Updated March 12, 2020.
So you want to learn about creating a blog? You’ve been on Instagram and seen all the influencers living their best lives while traveling the world. You think to your self “how do they do it?” You know they have a blog, but how does a blog make them enough money to travel where ever they want and can go to every single trendy event? Your goals may not be to see the world and have fame; Maybe you’re looking to be financially independent and you’ve learned creating a blog is just another way to do so. I know that was one of the reasons I started mine. I am building a mini-blogging series to go over every aspect of starting and running a blog because I believe it is one of the easiest paths to financial freedom!
The first thing to know when learning what it takes when you start blogging: I’m not going to lie to you – this is NOT a get rich quick scheme. You are not going to be able to make money in a day and maybe not even within your first year. Thing number 2: It does take money to start a blogging and whoever tells you otherwise is lying to you. I’m assuming maybe 1% of people making a blog can get away with no start-up costs and perhaps another 1% end up making a crap ton of money in the first month. I am writing this post for the majority of people wanting to know how to blog, and not the outliers.
Picking A Niche
The chance of having a successful business is higher than winning the lottery, yet most people choose the lottery over starting a business. Don’t be those people: Start your business today. You can make money doing almost anything in this world, but what if I told you there’s a high chance of making money if you stick to a few different categories? Think about it.
If you want to start a blog about things you see on the way to your job, how could you monetize that? I’m sure you could think of maybe one way and hope it would work, but say you started a blog about fashion. How could you monetize that? I bet you could think about a few more things to sell your audience, right? You can sell clothes, be a fashion consultant, offer affiliate marketing, or offer fashion design classes. Below are the categories with the highest chance of success in no particular order:
- Personal Finance
- Health and Fitness
- Fashion and Beauty
- Home Decor
- How to make money
- DIY & Crafts
I recommend sticking to these blog niches. Some other niches can be on the list, so it doesn’t have to be just these eight, but they are the golden gooses. Somethings to keep in mind is even though these are the most profitable niches they are also the most cluttered with blogs. More blogs = More Competition. People will tell you to stick with a niche that you are passionate about, but honestly, when you’re making money, you’ll be passionate about anything. Stick to niches that make you money. I was fortunate that my passions and interest align with most of the profitable niches. Maybe you see something on the list that attracts your eye!
Don’t Get Stuck On Blog Names
Many people wait months and months trying to come up with the “perfect” blog name, and due to this, they may never actually launch it. L-I-G: Let it go. A blog name does not make or break you. If your blog is failing, it is not because of your blog name alone. Think of something short and easy to spell. That way people remember your blog site. I promise the name is not as important as you keep telling yourself. I spent a day on my blog name, and honestly, I felt it was too long. Just make sure your title tells your reader what your blog is about, or choose your name if it fits the criteria of being short and easy to spell.
Choosing A Blogging Platform
There are so many different blogging platforms that you can choose. I first worked with WordPress.com, but shortly after doing some research I realized WordPress.org worked better for me.
WordPress.com is a little more restrictive on the way you can make money on their site since they are hosting your website. Which you can think of as a storage unit and movers employed by the storage facility. You are paying them to store your junk and move things around.
When you choose WordPress.org, they are more like third parties movers that are not associated with your storage facility giving you the freedom to store items as you see fit. If you choose WordPress.org you will be self-hosting your site instead of having WordPress host your website, so you won’t have to abide by their hosting regulations.
Wix and Blogger are also both pretty great choices for how to start blogging. They make designing a website incredibly easy and step-by-step. Most of the hard stuff such as coding is done for you. You don’t need any coding experience to start blogging, but I recommend to start learning some basic things like how to edit the font or create submission buttons.
Some tools will do this for you with most of the platforms, but it’s always good to get a basic understanding of what is going, just in case you can’t find a tool to do something that you want. If you like more details regarding the blogging platforms, this article does a thorough job of explaining the pros and cons of each one!
What Hosting Site Should I Choose?
