This is a complete beginner’s guide on how to create a WordPress blog and monetize to make money from your blog.
A lot of bloggers (beginners) setup their first blog and fail.
Here is the reason; they don’t follow the proper way of starting a blog. In this article, I will walk you through step by step to make a successful WordPress blogger to earn living out of it.
Here are 6 easy steps to create a WordPress blog
- Step 1: Blogging Topics – Decide what to blog about
- Step 2: Choose a Blogging Platform
- Step 3: Pick a domain name for your blog
- What is Domain?
- Tips to choose a domain name for your blog
- How much does it cost to buy a domain name?
- Step 4: Hosting Your Blog
- What hosting company should I use to create WordPress blog?
- How to Register Domain and Hosting with Bluehost
- Step 5: Setup and Design Your Blog
- Basic Setup and WordPress Installation
- Choose a Theme
- Additional Setup
- Change/Add New Theme
- Write Your First Post in WordPress
- Step 6: Monetize Your Blog
- Sell physical/digital products
- Make money with advertisements
- Affiliate Marketing
There are lots of reason people create a blog. Following are few main reasons:
But everyone’s ultimate goal is making money, replacing their 9-5 jobs and wants be their own boss.
So, why wait?
Step 1: Blogging Topics – Decide what to blog about
Deciding what to blog about is the first step to create a successful WordPress blog. Sometimes people get confused what niche to pick. I have seen people who picked up a niche they think they will write about but later they changed their mind. It really doesn’t matter which niche you pick, make sure you are good at it and it interests you. If you are not interested writing a topic why would your blog readers will be?
Choose a niche in which you can establish yourself as an authority, or you can choose a topic which will not make you bore learning. That will help you to be an authority on that topic.
So, pick something which interests you or you will enjoy learning more about it. You will also need to consider a niche which you will be able to make money.
Here is a list of blog niche ideas if you need help deciding the niche.
Step 2: Choose a Blogging Platform
You can’t just start a blogging without a blogging platform. Blogging Platform is like software or a system where all of your data and content will reside for your blog readers. It’s called CMS (Content Management System).
This blog you are reading is on self-hosted WordPress CMS, a platform which is easy to use, very powerful and moreover it’s free. All you need is a hosting company. I am using Bluehost.
I would not recommend using any free blogging platform like Blogger.com, Medium.com or any other. Why? The reason is they have some restrictions. Most of the free platform will have your identity under their own domain. Something like yourname.theirname.com. That’s not a good idea when you want to be professional.
Here are some other reasons: they can control the content you have, they might shut you down anytime for any reason. And your blog address will be a sub domain under their domain.
More importantly, they also have restrictions to place Ads on your blog.
Here are some blogging platforms just for your information:
- WordPress.org [Self Hosted] – Highly Recommended blogging platform
- Medium and more
You can also read the best blogging platformswhere I have discussed pros and cons of few mostly used blogging platforms.
Step 3: Pick a domain name for your blog
You need to register a domain name when you are planning to create a WordPress blog.
What is Domain?
Domain is the identity of your website. For example, www.SaveBlogging.com is the domain name for this website. When you type in this address in any web browser, it should be taking you to this site. Remember, your domain name has to be unique and register with a Registrar
Once you register your domain, that’s yours. No one will be able to register that name. Registering a domain name is not free; you have to pay for it. There are a lot of extension you can choose from like .com, .org, .info, .net and more.
Tips to choose a domain name for your blog
So, how do you pick a domain name? It’s really tough to pick the right name to make your blogger. Following little tips will get you started:
- You can choose your name as your domain name for your blog if the blog is about you. Or a pick name related to your niche.
- Make it easy to remember and easy to spell. Else your reader will type something else by mistake you will be losing a lot of traffic.
- Keep it simple, short and easy to pronounce which will make it easy for you to tell group of people or in a meeting.
- Don’t use any numbers, hyphens or special characters.
If you are still struggling, ask your friends and family members to get ideas. Don’t just kill yourself on choosing the domain name.
