How to Start a Blog (and Make Money) in 2021: Easy Guide to Start Blogging Today
Thinking of starting your own blog?
You’ve come to the right place!
The following guide will show you step by step how to start your own self-hosted blog the right way. Starting a blog used to be hard, but these days it’s super easy and affordable.
Blogging has helped so many people live a financially free life, with more freedom instead of being stuck in a 9 to 5 job waiting for the weekends.
Sounds too good to be true? That’s what I thought until I took the decision to start this blog. Now it’s your turn to decide if you’re willing to take the next step.
How I ended up blogging…
Hi, my name is Jim Kollias, and I started this blog with the intention of making it my full-time job. I am a Business Planning & Information Systems graduate that got tired of the 9 to 5 grind and wanted to start something of my own.
Not long after my graduation, I started searching for different ways to make money. I wanted to have flexibility in my life, and I knew that I could achieve that by working online.
As a computer geek, I have always wanted to find ways to earn money online. After a lot of trial and error, I finally decided to start this blog.
It was, hands down, the best decision I’ve ever made. As with everything, it took a while to take off (not even a year), but now, the income is increasing month by month, and it’s almost passive.
That’s what’s cool about blogging. It takes some time to build a steady amount of traffic, but if you do it right, work hard, and have a little patience, then it pays off really well!
Before I start this blog, I was constantly worrying about how to get through the next month. It was honestly taking a toll on my mental health bit by bit.
This blog has helped me:
- Skip the 9 to 5 grind
- Set my own work hours
- Travel whenever I want
- Make more money than what I was previously making
- But most importantly, it has helped me live a worry-free life!
And it can seriously do the same for you, too, if you just take the decision to start a blog today. Stop waiting until you feel more comfortable or until you feel that you know everything about it.
Nothing will prepare you more than actually diving right in.
Stop overthinking and do it. That’s the best advice I can give you because overthinking will do you no good. Quite frankly, I wish I had started my blog sooner. You have to actually start, and everything else will fall into place. Trust me on this.
Stop Believing These Myths
1. Blogging Is Dead
You may have seen some bloggers say that blogging is dead but is it really?
Many people make a lot of money blogging (including myself), and they have quit their 9 to 5 jobs to do just that.
The truth is that millions of people read blogs every single day. Why? Because the Internet is an amazing place full of information that can educate people and help them solve their problems.
Don’t let anyone discourage you like that. Blogging isn’t dead, and it’s not going to die for a long time.
2. You Need to Be an Expert to Run a Blog
This one is so wrong. If a middle-aged person with no experience whatsoever can do it, then so do you. And yes, I am talking about my mom.
Bluehost is the most beginner-friendly host there is, and if you follow my easy guide below, you can literally have your blog ready today.
3. Blogging Is Too Expensive
Blogging is by no means expensive. Nowadays, you can literally start a blog with as little as $3.95 per month. Yes, you read that right. The majority of bloggers start out with BlueHost hosting because it has everything you’ll ever need at a great price.
If you can put aside $3.95 every month, then yes, you can have your own blog. I am sure we both agree that this amount of money is nothing compared to the perks that blogging can offer over time.
4. Growing a Blog Takes Forever
Many people that think of starting a blog are held back by this myth. They believe that starting and growing a blog nowadays takes literally forever. That’s simply not true.
There are many examples of bloggers who literally quit their 9 to 5 jobs after only 6 months of blogging. You just need to use the right tools and have a great strategy to make it happen.
More specifically, Pinterest alone has helped many bloggers get tons amount of traffic and thus make a lot of money from their blogs.
5. You Have to Be a Great Writer to Succeed in Blogging
Blogging is not about writing. It is about sharing ideas and building a strong relationship with your audience.
You may not be the best writer in the world (I know I am not), but it doesn’t really matter. What your readers want from your blog is helpful and quality content.
People will choose a mediocre post full of value from a perfect written one with little to zero value any day. So please don’t let that myth discourage you from starting your own blog.
6. You Need to Post Every Day
In the early days of blogging, posting as frequently as you possibly could, was something that would help your blog grow faster. That technique does not longer work.
As of now, Google’s algorithm actually favors quality over quantity.
For instance, it’s better to post one long, high-quality article once a week than make 3 or 4 low-quality articles in the same period.
The Best Combination for New Bloggers
BlueHost is the #1 choice when it comes to starting a blog for the first time. It’s the most affordable and beginner-friendly hosting there is—no wonder why it’s the most well-known hosting company on the Internet.
WordPress is guaranteed the best CMS you can use in order to build and grow a profitable blog. It’s simple, secure, SEO-friendly, and can quickly adapt to your needs. What more do you need? Oh, it’s FREE too!
Pinterest is hands down the best platform for new bloggers who want to drive lots of traffic to their blogs without having to wait for months. It has helped many people earn $1000 – $5000 of monthly income in less than a year.
1. Find your niche
The first thing you’ll need to decide is what you are going to blog about. Finding your niche doesn’t have to be complicated, but you need to give it some serious thought.
There are so many topics you can blog about, but ideally, your niche should revolve around something you have experience in and are passionate about.
I chose to blog about personal finance because I always wanted to find ways of earning money online. I am passionate about this subject, and that’s why I never get bored searching and writing about it.
Below we’ll see some of the most profitable niches you can blog about.
- Health and Fitness
- Food and Recipes
- Personal Finance and Money Making
- Hobbies and Activities
After choosing a niche that suits you, you will need to do some keyword research in order to find the best keywords for it. If nobody is searching for what you’re writing about, you won’t get any traffic at all.