Just like with blogging platforms there a numerous hosting sites for your blog, but I use BlueHost. BlueHost is perfect for when you are just starting out creating your blog. Their customer service has been superb for me every time I have had an issue. They are easily accessible and made my blog transfer from WordPress.com servers to BlueHost servers so easy! The dashboard and control panels are incredibly straightforward. Just in case you get stuck a simple google search will have you up and running in no time!
All About Blog Content
A lot of people are researching how to start blogging and wondering how much content they need before they can launch their blog. I began mine with four articles and opened with two main categories and wrote two articles per category.
Every blogger has their own opinion of how many posts you should have before you officially launch. I’ve seen some recommendations for up to ten entries. Just make sure you’re not so worried about having enough content to where you never officially begin because you’ll lose traction. And remember even when you “launch” your blog most people start with zero traffic, so it doesn’t matter at first. Nice, right: you’re free to experiment in the beginning because of this.
You don’t have to write articles about one specific niche the whole time. Sometimes your blog can cross over into a few different categories.
For example, you may choose to write a food blog, but as you define your blogging voice, it could lead to healthy eating and fitness tips. That’s fine! There are a ton of successful bloggers that write lifestyle, how to make money and personal finance blogs all in one!
The key is to make them flow seamlessly together. Start with one niche and organically branch to adding another if you want to. Just make sure it makes sense for your audience, and the topics flow together.
Should I Have Social Media?
Yup, yup, yup! (Extra points if you know this reference.) You NEED social media. It is a free way to generate traffic and grow your brand awareness. I recommend starting to develop one social media channel and then add another once the first one has a following.
I see so many new bloggers trying to juggle every platform and balls start dropping when juggling too many things.
Start with Pinterest. It generates the most traffic for baby blogs for the lowest price: free! If you already have a Pinterest account that is great. Just convert it to a Business account and adjust your boards and name to match your blog.
Start a Facebook page, Instagram, and finish with Twitter. Twitter takes a lot of work, and when you first starting your blog there are so many things to do, so I’d suggest holding off on that until your blog is more established.
Facebook also has beautiful group pages where you and other bloggers can connect and grow your blogs together. It’s fantastic because the blogging community is so helpful and inspiring. Make sure to take advantage of the group pages by searching for the word “blog” on Facebook.
The reason you want to belong to connect with other bloggers is for the community: you’ll find others that will be willing to connect with you, like, share, repost, and increase traffic for your blog. Just be sure to reciprocate to keep the positive energy flowing.
Creating Photos and Social Media Content
You share your articles on social media to gain free traffic and readers for your website. You can use Canva.com to create remarkable content photos for your different social media platforms. Tailor the size of the dimensions of your photos based on what leads to the best conversions on each particular site. Canva.com makes this simple for you by naming each picture size based on the platform that works best. There are a ton of places to get free photos for your articles and social media accounts, but the three I go back and forth with are Pexels, unsplash, and pixabay.
How To Make Money Blogging
The number one question you have probably been waiting on, right? There is an endless amount of opportunities to make money with your blog. Some take more work than others, but having multiple different streams of revenue allow you to be better protected if one method tanks.
- Affiliated Links
- Add links from vendors that you love that offer benefits for every click or conversion.
- Create courses that genuinely benefit your readers, where they can learn essential skills to better their lives.
- Do not create bogus content to make a quick buck. Please make sure you develop courses that will help your readers because (A) you are more ethical than that, and (B) your business will die as soon as it was born when once word gets out about your technique.
- Google Adsense and Amazon both are great options. Many different platforms will place ads on your site, but I wanted to give you a couple to get started!
- Sell your services to your readers.
- Sell a book, planners, pens, mugs, or anything your readers would want to purchase!
Summary of Creating A Blog
There are many aspects to creating a blog and getting it off the ground, but I have listed the steps you should take to get started in the right direction in this article. More articles will follow soon to go over specific items in more detail, but you have enough information to get started.
Create or adjust your Pinterest account as soon as you have your first couple of articles up and ready. The longer you wait for, the less likely you may be to get started.
Deciding blogging may not be for you? Don’t worry – this article includes numerous options for making money! If you have specific questions, leave a comment, and I will answer as best as I can for you!
The Finance Fairy