Do you wish to know how to start a blog that makes money (passive income)?
Wouldn’t it be awesome, if in a few minutes you had a full-functioning, professional blog that you can eventually monetize?
Wouldn’t it be even cooler if all of these cost you less than €3,95/month?
Then, you should feel lucky you landed on this guide! All you have to do is to follow the simple steps below (no designing or coding skills required of course!).
(Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links. If you purchase anything from these links, I will earn a commission. However, all web-hosting companies offer an affiliate commission, so this is not a factor I’m recommending this web-hosting company. My suggestion is based on the facts you will read below!
How To Start A Blog That Makes Money – 4 simple steps
- Choose your domain name and your blog’s topic/niche.
- Choose the best blogging platform (e.g. WordPress)
- Setup your website and your web hosting provider in a few clicks (it takes a few minutes, but I included my research to help you decide on your web-hosting company, that’s why this step includes a lot of text)
- Customize your blog’s appearance and write your first post.
Creating a blog is quite easy, even for a total beginner!
Step 1: Choose a Domain Name and What You’re Going to Blog About
This is probably the most important step of your online journey. If you’re not sure what a domain name is, it’s actually the address of your site (e.g. GoldenBloggerz.com).
Before you pick your domain name, you have to be sure what you want to blog about.
In the case you’re not quite sure yet, list the things you enjoy, some things that you’re good at or passionate about and all the things that you want to learn about. Have a look at this example:
|I love||I’m good at||I wish to learn about|
|Reading||Fixing stuff||Professional software|
Note that you don’t have to be an expert on a topic to blog about it. People love to read content either of the perspective of an expert or the perspective of a beginner that has started his journey. Both can teach a lot of things they have learned. Just be honest with your audience!
If you need more help with choosing your topic, check this page: How to find your perfect blogging niche.
Now that you know exactly what you want to blog about, choose your domain name. In general, a good domain name is one that is:
- Easy to spell and easy to remember
- Doesn’t include special characters such as @##$%^&
- The preferable option for the extension is the .com (because it’s easier to remember) but all extensions are actually fine.
Go to namevine.com to check if the domain name is available, or get ideas for similar names. Also, you can check if your name is available on social media platforms.
Keep reading to learn how to get the best deal currently on the web!
Step 2: Pick the Right Blogging Platform (CMS – Content Management System)
According to the latest statistics, 95% of bloggers and 31% of all websites on the internet are using the WordPress.org platform. Why?
- It’s free to use.
- It’s easy to use even for a brand new blogger. It doesn’t require any sort of technical knowledge such as coding or web designing.
- It provides thousands of free themes and tools (plug-ins, widgets) to customize your blog as you please.
Note that WordPress.org or the “Self=hosted WordPress” is what I am suggesting & what the grand majority of bloggers and websites owners are using.
The WordPress.com is a free blogging platform similar to Blogger.com and you should avoid it if you plan to monetize your site.
Now if you are serious for making money online through your blog, avoid free platforms (like Tumblr or Blogspot) at all costs. They don’t worth your time. The reasons are simple:
- You don’t own your blog. This means they can delete it anytime.
- You will not be able to monetize your blog (forget about sponsorships). Even if you manage to make some money through a free blogging platform, you would have made much more if you were on a self-hosted platform.
- The customization, tools and available space for uploads are pretty limited.
- Your domain name will include something like “blogspot.com”. It looks very unprofessional.
- The loading times of free platforms are slow and this affects directly your Google ranking.
- If you’re showing at your audience that you can’t even afford to host a blog (it costs €3,95/month), how can they take you seriously?
Step 3: Setup Web Hosting and Install WordPress (It only takes a few clicks and a few minutes, but I included some facts to help you decide on your web hosting company)
Web Hosting actually means that you buy or rent space on a professional server. It allows you to keep your website online, so everyone can see it anytime.
I strongly recommend using SiteGround. I use it myself and I’m very satisfied. Plus, it offers the greatest value for money on the web:
- 24/7 Free customer support – You can even ask them to install WordPress for you or assist you with any other technical issue you are facing
- Easy WordPress install – It takes just one click and 30 seconds of your time.
- Free SSL Certificates: – This is the green “lock” icon next to any web browser address bar. It indicates that a website is safe to navigate. Note that many companies stated they include an SSL certificate, but you need to install it yourself.
- Rapid loading times – This is a crucial factor for ranking higher in Google. SiteGround uses the latest technology such as PHP 7, SSD Drives, Geeky Supercacher, FREE CDN and much more. These services are available anywhere else with this price tag.
- Beginner-friendly – It’s easy to use even if you haven’t previous experience.
- Best value for money – SiteGround lets you choose the suitable plan for you, so you don’t get charged for services you don’t need.
- 30-day money-back guarantee – In the case you’re not satisfied, you can always ask for a full refund!
- No matter how many online polls I looked into, SiteGround is always the favorite choice of bloggers and website owners (some names are blurred because some of these Facebook groups are private):
That’s insane, right?
