Looking to start a blog but don’t know where to start? Don’t get too caught up in the details and waste time with hours and hours of research. The only way to start is to start and figure it out as you go.
Blogging is an opportunity to connect with others, share your story, educate, inspire and you can even make some money from it! For some, blogging is even a full-time source of income. It’s their day job and they make a lucrative living doing it.
In this article we’re going to guide you down the path to help you start blogging. This beginner-friendly guide will show you:
- Why blogging can benefit you
- The tools and resources needed to start blogging
- The path to starting your own money-making blog
- Tips to run your blog like a pro
- Mistakes to avoid blogging
- And, a lot more!
What is blogging and how does it work?
A blog is a content website sharing information about a subject or set of subjects. It can be an online journal or diary where the blogger can vent about their life, share their experiences, teach, inspire, etc.
For example, if you have a love for Italian cooking, you could create an Italian cooking blog where you show your favorite recipes, talk about why you love Italian food, your favorite ingredients, where you buy ingredients, showcase photos of the finished product, etc.
There are blogs online about virtually any subject you can think of, from sewing to stamp collecting, technology, sports-based topics like rowing or kayaking, career-based niches like leadership or management, and a lot more.
People start blogs for many reasons. Some are looking for a cool hobby on the side that will keep them busy and help them achieve greater personal enrichment in their lives. Others are seeking a money-making side hustle and turn to blogging to meet that need.
Whatever your reasons, blogging can turn into a long-term passion project and it comes with a ton of benefits.
How can blogging benefit you?
To be objective here, you can read about the pros and cons of blogging so you can make your own choice.
Benefits of blogging
Blogging has a lot going for it. Here are some of the benefits of blogging.
Fun hobby from home: This is a big deal if you’re looking for a quiet hobby you can do around the house that doesn’t require a commute and is flexible to work with your schedule.
A creative outlet: It allows you to express yourself with words and you’ll have the opportunity to publish that monologue on the internet for the public to see.
Income potential: There are many ways you can monetize your blog and we’ll dive into that more down below.
Connect with others: Blogging brings the opportunity to connect with an audience, network and make friends. You can find people who share similar interests as you and make friends online (or in person).
Drawbacks of blogging
Like all things, there can be drawbacks depending on your point of view.
Potential investment required: Now, you can start a blog with no money required but, if you want to start a professional, money-making blog, you will need some startup money.
Startup costs are low and cover your domain and hosting. If you choose our BlueHost, the domain is included free with your hosting package and the hosting costs under $3/month so it’s not going to break the bank.
Going this route is a smart choice because it will give you more flexibility with how you create your blog, monetize it, grow and track traffic and analytics, and more!
Writing required: If you’re not a writer, blogging may not be for you. While you can outsource your writing, this is usually the path only taken by professional bloggers who have seasoned blogs and do blogging for a living.
As a beginner, you’ll want to write your blog posts yourself. It can bring intrinsic benefit to you and it gives you a chance to really see how the behind the scenes of a blog works, from publishing blog posts, uploading images, etc.
Time commitment: Then, like any project, whether it’s a hobby or an additional job, there’s the time commitment. But what’s great about blogging is that it’s totally flexible. You can blog when you want, set a schedule or not, it’s really all up to you.
Whether you decide to write a post at 9am or 10pm, that’s your decision and something a lot of people really enjoy choosing for themselves. But, regardless of when you work on the blog, you’ll still need time in your schedule to do that and if you don’t have time, then that can be a major disadvantage.
Slow growth: Each blog’s journey is a little different and while some blogs can start garnering lots of attention and traffic quickly, other blogs may take more time so it’s important to know that this project will probably not be an overnight success and will take time to grow and cultivate.
What tools are needed to start a blog?
When you’re ready to kick things off, this is what you’ll need to start a blog:
- A computer with internet access
- Hosting plan
A computer or any device with internet access will be needed to set up and build your blog. For a professional blog, it’s recommended that you invest in domain and hosting, too. The cost is pretty affordable and Bluehost includes the domain free with their monthly hosting plan.
With these three things, you can begin to create your blog!
How to start a money-making blog?
These are the steps you’ll take to start your money-making blog:
- Pick a niche
- Buy hosting and domain
- Connect WordPress
- Create content
1. Pick a niche
Before you begin building your blog, you want to start by thinking about what you’ll be blogging about. This will be your blog niche or main subject.
While you can blog about anything you want , you’ll find that you may get better results if you niche down. The key to success is finding your target audience and creating content for your ideal reader.
Think about your passions and interests then, pick your niche.
Here are some examples of blog niches to get you started:
- Food (vegan, gluten-free, keto, baking, etc.)
- Parenting (kids, special needs, homeschooling, crafts and DIY, etc.)
- Home decor (DIY, design on a budget, high end design, etc.)
- Business (small business, leadership and management, online business, etc.)
- Travel (travel hacking, corporate travel, etc.)
2. Choose a blog name and buy hosting/domain
After you pick your niche, you’ll get your domain and hosting plan.
Think about what you want to name your blog. And, you can check here to see if the name is available. The name of your blog and domain name don’t have to match but, for most blogs it does.
For example, Her Vegan Kitchen is the name of the blog and the domain name is www.hervegankitchen.com.
The name and domain match.
With your blog name picked out and domain and hosting purchased, next you will add WordPress.
3. Connect WordPress
WordPress is the platform that you’ll use to operate your blog.
