NOTICE: FREE FOR A LIMITED TIME…Are you looking for a blogging cheat sheet to help you build your blog RIGHT? Nothing overwhelming, just an easy-to-follow guide that provides simple and exact step-by-step instructions? Get yours FREE here: The First 10 Steps to a Profitable Blog Checklist.
Want to know a big secret? Blogging is easy.
Don't believe me? A few years ago, I wouldn't have believed it either!! But now a full-time income from blogging and my income continues to grow. Seriously. Me.
If you’re new to blogging, you're probably thinking, “Yeah right! I’m not even a computer person. I have no idea how to start a successful blog.” You know what? Neither did I when I first started out. Yet, by finding the best blogging resources available, asking for help where I needed it, and committing to consistently working on my blog for ten hours each week, I was able to grow it into the most awesome career I've ever had.
I blog from home, I get to spend time with my kids, I can go on vacation, and I get to help people. Seriously guys: It's awesome.
…and YOU can do it, too!
When I started blogging, I literally knew nothing about it. I am not a computer genius. In fact, I still don’t know any high-tech blogger stuff. HTML? Gibberish. When people start talking about algorithms and optimization I get a little foggy. I can’t this stress enough: I am SO NOT a computer genius. Yet, within a year of starting my blog, I was making a full time income blogging.
Now, three years later, it’s grown way beyond anything I thought possible. My husband has been able to work on his dream of building his own brewery. I’m home with my two kiddos. We have plenty of income. We can travel and do fun things.
I’m not saying all this so you’ll think I’m super awesome or super lucky. My point is that if I can do it, you can do it, too. You don’t have to put forth a big investment. You don’t have to have a degree or be a “tech person.” You can literally learn how to start a successful blog right now. Today.
Now maybe you don’t want to make money off your blog or maybe you just want to do it as a hobby or to share with your family and friends. That’s totally fine and cool! Blogging isn’t for everyone, I know. If you simply want to blog as a hobby, you can go to sites like Blogger and set up a perfectly great simple blog. Easy. In fact, it will pretty much walk you through the entire process. You don’t even need me!
But if you want to set your blog up for financial success, here's where to start…
Decide on a Name and Niche
What do you want to write about? Do you want to help people? Is there a topic you feel passionate about or really love? Think of how you can help solve a problem or offer the reader some sort of value. Brainstorm as many ideas as you can.
This will help guide your decisions when you’re deciding on a name for your blog. Have a couple domain names in mind, as some might be taken. Play with words relevant to your topic and use phrases that rhyme, plays on words, alliteration or any other cute tricks you can think of.
Run your name by friends and family to get their opinions. Trust me: it'll REALLY help you weed out any weird associations and names that won’t work.
Set Up a Self-Hosted Blog
So, to make money blogging, you’ll need to be what’s called “self-hosted.”
When you're self-hosted, it means you own your own domain, but you're essentially paying server rent so your blog can live somewhere safe and still be available to the world 24/7. Don't let this scare you off! It's just a certain way to set up your blog so you can make money off it. Otherwise, you'd be beholden to preset templates, rules, or other constraints of “canned” platforms like Blogger.
To set up your site, you’ll be looking at around $15-20 to purchase a domain name and then a monthly fee for hosting. Bluehost offers hosting services starting at $2.95/month. Other services like GoDaddy also offer hosting for around the same price (under $10/month). I prefer Bluehost because they’re super user-friendly and they offer great tech support.
Set Up WordPress
Next you'll need to contact your host to get WordPress set up. This is as easy as flipping a switch on your Bluehost dashboard. If you ever need help with Bluehost, call them! They can walk you through anything or they can do it FOR you (assuming you host with Bluehost).
So now you have a blog! Woohoo!
The next step is choosing a WordPress theme, designing your logo, and getting started. A WordPress theme is simply a template for the overall look of your blog. It’s easy to get bogged down and even overwhelmed with themes, so if you’re just trying to get started, don’t stress out about getting it perfect. Go with something basic. Then, as you start making money, you can hand the graphic design and layout stuff (which takes time and skills that I don’t have) over to someone else.
