It can be so overwhelming when you first begin your search on how to start a money making blog. Pages upon pages upon search results will pop up (On Google AND Pinterest!). Some of them are thousands of words long, throwing around terms like domain, SEO, optimization… There has to something easier, right?
I’ve been creating and writing online since 2002, and luckily, starting a money making blog is not as complicated as other people would have you believe. In fact, you can start your very own money making blog in 3 easy steps!
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How to Start a Money Making Blog
Find a Host
The most important step to start a money making blog is finding a host for your website. A host is basically the place where you blog lives. Think of it sort of like a house… you pay for space to live. Same thing with your website. Luckily, beginning plans for website hosting don’t cost anywhere near the cost of renting an apartment. 😉
Although it’s totally possible to make money on a free plan (I know a few bloggers who do it), it’s very limiting. Again, think of the apartment analogy. Sure, you can put your furniture and possessions in an apartment (your website), but it’s unlikely you’ll be able to paint the walls or change the carpet (fully customize the look of your website), and you almost always can’t run a business inside of one (advertisements, sponsored posts… the making money part of your blog!).
IF you’re only interested in writing for pleasure and not monetization, a free website might be totally up your alley (I recommend WordPress.Org), but if you’re interested in monetization, or think you might be in the future, I recommend paying for hosting – that way you have much more control over your website, the design and what you can do on it (you just bought a house!).
I recommend Dreamhost. I’ve been using them since 2004 and love them. Full disclosure, I am a Dreamhost affiliate, meaning I get a commission for each person that buys hosting from them based on recommendation, but I believe and love their hosting so much that I used it for all of my websites.
Hosting packages start as low as $7.95 when you prepay. Plans are offered monthly, yearly and every 3 years with discounts being given for the longer you commit. If you can afford to prepay, I would suggest the 1 year plan. It’s long enough to start your blogging journey, but short enough that’s its not a big deal if you decide to change your plans. The 3 year plan, however, is the best deal.
Were you recommended a different hosting company? Bluehost is a hosting company that’s often recommended to new bloggers. But honestly? I’m not a huge fan. Oh She Glows does a pretty good job explaining why I’m not a fan, but basically, many people experience lots of down time for their websites and poor customer service. Why do so many people recommend them then? They have an amazing affiliate program. If you notice, most of the big sites recommending bluehost don’t actually use them.
Choosing a Domain Name
Your domain name is how other people find your website. Mommybacktowork.com is how you (or how pinterest) found me. It’s like an easy to read address for humans. Choosing a domain name can be stressful, as this is most likely what your site will be called. Amy Lynn Andrews has some good tips on choosing a domain name. I recommend a .com address over the other extensions if possible. Dreamhost includes your domain registration for free if you’ve chosen the 1 or 3 year plan.
Install WordPress with 1 Click
WordPress is the perfect platform and program to use to start a money making blog. It’s design is easy to understand, and it’s very easy to write in.
WordPress can be a little difficult to install manually (especially if you’re a total newbie!), but Dreamhost makes it easy to install with their 1 click install process. Dreamhost will prompt you to install wordpress during the sign up process, but if you forget or miss it, you can also install it in your Dreamhost Panel (under Goodies —> 1 Click Installs –> WordPress).
Once installation is complete, Dreamhost will email you your login, username and password. I suggest bookmarking or saving it, and changing your password to something you’ll remember better.
Install a Theme
WordPress comes with a few themes already installed, and you can search for other free themes. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with a free theme, however, remember, free themes are free, meaning your blog will look virtually identical to a lot of other ones out there already.
My opinion on the Best WordPress Theme to make money?
The Genesis Framework. In fact, all of my blogs (and most of your favorite blogs) are built on it. It adds an extra layer of versatility and function to wordpress and allows you to do all kinds of crazy cool things and is perfect if you are looking to start a money making blog.
Gensis makes use of what are known as parent and child themes. You sort of have two things set up at the same time. Genesis adds flexibility and function to your site, while the child theme adds flair and creativity. Back to our house analogy… thing of WordPress as a window frame, Genesis as the pane of glass in your window, and the child theme as a window covering such as blinds or a curtain. For a deeper understanding check out Genesis for Beginners
I’m a huge fan of Restored 316 WordPress themes , as their themes are both feminine and clean. You’ll still have to purchase the Genesis Framework, but it’s worth it for these beautiful themes. (All of my sites use their themes!) All themes come with detailed instructions on how to install, but if you need additional help, Restored 316 offers installation packages.
You’re finally ready to begin your first blog post! In wordpress, hover over posts, and then add new. You’re ready to go!
Psst…! Not sure what to write about? I’ve got a great article with over 100 post ideas for mommy blogs.
I know how intimidating it can be to start a money making blog. I’ve totally been there, and the first time can be scary! I want to help. Please comment any questions below so I can help.
I suggest getting 4-10 pieces of content written and posted before you start looking at monetization, but when you’re ready for the next step, please see my article on How to Make Money with your Blog.