Let’s check if your domain name is available . Just enter you domain name below and click check availability.
How much does it cost to buy a domain name?
A domain name can cost you from $1 to $15 per year, depending on specials or discounts and on a number of factors like: domain extension, from where you purchase the name, and the term length or add-ons you select.
But you can get your free domain name from Bluehost when you buy hosting plan with them which I will discuss on next step.
Step 4: Hosting Your Blog
You have chosen your domain name. Next thing you need to do is register it and host with a hosting company. WordPress is software you can download. Even you can download this on your local computer, set it up and start writing articles. But your reader will not able to access your local computer to see your great articles. That’s why you need server space to hold your content, so your readers can access through online using your domain address.
What hosting company should I use to create WordPress blog?
There is a lot of hosting company out there. Some company will do free hosting which is not reliable or does not have enough space and bandwidth. It might come with banner or pop up advertisement. Moreover, there are lots of restrictions putting ads on those, which is not good at all if you really want to make money blogging.
I highly recommend Bluehost. I am also using them to register our domain as well as for hosting our site. They are the biggest and most well-known reliable hosting company out there.
Bluehost also have very competitive price. They will give you domain for free and $200 free advertising money when you buy hosting plan with them. Even they will also provide you free SSL certificate for your site.
Note: If you already have a domain name or hosting plan somewhere else you can easily transfer to Bluehost. Process is pretty much same as new registration. Or you can transfer everything after your new registration, because Bluehost will let you host unlimited domain and space if you select the right plan.
How to Register Domain and Hosting with Bluehost
Let’s click Bluehost to sign up and register your domain.
Once you are on their home page, Click the Get Started Now button.
Select you hosting plan
Select your plan based on your needs. I would usually go with Plus. If you need little more extra features you can go with Choice plus or Pro plan. Even if you go with Plus plan, you can always upgrade to next plan just by paying the difference.
But here is the good news. Currently, at the time of writing this article, they have both plus and choice plus plan for same price. Not sure how long it will last.
Select a Domain Name for your blog
Once you select your plan, you will be landed on choosing your domain screen.
Enter the domain name that you want for your blogging website then click on next button. Remember your domain name has to be unique.
If you are not ready selecting your domain now, you can still go through the process by clicking on Choose Later link. And it will be still free once you select your domain after sign up.
Enter your account information
You can enter your name, address, all these information Or you can sign in with Google account if you have one.
Account plan by default is 36 month but you can change different plan from drop down. they also have 12, 24, 36 and 60 months option.
You can skip the extra features for now. So just uncheck them if it is already checked. But If you have selected plus, I would recommend to choose domain privacy. If you have selected Choice Plus plan then domain privacy should be already included.
The only time you should not select domain privacy is, when you have physical business place and you don’t mind publishing your address in public.
Enter your credit card information. You will be charged once for the whole term you have selected.
Click on check box for terms and condition then click submit.
Once your sign up is completed, you will be asked to create your password that will allow you to login
At the end of this process, you will get confirmation of complete. you will be able to log in to your account cPanel.
Lets login with your credential you have created or with your Gmail account as I mentioned above.
Step 5: Setup and Design Your Blog
Basic Setup and WordPress Installation
At this point you are all set. Just follow 2 simple steps to finish up the WordPress installation and basic setup of your website.
You will be asked to write a site name and site Tagline. Just enter that information then click on next.
Choose a Theme
Next step would be picking a WordPress theme. Pick one you like. You can just pick one for now or skip this step to complete the setup. You can always change or add your theme later to anything you like.
Theme is the design of your blog how it will look to your readers. There is a proverbs “First impressions are the most lasting.” So you want to have impressive looking theme for your blog.
Here is a list ofbest free themes for WordPress which is Mobile friendly.
Once you select your theme to complete this steps, you should see below screenshots where it is installing WordPress automatically.
At this point just wait for WordPress installation to be completed so you can start building your site.
Just click on start building or go to my Bluehost account from above screen. You should be landed on your cPannel.
You will noticed that your domain which you have registered or site is showing up on cPannel. Click on your site to log in to WordPress where you will manage your site and start writing blogs post.
