Deciding to start a blog changed my life in so many ways. I found fulfillment in writing what I’m passionate about and helping others.
After starting a blog and making extra money from it, my husband and I have been able to provide braces for all three kids (much to their dismay 🙂 ), pay off debt, help our kids pay for college, save money, and purchase extras like our camper that we wouldn’t be able to afford otherwise.
If you’re ready to start a blog, begin with these things first:
Click here to sign up for blog hosting now and then come back here and follow the directions on what to do next.
When I started blogging in 2012, I didn’t make any money for a while. I did know people could make money with blogging, but I didn’t know how.
Since 1998, I’d wanted to have an online business. I love technology, writing, and helping others. I created a craft website (I’m NOT a crafter – ha) and made my own images of a ‘booth’. I rented out space to crafters where they could sell their crafts. This was before Etsy.
I didn’t know how to code, so I created everything manually which took forever. After about a year, I let that site go by the way-side.
When I started my faith blog, my goal was to share information about women’s retreats and to journal about the grief I felt over the death of someone dear to me. Imagine how excited I was when I learned that I no longer needed to know how to code.
Once I knew that, I began the journey to monetize.
Because blogging has allowed me so many opportunities, I’d love to help you get started way faster than it took me. You will be able to with this tutorial. In it, you will learn:
- How best to start a blog from scratch
- Where to go for an affordable hosting plan
- What to do to get a FREE domain name with your hosting plan
- Steps to take after you start a blog
- How to make money on your blog
When I started, there weren’t many options for learning how to blog. Now, you can find so much information out there it can be overwhelming.
Let me help you step-by-step so you can start a blog right now and then move forward with next steps to build something you’re passionate about and that brings in income.
Free Guides to Start a Blog
These free blogging tools will help you get started and give you clear instruction. I’m excited to share them with you so you can begin building your blog quickly. I saved all of these and keep them in a folder so I can find them easily. You might want to do that, or you can print them out.
- A Simple Template for an Organized Blog
- New Blogger Focus Guide
- 7 Genius Time Hacks for Bloggers
- How to Write with F.O.C.U.S.
You should start a blog for so many reasons.
For me, I found fulfillment in writing and sharing topics I’m passionate about. I wanted to earn extra income so I could pay bills, save money, and retire on time!
If you feel passionate about something and also want to make money sharing it with others, blogging will be perfect for you.
How to Start a Blog Free Email Course
To have step-by-step directions for starting a blog delivered directly to your inbox, sign up for my free email blogging course.
Here’s a quick outline of what you will learn:
- Day 1: Why you should start a blog.
- Day 2: How to decide what to blog about.
- Day 3: How to create your blog. I’ll share my easy to follow tutorial on starting your blog on WordPress.
- Day 4: How to make money blogging.
- Day 5: My tips for passive income from blogging.
- Day 6: How to reach more readers and grow your following.
- Day 7: More tips to help your blog succeed.
How to Start a Blog in the Margins of Your Days
When I first started blogging, I worked a full-time job and had two teenaged boys and a 10 year old daughter. My days were full!
I’m sure you can relate to that.
I began setting my alarm an hour earlier so I could get up and blog before the kids awoke.
Right after school when the kids worked on their homework, I worked on my blog. We’d sit at the kitchen table together working. It helped me get things done plus feel I was there for my children.
I didn’t stay up late blogging as I’m definitely not a night owl! Maybe you are, though.
With my consistent morning and afternoon schedule, it wasn’t long before I began making a little money.
Those early days, the money wasn’t much at all, but by even making a few dollars showed me the potential available.
When I learned how to manage my most important blogging tasks and how to set goals for my blog, my income grew. It did NOT happen overnight for me. It didn’t even happen in a few months.
But with steady, consistent work, my blog income grew to match my husband’s salary as a social worker.
I love that my blog gives me a way to make money without having to find a part time job. Plus, with blogging I can work from anywhere. There are times my husband and I camp, and I work on my blog while sitting by the campfire.
How to Start a Blog: SiteGround for Hosting
If you’re looking to start a WordPress blog cheaply, then choosing SiteGround for your hosting needs may be your answer.
SiteGround is a great web host and I personally have had a great experience with them over the past five years.
SiteGround is one of the top web hosting companies in 2019, and you can start your own blog with them for as low as $3.95 a month (this low price is through my link. It’s a special promo price).
Also, when you sign up using my link, then you’ll get your domain free if you purchase a 12 month or longer hosting plan. This is a $15 value! I definitely recommend signing up for the 12 month hosting plan through SiteGround. It’s extremely affordable, and you can save tons of money signing up this way.
Plus, they have a 30 day refund policy, so you can cancel if you decide it’s not for you. Be sure and read their terms carefully. While the hosting price can be refunded, I don’t believe they refund the domain name cost.
How to start a WordPress blog on SiteGround
1. Choose your hosting plan
SiteGround has three plans and you can choose the one that works best for you. I started with the StartUp plan, and that’s where you should start too unless you have multiple blogs. I’m with the GrowBig plan now, but I didn’t switch to that until a year or so after I started blogging.
Here is some more information about the different plans:
- The StartUp plan is perfect for people with one website that are starting now
- The GrowBig plan is a great value for money offer, including the option for multiple websites and the SuperCacher that greatly improves a WordPress and Joomla website speed
- The GoGeek plan is perfect for people with e-commerce and larger sites, or more geeky development needs like staging and GIT integration
**All plans include free domain registration.**
Step 2. Choosing Your Domain Name
A free domain is included in your hosting plan. This is a $12 – $15 value. Think about what you want your domain name to be. It’s important, so give it serious thought.