There are many basic themes available through WordPress for free or you can buy a theme for $30-$50. If you’re just getting started and you don’t have the money to spend, you can totally get by with a freebie theme.
Like I said, don’t get bogged down with themes and fonts and designs. Just pick something simple with lots of space and clarity. As soon as you start generating some ad revenue you can easily hire someone to do a redesign of your site for a few hundred dollars. For now, just go with something easy.
The same concept goes for your logo. For now, just use a site like Canva to put together a simple logo. If this sounds scary, check out my step-by-step video on how to create a logo in Canva. If there’s just NO WAY you want to do that on your own, head over to Fiverr and outsource it for five bucks.
Simple Blog Setup Checklist
Domain Name: check
Freebie WordPress Theme: check
Simple Logo: check
Guess what?? You’re ready to rock your blog!
Go to your WordPress Dashboard and start postin’! (WordPress overwhelming you? Check out my short video for a quick WordPress Dashboard walkthrough.)
You can use sites like Pixabay to find stock photos (unless you have photography skills, which I also do NOT). Stuck? Here's my super easy step-by-step tutorial on how to create great graphics with almost no skills.
So now you have a blog. You’re up and running and posting. It’s time to figure out how to start making some money.
How To Make Money Blogging
When I started blogging, one of the best resources I found was from pro blogger Ruth Soukup. Ruth runs something called Elite Blog Academy. For me, EBA was a literal gamechanger. I followed each step Ruth laid out, did my homework, and worked my way toward blogging success.
When I started EBA, I was making about $18/month from my blog (impressed, aren’t you?). By the end of that first year, I was making a full time income. It took me roughly a year of blogging at about 10 hours per week (increasing to 20 hours a week, when it replaced my other forms of income).
Mind you, in between blogging, I also had a second baby, ran a daycare out of my home, and had a few other side projects going on…so if your life is a little less crazy, it might take you even less time! (Heads up though: The downside of EBA is that it’s only available once a month for 5 days unless you have almost perfect timing then the only way to get an offer to join is by joining the waiting list here…)
I think I really saw results because I committed to consistency. No matter what was going on in my life, I committed to spending 10 hours per week on my blog. Some weeks, it was definitely tough to fit it in, but no matter what, I made time for it. Once I started to see results, it got much easier because it was SUPER motivating! In fact, sometimes I couldn’t wait to see what I was going to be able to do next. (Still can't, for that matter!)
There are a LOT of “learn to blog” programs and blogging training programs out there. There are blogging tutorials and people selling big programs with big promises for big bucks. I will tell you that Elite Blog Academy is one of the few programs I found that really made a HUGE difference. If you aren’t sure, Ruth has a book called How to Blog for Profit Without Selling Your Soul. Pick it up and read through it and you’ll quickly get a feel for her knowledge and style.
I can’t recommend it enough. It changed my life. You can find out more about Elite Blog Academy here.
Blogging full time isn’t an impossible dream. You just need to learn how to start a successful blog. The only thing I did to ensure I'd be successful was stay consistent. I gave myself a time frame of a year and made sure that no matter what I made time for it. Until I was making over $1,000 per month, I put every penny earned from the blog right back into the blog…but I didn’t spend any more money up front, except for my hosting, domain, and theme, so roughly $60. Using these steps, YOU can do it for even LESS.
If I did it, you can do it too!! I know it! I’m so excited to be able to share this easy process with you because I know that if you follow it you can be just as successful.
FREE FOR A LIMITED TIME…Are you looking for a blogging cheat sheet to help you build your blog RIGHT? Nothing overwhelming, just an easy-to-follow guide that provides a template with exact step-by-step instructions? You can get yours for FREE here: The First 10 Steps to a Profitable Blog Checklist.
Just getting started? How's blogging working out for you? What tips have you found as you go along? Is there anything that was a real gamechanger for you? Please let me know!