These are the basic or advanced settings which you need to make sure they are in place.
- Change your permalink – this is the format of your post URL after your domain name. For example:
- https://about-tech.network/how-to-start-a-blogger or
- There are more different formats you can set it up. But the first one is better options because it’s SEO (Search Engine Optimization) friendly.
- Change your username from Admin to something else because that’s too common for hackers to try using that username to hack your site. Here is an article about user roles on WordPress to decide who to assign what roles.
- My recommendation is create another Admin account with your own username and change admin username role to Subscriber.
- Selecting SSL certificate for your URL to make starting URL from HTTP to HTTPS (It’s free from Bluehost). This gives reader extra peace of mind that they are in secure website if they want to make any transaction or submit any comments using their email.
Change/Add New Theme
Click on the Dashboard then go to Appearance> Themes.
Click on Add New Theme.
On the screen you will find more than 4100 themes and all of them are free. You can also filter themes by Featured, Popular, Latest, Favorites, and Premium.
Or if you have selected a theme from above list, search for that one.
When you put the mouse pointer over a theme, installation option will appear. Click on it to install the theme.
When installation is done the install button will replace by active button. Activate the theme by clicking on it.
If you want, you can make some changes in this theme as you like.
Write Your First Post in WordPress
To post your first blog, click on the Dashboard then go to Posts> Add New.
Enter the title of the blog in the Title field and the full blog content in the field below.
On the right there is a publish button to publish your post.
You will find more icons below the box like, Categories, Tags. Fill those fields according to your need then click Publish (which will publish the post) or save draft to work on it later.
Next thing you need to do is add some plugins. WordPress has a lot of plugins and each plugin has its own purpose or functionalities. If you want to add some additional features on the top of WordPress core features, you need to add plugins. But remember too much plugins can slow your site down. So you need to be careful when you are selecting your plugins to get most out of it.
One thing I would like to mention here is designing theme or plugins can be added or changed anytime while you are keep writing your posts, even after going to live. But make sure you don’t keep changing your permalink settings which will cause issues with redirect. That’s another headache and maintenance you need to do.
So, this is how to start a blogger. You should be all set at this point setting up your own blog. Keep posting quality articles.
Step 6: Monetize Your Blog
You can generate income from your blog if you would like by monetizing your site in different ways. But don’t pull that trigger so fast because if you really want to make money blogging, you really need to have quality content. And that good content will bring good traffic to your site which is very crucial to make money online with your blog. Use of Social media platforms is one of the ways you can drive traffic to your website.
So, first publish great article then the next step would be letting the world know about your great work by marketing to get traffic. Once you have traffic and trust from your readers, you can pull that trigger.
Once you are ready to monetize, here are some ways to make more money blogging.
Sell physical/digital products
You can sell physical products online like books, handmade products or even manufactured products; or it could be digital products like eBooks, online courses, contents, membership sites, Apps, games, WordPress plugins or themes. You just need to use your blog as a hub to generate traffic and sell the products
Make money with advertisements
If you don’t want to sell a physical product or digital products then you can still make money by putting Ads on your blog. There are lots of companies wants to put Ads on good traffic sites to get their potential customers. One of the best ways to put ads is Google AdSense which will display Ads based on your niche or users activities. Besides displaying ads, you can earn money on your blog by doing product reviews, Sponsored post, adding ads in email marketing and more.
You can also sell advertising space to private companies.
Affiliate marketing is another way to make money blogging. You just need to promote someone else’s product to your audience. When your reader buys the product by clicking on the link, you get a commission from the sales. For example, you can sell any products amazon is selling by joining Amazon Associates affiliate program. Using this method, you can sell related niche products from Amazon Associates, Targets, WordPress Plugins, Themes and more.
One last note, creating a new blog is not that hard, making money on blogging is not that difficult as well if you do it right way. You need to have patient, give some effort and set your mind with goals. Stick to it, you can do it.
Just to summarize on how to make a blog.
I wish you the best and happy blogging.