I chose my name for this blog because I’m sharing so much more of my journey as I help you.
You can click here to purchase a domain name and create a blog. Just click Get Started for Web Hosting, choose your plan, and then you’ll be at the screen to choose your domain.
Step 3. Review and Complete
I highly recommend SiteGround’s special discount through my link. You will get the low price for the one year period, so it makes sense to sign up for that whole period.
Plus, remember, you get your domain name free when you sign up for the year. (In the sample below, the GrowBig package has been chosen. Remember, you just need the StartUp for the lower price when you’re just beginning).
4. Install WordPress on SiteGround.
Okay, this is probably the step that all of you have been waiting for. If you want to start a WordPress blog on SiteGround then continue reading.
This part isn’t hard at all. SiteGround makes it very easy to create a WordPress blog and it is FREE.
- Log in to your SiteGround account.
- Install manually – click here for manual installation directions.
- Or EVEN EASIER, use the SiteGround Wizard – click here for the wizard directions.
- Or EASIEST, ask SiteGround support to install WordPress for you. I did this when I first started, and the were so nice to do it quickly. They have live chat support or you can open a ticket and send a message. They get back to you right away (I’ve never had to wait more than maybe thirty minutes).
How to Start a Blog: Topic Ideas
Determining what to blog about can seem difficult at first, but I promise it’s not!
I always recommend creating a blog around a topic that you are passionate about, that you are an expert in, or that you like. For me, writing about my passions and sharing my experiences caused me to become even more passionate about those things I love.
This can make blogging seem so much more like a dream than a chore. It makes it fun! I seldom feel like I’m working when I work on my blog.
You can blog about several topics or you can blog about one specific thing such as cooking, budgeting, or even fashion. I’ve even seen blogs solely about chihuahuas.
Yes, your blog can be about anything and/or everything. It’s entirely up to you.
Don’t worry about monetizing your blog either. There are so many ways to make money blogging, your niche won’t hold you back.
I’ve brainstormed some possible topic ideas. These are only a beginning. You may think of many more. What you choose is up to you.
- Health and fitness
That’s why blogging is so amazing. Your blog can be about anything you want!
How to Start a Blog: Choosing a Theme
After you sign up for hosting and install WordPress, you’ll want to choose a theme.
WordPress has many free themes you can use. One of the free themes could be good for you to start out with if you’re on a limited budget. Keep in mind, though, that it can be time-consuming to switch themes after you have lots of posts.
You might want to start with a paid theme that gives you more options on design than a free them would.
Genesis themes are my favorite. Genesis is a framework that acts as a foundation for a child theme. The child theme gives you the design elements.
I know that might sound confusing, but I promise it’s super easy. You install your Genesis framework (which costs around $50, but you only have to ever buy it once even if you change out child themes multiple times).
I have used a pre-made theme from Laura at Pixel Me Designs which cost around $40. Now, I use a theme from Restored 316 called Anchored.
All of the Restored 316 themes are easy to work with and beautiful, plus their customer support is top-notch. The Restored 316 themes cost around $75, but they frequently go on sale. I paid around $59 for mine during a sale.
They have a fun quiz for bloggers to take to help them figure out which theme is best for them. Just click on the link below to take the quiz and see which theme fits your style and plans.
If cost is a factor now, don’t worry! Start with one of the free WordPress themes. Don’t let finances keep you from getting started writing content and sharing your passion with others.
How to Start a Blog: Monetize
There are a few ways you can monetize even as a new blogger.
I signed up for Google Adsense and also for MediaNet when I first began blogging. They have lower requirements to be accepted into their programs, so they’re great for new bloggers.
When you start having more traffic, you might want to look into Mediavine or AdThrive. They pay really well and manage your ads for you.
You can also monetize early on with affiliate sales. I started with ShareASale which lets you partner with brands.
Once you have your blog built and have at least 20 posts or so, you can sign up to be an Amazon affiliate, too. They don’t have a specific number of posts that they require, but I think waiting until you have solid content is a good plan.
How to Start a Blog: Start an Email List
It’s important to begin building an email list as soon as possible. Your email list will consist of your people. You’ll build relationship with them, and they’ll be the ones most likely to read your posts and buy both your affiliate products and your own products.
When I started and didn’t have much of a budget, I used Mailchimp which was free up to 2,000 subscribers. It was a little clunky to use, but I figured it out by watching YouTube videos. Ha.
Once I reached the 2,000 mark, I switched to ConvertKit. I love ConvertKit and plan to stay with them.
ConvertKit has a free plan now which is relatively new. I’m so glad they’ve put it in place so that new bloggers feel comfortable starting with it. It’s a robust service, and I’ve loved being with them.
Anytime I’ve had questions, the ConvertKit team answers quickly and has been very helpful. Most of the time, I use their free Facebook group to ask any questions, and the support there is fabulous.
Fortunately, I seldom have to ask many questions!
The ConvertKit free plan comes with so many options that it will be a great place to start.
Click this ConvertKit sign-up link, and then click the Create a Free Account button. They’ll walk you through step by step on how to get started.
Many new bloggers use Mailerlite. It’s free up to 1,000 subscribers. I actually started out using it with this blog so I could see how it works, but I ended up going back to ConvertKit almost immediately. Even though I don’t use it, I did want to mention it because I have heard good things about it from others.