I could continue with even more polls, but the result is the same, SiteGround always wins!
Choosing the right hosting provider is a very important step in starting your blog. Avoid companies that overprice their services or providers with slow, overloaded servers and bad customer support.
But the most important thing is to avoid companies owned by EIG group (HostGator, BlueHost, iPage). EIG is a notorious company known for its shady tactics as firing employees and lowering their quality of services in order to cut down expenses and increase their profits.
They currently own more than 80 companies, so when a disappointed customer decides to move to another company, he/she will probably land on another company owned by the same group. This way, they don’t lose their customer.
The web is full of articles like this (a quick Google research will convince you):
These are all companies owned by EIG (screenshot from Wikipedia):
Note that there are many fake reviews online hoping to grab an affiliate commission, so we need to look to trusted and independent sources. For instance, pissedconsumer.com is a site that consumers can submit their complaints about every kind of company. Let’s look at hosting companies owned by EIG:
BlueHost (owned by EIG) – bluehost.pissedconsumer.com/review.html
HostGator (owned by EIG) – hostgator.pissedconsumer.com/review.html
iPage (owned by EIG) – ipage.pissedconsumer.com/review.html
SiteGround – siteground.pissedconsumer.com/review.html
Wait, not even one complaint? Yes, that’s right!
So, how to get started with the best web-hosting company? Go to SiteGround and choose your plan.
If you just starting your blog, the first “StartUp” plan is more than enough. When your site starts to grow, you can always upgrade.
In the case you have an established site, choose one of the “GrowBig” or “GoGeek” plan according to your traffic numbers.
Note that these estimated monthly visits are not the maximum numbers, they are just indicators. Usually, you can get much more monthly visits.
On the next screen, click “Register a New Domain” and type the domain name you desire.
If you wish to transfer your site, their technical team can handle it for free if you choose one of the “GrowBig” or “GoGeek” plans. They transferred mine after a few hours from my request, and the downtime was only for a few seconds!
On the last step, choose the time period you wish to purchase, review your order and hit “Pay Now”.
Note that all extra services are optional, you don’t have to purchase them.
(the price in the image above is for the “GrowBig” plan, meaning that the first “StartUp” plan’s price is lower)
The rest steps are pretty straightforward. You can install WordPress with one click (if it’s not already installed) and enter your login details. Do not hesitate to contact their support team (live chat or phone call) for every technical issue or questions you may have!
Congratulations! Your site is now Live!
You can enter your blog’s dashboard by SiteGround’s interface or by typing your site’s domain name and add /admin or /wp-admin. (www.yourdomainname.com/admin)
Step 4: Choose a Theme and Write Your First Post
Now you can access your WordPress dashboard. From here you are going to manage your whole blog (posts, pages, themes, plug-ins etc).
Also, SiteGround has a unique beginner-friendly interface that guides you step-by-step to build your site (such as picking the right theme & installing the necessary plugins) You can check their guide here!
To prove how easy it is to use, let’s select your theme! WordPress provides thousands of both free and paid themes. Paid themes provide some extra features, but you don’t currently need them as you just starting out. Try to pick a free theme that includes the following features:
- Tablet & Mobile responsive: Your site should look smooth an all devices, not only on computers.
- Simple Navigation: Your visitors should easily read and find what they’re looking for.
- Easy customization: Removing or placing widgets, changing colors and background images etc.
- Quick loading: The faster your blog loads the better.
- Ready for Search Engine Optimization.
Hopefully, the majority of the free themes include these features. To select your theme, click Appearance, Themes, and then Add New.
Click the “Popular” tab to see the best free themes available. Here you can preview and install any theme you like. Keep in mind that you can change it anytime you wish, without affecting your content.
If you want to further customize your theme, click on Appearance, Customize. On this screen, you can edit your blogs Title, colors, layout, fonts, logo etc.
Tweak the settings as much as you want in order to get used to WordPress. You can preview any change you make before you apply it, so don’t hesitate to click buttons!
However, if your budget isn’t tight and you wish to invest in a professional theme, look no further than Elegant themes. Go to their page and check their “Extra” and Divi” Theme. It provides thousands of features to upgrade your blog with stunning graphics. Further it’s really easy to use, as it only utilizes the “Drag and Drop” technique.
Now, what about writing your first post? Go to Posts, Add New.
- Title: Enter your post’s title
- Multimedia button: Click here to insert multimedia into your posts such as videos and images.
- Toolbar: Here you can edit your text, implement Headings, and insert hyperlinks.
- Content: This is where you write your post.
- Categories, Tags and Feature image: You can separate your posts by adding different categories and tags. Further, you can set a featured image for your post.
- Once you’re ready, preview your content and hit publish.
You’ve made it! Your first post in online! You’ve successfully completed the first step of your online journey. Creating a blog/online business might not be a piece of cake, but it sure is high-rewarding, life-changing and exciting!
I’d be happy to answer any of your questions in the comment section below.
Did you find the guide helpful? If so, please share it with others that need it as well. To stay in touch, follow me on social media!
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