On WordPress you’ll do things like write blog posts, apply a designed theme to your blog, add staff members, add plugins, adjust the settings of your blog, and more.
You can go to Appearance>Themes to pick a free or paid blog theme from WordPress.
If you don’t want to deal with the tech stuff, check out our free service, Launch that Blog, where we will set up your hosting and WordPress installation.
4. Create content
Your blog’s content is the meat and potatoes of the website. To stay organized and work your blog like a pro, consider creating a content calendar.
Your content calendar helps you map out the content to be published on your blog. With a calendar in place, you can start planning your promotional efforts, social media posting, and more.
5. Publish your blog
When you’re ready you can publish your blog to show your writing to the public. Before publishing, consider having a log of content available so you can publish with at least 10 blog posts live, available for your readers to consume.
How to make money blogging for beginners?
There are many ways you can monetize your blog:
- Affiliate marketing
To make money blogging with advertising, you can partner with an ad network and place ads on your blog. When a visitor clicks on ads, you earn money!
For example, the ad network Google Adsense is a beginner-friendly ad network many new bloggers start with, to monetize their blog with advertising.
To make money blogging with affiliate marketing, you’ll join affiliate programs and refer products to your readers. When they click the affiliate link and buy, you earn a commission.
For example, you could refer your favorite spaghetti sauce company to your readers in a blog post with affiliate links and make money when your readers click the link and buy the sauce.
Affiliate networks are great for beginner bloggers to join because they host tons of merchant affiliate programs that you can join. Good networks to check out is
Next is sponsorship income and this can happen when you partner with brands and share them in your blog posts in exchange for compensation.
For example, if you run a beauty blog, you can partner with a hair shampoo company who pays you a flat fee for talking about them in an upcoming blog post.
Products and services income from blogging comes from creating and selling products and services for your blog readers.
For example, you could create an e-cookbook to sell on your blog, making money every time a visitor buys your e-cookbook.
To learn more on how to monetize your blog, read our post on how to make money blogging.
5 tips to run your blog like a pro
These tips will help you run your blog like a pro would. Check it out…
1. Be confident
If you’re nervous about blogging, that’s normal.
Be confident in your writing and remember, people are coming to your website because you drew them in with your website name, blog post headline, or just you!
Run your blog like you’re the authority on your subject!
People are more likely to become loyal readers of your blog and look at you as a trusted source if you exude confidence. And, if you don’t have confidence yet, fake it until you get there.
2. Show your personality
You’ll grow a following based on your personality. There can be thousands of bloggers in your niche but what makes people visit your blog is you!
Show yourself in your writing, be relatable, and think about the person you are writing for.
3. Give tons of value
Give it all away! People visit blogs because they want to learn. They want to learn about how to do something, how the person behind the blog lives their life, etc.
Be specific in your writing, show screenshots, step-by-step instructions, and give away a ton of free material without asking for anything in return.
This is how you cultivate a loyal audience who will continue coming back to you time after time, to read your blog!
Find other bloggers, join communities, connect, network, and make friends.
Some places online to network include:
Some places in-person to network include:
- Club gatherings
- Summits or retreats
This can be forgotten in the blogging world, but connecting with others and networking is so important.
5. Get a team
When the time is right, outsource!
This will save you time and potentially save you money. You can even start doing this now and it doesn’t have to cost you anything.
Take advantage of free websites and apps that will help you automate, like:
Many social media networks have automation built into their platform, like how you can batch record Tik Tok videos in bulk and schedule them when you want.
You can also hire out and get a virtual assistant or social media manager or other staff, as your blog grows, to help you with everything from content production, photography, social media, etc.
Mistakes to avoid while blogging
Blogging is not perfect. Mistakes will happen, even for the most seasoned bloggers and the biggest thing you can take away from pitfalls that occur is to learn from it.
Here are some challenges you can avoid if you’re aware of them and can plan in advance:
Don’t be too sales-driven: Less is more here. Practice attraction marketing. Remember to think about your audience first and give tons of value. When you decide to feature an affiliate make sure the product or service is a good fit for your reader.
Create a content calendar: Organization is your friend. Make a calendar of your blog posts and you can even coordinate social media posting and other promotion along with this to keep you nice and organized.
Don’t forget social media: Social media and blogging go hand in hand. Social media is a great way to promote your content and grow your fanbase online.
Treat your blog like a job: Even if you see it as a fun hobby, think about blogging professionally and treat it like a job. When you start holding yourself accountable for things like posting on time and scheduling your content, you’ll get better results.
Final word on how to start blogging for beginners
Starting a blog can be a lot of work but it is worth it. You’ll improve your writing skills, learn content marketing, tech skills, and more. Even if your blog doesn’t become a huge success, these skills are worth having in today’s world.
I hope you enjoyed reading our beginner’s guide to blogging.
Want to outsource the creation of your blog for free? Check out Launch that Blog where we will actually build your blog for you, for free! All you have to cover is the hosting fees. Plus, you get all these sweet bonuses too:
- Creating Blog Posts in WordPress: A Step-By-Step Walkthrough
- The Key Ingredients To the Perfect Post (Step-By-Step Video Guide)
- The Professional Blogger’s Toolkit
- The Blueprint To Building a Profitable Blog
- Facebook Ads 101 Training For Bloggers
- BONUS: How to Customize Your Blog – my web developer behind Millennial Money Man and Laptop Empires has created a special bonus training so you know exactly how to customize your theme to make your blog look great in minutes!