So, before you begin writing an article, always do keyword research first!
2. Choose a domain name
Many bloggers spend so much time when it comes to choosing a domain name for their blog. It doesn’t have to be that way. When it comes down to it, you just need to think smart rather than be a perfectionist.
Some people use their own names as domain name. For example:
If you don’t want to use your real name, I would recommend having a domain name that includes one or two keywords related to your niche. For example:
- Food niche: foodieblogger.com or thefoodiefreak.com or vegancravings.com
At the end of the day, a domain name means nothing without great content. People will read your blog because you provide value and not because you have a cool domain name. So, don’t waste a ton of time when choosing one.
You can check if your desired domain name is available using the tool below.
3. Buy hosting
It’s time for you to buy hosting for your blog. My #1 recommendation for anyone who wants to start a blog for the first time is Bluehost. They are cheap, beginner-friendly, and have 24/7 amazing support.
The following guide will show you step by step how to purchase web hosting for your blog. Just make sure to open the BlueHost website on another tab so that you can follow the following steps one by one.
➤ Free domain name for one year
➤ Free SSL Certificate
➤ Free professional email
➤ 50 GB storage space
➤ 24/7 Customer Support
The first thing you’ll have to do is go to Bluehost by clicking the button below.
After going to BlueHost, you will see the homepage. In the top menu, go to WordPress and then click on WordPress Hosting.
If you are on desktop the menu is visible. If you are on mobile, you need to press the “三” symbol to open the menu.
When you choose WordPress Hosting, you will land on the following page.
Simply click on CHOOSE PLAN and then select the BASIC PLAN.
Now it’s time to enter the domain name you chose under the CREATE A NEW DOMAIN, as seen in the following picture. After that, click NEXT.
On the following page, fill in your personal information. In the PACKAGE INFORMATION section, leave everything as it is.
As you can see, the $3.95 price point goes with the 36-month plan (3 years). This is more than enough time for your blog to succeed and start making money, so I recommend you to leave it that way.
In the PACKAGE EXTRAS, uncheck everything except the Domain Privacy + Protection option, which hides your personal information from being seen online. Next, fill in your payment information.
When everything is set, check the necessary boxes and click SUBMIT to complete your order.
BlueHost offers a 30-day refund guarantee, so you don’t need to worry at all if you change your mind later.
After the purchase, you just need to follow some basic steps, which include creating your account password and setting your website’s name. Then you will be ready to enter the WordPress dashboard!
4. Choose a blog theme
If you want to start with a free theme, you can find a huge variety under the Appearance→Themes in your WordPress dashboard.
On the other hand, if you want a premium theme (which I recommend), do yourself a favor and start with GeneratePress. I wish I had found it sooner because I have wasted so much money on other premium themes, and none of them was so easy to use, light-weight, and packed with so many great features.
This theme has everything you’ll ever need when designing your blog, and it will always be my #1 recommendation.
5. Start creating content
Hooray! Your blog is finally online. Now it’s time to start creating amazing content in order to build a strong connection with your future audience.
You will have to create a content strategy that works for you. This includes things like the number of posts you will be publishing per week, the distribution of your content for maximum reach (social media platforms), and things of that nature.
Don’t copy whatever content strategy you find online, though. The best content strategy is the one that suits you and your lifestyle.
Remember. Content is King.
Focus on creating high-quality content instead of hurrying to create as many posts as you possibly can. That way, your content will receive a lot more shares, which will help bring more traffic to your blog.
Ways to monetize your blog
One of the most common ways of earning money online is by placing ads on your blog. Once you have enough traffic, you can easily apply to premium ad networks and start making money.
Many consider ads to be a form of passive income because after you join an ad network, the only thing you have to focus on is to keep writing articles and bringing visitors to your blog.
Affiliate marketing is another great way, and it can make you lots of money if you know what you are doing. In fact, most bloggers make their first income through affiliate marketing long before they join an advertising network.
It works like this. You promote products you like from various companies, and when you bring them a sale through your affiliate link, you get a commission.
The more traffic you have in your blog, the more people will see your affiliate links. Thus the more money you will make. That’s how affiliate marketing works, and it’s a super-effective way to increase your monthly income.
Selling your own products/services
Once you have built a strong connection with your audience, you can easily sell your own products/services. The products/services can be either physical or digital.
The key here is to create something that your audience is genuinely interested in. A great method of knowing that is by sending them email surveys in order to gather their feedback.
You could also send them polls to vote on what products or services they would like you to provide. That way, you will be sure that the product you’re going to create is something your audience wants.
If what you sell is something of value and your audience trusts you enough, you can easily increase your monthly income by a lot.
Sponsored posts are the procedure of promoting products from companies related to your niche in a post on your blog. That way, the company gets more exposure to their products, and you get paid a certain amount of money.
Depending on the company and the product that you’ll promote, you can easily make from $100 to even $600 for a single post you write. That’s a great way of making some extra money promoting products you like.
Blogging is one of the best and most legitimate ways to earn money online. It has helped so many people reach financial freedom over the years, and it will still be “alive” for years to come.
Who knows what I would be doing right now if I hadn’t started this blog at all? It has changed my life so much, and I feel truly blessed.
If you are tired of the 9 to 5 grind and want a more flexible lifestyle, give blogging a try. You’ll be surprised with what it has to offer. Start a blog today, work hard, and who knows? It might change your whole life 😉.