This article may contain affiliate links, full disclosure here
Show me a niche, an audience, and a conflict. I will show you how to start a blog and make money. Your first step to financial independence and the freedom you’ve been looking for.
Why I wanted to start a blog
- Flexible income – While I realize this won’t be easy and will take a ton of time. I place a lot of value on being flexible with where and how I earn a living.
- Goal setting – I really enjoy setting goals and creating benchmarks. Goals are so much more attainable with structure and a good plan. This site is doing just that for me.
- Writing skills – I considered myself an okay writer back in the day. I spent many years in college and actually enjoyed writing. But man if you don’t use it you lose it. Boy have I lost it. The last 15 years of my life has been working as an RN and then most recently Firefighter/Paramedic. Needles to say creative writing skills have not been a priority.
- Meeting people – I look forward to meeting new people through blogging.
- Knowledge – Most important perhaps is that I want to share things with my readers. I have a lot of great experiences and skills that can help people accomplish greater things. It’s important on so many levels that my blog provide people with something that benefits them
This article contains affiliate links, full disclosure here. I did not pick these sites based on the availability of commission as they all offer this. These are in my opinion the best option and exactly what I use. These links do get you a significant discount if you choose to use them.
Let’s get started
I remember building websites in school that were built completely in code. It was amazing to see how some random jumble of code would transform into a website. Lucky for you things are much easier now.
Step 1: What will you blog about?
Most people would say
- Life experiences that make you unique
- Hobbies and skills
- A personal blog all about you
Those are great but most likely will not make you any money
Here’s what I would recommend
- Find the niche that appeals to you. This could be a skill or a hobby. Research the niche to see what is out there.
- Find your audience that you want to connect with through this niche
- Find a problem, need, or conflict within your niche and audience
Your ability to provide people with a solution that they are seeking will almost always guarantee success at blogging. Try to find that problem or need and focus your blog around that.
You may have noticed that I didn’t really stick to those suggestions with this blog. With my experience and some future plans, I am confident I will make this blog work. For someone just starting out, I would stick pretty close to those 3 recommendations.
Now that you have found your niche, audience, and need. Let’s get you a name.
Choosing a name for your blog
- Catchy, simple, short, and sweet. Oh, and it should represent your niche, audience, and the problem. That’s a lot and can be really difficult.
- Take some time here and talk with your friends. The right name is out there, be patient.
Once you have a name picked out it’s time to see if it’s available. There are options for the extension such as .com, .org, etc. Below you can type in your blog name to see if it’s available.
Step 2: Get your blog online
While this may seem difficult this next bit isn’t bad at all. If I can do it you can do it. Here we go.
Next step is to get your blog online. To accomplish this we need a blog hosting site and the software that makes up your site. Think of the hosting site as the physical location where your blog sits amongst the World Wide Web. You are basically renting a place for your blog to sit, like a piece of property that you are going to build a blog on.
The blog host Bluehost I recommend for the following reasons:
- They have great customer service should you have a problem
- They work extremely well with WordPress and web page installation takes only 1-click
- If you’re not happy with it you can get a refund
- They have made lots of recent improvements in their speed and performance. The benchmark test I have performed with them have all gotten “A” ratings.
I am currently using Bluehost now and have used them in the past with great results.
Below are the different plan options you have to choose from. Keep in mind you can always change them later. The basic is really all you need. I have the prime as this keeps your domain information private which could reduce spam. A feature you can always add later. They frequently have sales like in the picture below so keep an eye out. As an affiliate, if you use my link you will get the sale price posted below anytime.
So now just follow the steps in Bluehost to purchase and register your domain. At the end of this process and within Bluehost you will get prompted to create a WordPress site. Just follow the prompts and pick a theme of your liking. The free themes are great and will certainly get you started. It’s easy to change themes later so don’t worry about any of that right now.
Step 3: Customize your blog
First off go to http://www.yourblog.com/wp-admin to bring up the login screen (replace “yourblog.com” with your domain name). If you are unsure of your login name or password, check the email that was sent to you from Bluehost that has this information.
The login screen will look like this,
You will now see the theme you picked earlier. The free themes are a great place to start. If you are really serious about blogging I would just jump right into a premium theme.
Premium themes offer more customization and overall just look more professional. They also tend to be better supported and have more frequent updates and bug fixes. The choice is yours.
Our Website Theme
The theme of this website is from Theme Forest called Newspaper. Head to Theme Forest and type in Newspaper, at the time of writing this the most recent version was Newspaper 8.8. It’s their most popular blog theme by a long shot. Tons of reviews and all sorts of website examples that showcase this themes flexibility.
I’ve been very happy with it. Updating and editing are easy with its drag and drop building tools. Integrated add blocks make monetizing a breeze.
The best part is it only costs $60
Hands down, the most complete course to a successful money making blog is the Dare To Conquer. It skips all the fluff and get’s down to what you really need. It also has member-only built-in networking to give your blog a jump start. We’ve also taken the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course. While we did learn from it, we feel your money is better spent on the Dare To Conquer.
Be sure to read my article on the new standard from Google starting July 1st, 2018. This compliance is essential for the success of your blogs as well as Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
- Why Every Blogger Needs HTTPS
- Common Pinterest Mistakes of 2018
- Enrolled!!! Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing