from your blog will depend on how much time and effort you are putting into your blogging biz. With that said, I was able to quit my day job and work for myself full time after about a year of monetizing my blog! I’ll go through the steps with you for that as well, but just know this: there is A LOT of money to be made from blogging, and the possibilities are endless.
HOW TO START A BLOG THAT MAKES MONEY
This article is going to be all about SETTING UP a profitable blog. If you’re just getting started, this is where you want to be. Of course, we’ll go way deeper than this in other articles on this site, and I will show you how to start making money from blogging. But, we have to make sure that you get started on the right foot first.
There are FIVE BASIC THINGS that you need to do to start a blog (the right way, the profitable way). A profitable blog means that you’re earning more money than you are spending on keeping that blog running. Ideally, we want to start making money pretty quickly after getting set up. Maybe not the first day, but hopefully within the first few weeks. I’m going to list the five most important things below, and I’ll explain them in detail.
THING 1. CHOOSE A DOMAIN NAME
This is super important, because this is going to be your blog address and you’re going to be building an online presence around this thing. Example: www .yourdomainname .com
My blog’s domain name is: www.sweetandsimplelife.com My blog is all about working from home, simplifying online business, making money blogging, and enjoying the sweet things in life. Obviously, my domain name reflects what I’m writing about and sharing with people.
We’re going to assume that, at this point, you already know what you want to write about and who you want to write for. This is called your niche, or the subject matter that interests your target audience.
Your domain name should reflect what you are going to be writing about. Blogging is all about sharing your knowledge and expertise with your specific audience. Choose a domain name that will showcase what you are going to be sharing or teaching.
Give this some thought, but don’t kill yourself over “the perfect name.” There is no such thing.
Find something you love, something that fits your style and your subject matter, and roll with it!
Perhaps even write down a few options, just in case your domain name of choice is already taken. Using your own name is also an option, so that’s something to consider.
Once you have a domain name in mind, you can move on to thing number two.
THING 2: GET HOSTING THROUGH SITEGROUND
Before I actually started monetizing my blog, I had to decide where that blog was going to live online. There are soooo many options, but only a few of them are going to give you everything you need for a profitable business. My hobby blog was actually hosted on the FREE WordPress .com platform, but I didn’t have access to important tools that I needed for growing and monetizing my blog.
I learned very quickly: if you want to own your blog, if you want to grow quickly, and make a lot of money, you need to be on a self-hosted platform.
There are other platforms that you can use for your blog too, but you are limited with search engine optimization, monetization, customization, and you don’t own your platform…so I just can’t recommend those options.
If you want to start a blog that’s going to make good money, that’s going to represent the real you, and that’s going to be protected by your legal rights, you need to be on a self-hosted platform.
I got my hosting through Siteground, and they are the absolute best in the business. The process for getting started is simple, their customer service is incredible, and their prices are super affordable. Like I said before, you can start your blog for under $4 a month, but you can save even more than that if you use my “top secret” hosting trick.
Siteground has a historic up-time of 99% and their live chat option is top notch. I have never had any issues with my own hosting, but I have helped a few other people with various issues like payment changes, upgrades, and email glitches, and I always use the Live Chat option to get them set up. This is why I recommend Siteground over their competitors. They run an incredible business and have a great support team.
They also offer FREE 1-click WordPress installation, FREE SSL certificate, and FREE business email address. Like I said, the best set up you could ask for, and it costs less than a Starbucks coffee.
So, start here. Go to the Siteground website, hit that sign up button, and purchase your hosting package. It’s seriously three easy steps.
STEP 1: CHOOSE A PACKAGE, STARTING AT JUST $3.95/MONTH
When you click the link above, it’ll take you to a sign page with three options. It’s perfectly fine to use the StartUp Plan. You can always upgrade later!
STEP 2: CHOOSE A DOMAIN NAME
Remember, we already know our niche, and we came up with a few domain name ideas before we decided to purchase hosting. Type your domain name into the empty box and click “Proceed” to see if it’s available (image below). If all else fails, use your own name!
If you already have a domain name and you’re just wanting to transfer it over to Siteground for hosting, select the option that says “I already have a domain.” Siteground will help you transfer everything over to their servers!
STEP 3: SET UP YOUR USERNAME, PASSWORD, AND PAYMENT INFO
This is where you’ll create your login information for your Siteground account and add your payment information.
Note: the optional add-ons do increase the price a little bit. But I highly recommend getting the “domain privacy” so that your personal information is protected. Now, hit that pay button, and that’s it! You now have a website domain on a self-hosted site! Woo-hoo!
So, where do we go from here?
THING 3. DOWNLOAD WORDPRESS.ORG
WordPress.org will be the dashboard that you use for sharing your content with your readers. It is the “back end” of your blog, where you will write and publish content, add various blog features, and customize your site.
Now that you’ve set up your domain on Siteground, you can login to your dashboard with the username and password you just created, and follow THESE STEPS to download WordPress.org for free. These instructions are straight from the Siteground website, but if you run into any problems, you can always use their Live Chat to get assistance. Remember, these guys are being paid to help YOU set up your blog the right way…so let them help you.
You will also create a username and password to login to WordPress.org. Write it down, because you’ll need this info every day of your blogging career! Once you have WordPress.org installed, you’ll be ready to login and design the look of your blog. Just type your domain name into your search bar, and add: /wp-admin to the end of it. For example: yourdomainname.com/wp-admin
This will take you to your login page for WordPress.org
NOTE: You will have one username and password for your Siteground account and a completely different username and password for your WordPress.org account. When you need help with things like your hosting, your payment info, your website backup, and your email systems, you’ll login to your Siteground account. When you need to write, edit, publish, share content, download themes and plugins, add widgets to your blog, and communicate with your readers, you’ll login to your WordPress.org account.
So, login to WordPress.org and let’s move on to our fourth step in setting up this blog!
THING 4: CHOOSE A THEME
There are plenty of free themes that have basic functions and features, so you do not need to spend money on a theme when you start a blog. I promised you that you could set up a blog for under $4 a month, and I meant it.
I STILL use a free theme on my blog and I have no complaints about it. One day, I will probably switch to a paid theme when I’m ready to customize my site even more, but it is not necessary if you’re happy with a free theme.
When you login to your WordPress.org dashboard, you’ll go to Appearance > and then Themes from the dark grey toolbar on the left side of the screen. It looks like this:
You can choose from one of the themes right there on the Themes page, or you can upload a theme that you have purchased or downloaded elsewhere. Here are the steps for adding or changing your blog theme. Again, you can find this information on the Siteground website, or use their Live Chat for assistance if you get stuck.
THING 5: START WRITING
That’s it guys! You just started a blog, and now, you’re ready to start writing. You will do your writing through your wordpress.org dashboard. So, bookmark your login page and save your login information to make it easier to access.
Before you write your first blog post, read this article. It is a step-by-step tutorial for writing and publishing a new blog post. Remember, we’re trying to build a blog that actually makes money, right? Anyone can write content on a website, and never make a dime from it…and that’s totally okay if that’s your hobby and not your business.
But if you’re trying to make a steady income from your blog, then you will want to write content that actually makes you money. And if you need help with that, then I’m your girl.
Becoming a Blogger is my comprehensive course that covers everything you will need to know about becoming a blogger and turning your blog into a money-making machine. In this course, I’ll show you the most important features of a successful blog, the top ways to make money from blogging, the most effective way to create and share content, how to set up your mailing list, how to start building up your fanbase, and much more.
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