Skip to content

How to start a blog and make money? 5 easy steps that works in 2022

I have been building websites for the last 20 years. Everyone who knows me asks to build a blog or website for them. I have many active projects and limited time to build a blog for people.

I prefer to teach and share my knowledge here so everyone can learn and benefit from it. There is an old saying by Lao Tzu “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”.

I will explain how to create a blog, why you need to have a blog and how to earn money from your blog.

Everybody can build a blog and gain the valuable audience by following the right steps.

Here is an easy 5 step beginner guide to start a blog and earn money.

  1. Find topic (niche) for your blog
  2. Pick name for your blog and get hosting (I recommend Bluehost)
  3. Install blogging software WordPress
  4. Create content for your blog
  5. Earn money from your blog

Each step explained in detail further down in current article.

If you are in a hurry then Skip intro and Start Blog Now →

How to start a blog and make money

What is a blog? Blog is a website that has in-depth articles about specific topics. If you search google for anything that you do not know you will see lots of articles from blogs. Google and users love blogs because they have detailed explanations on every topic which covers many aspects of it. (Wikipedia article about blog)

Blogs help people to gain knowledge and make the right decision. That is why blogging is a key for marketing. You can market everything with your blog by covering related topics and answering questions that potential customers have.

You do not need specific education to start a blog. You can start a blog at any age starting from as early as 7 years.

I started this blog in 2005 to share software that I wrote during my college education. Initially it was a website then I switched to WordPress blog because it was easy to manage and write content. My blog is successful with software downloads reaching half million.

In terms of income initially I did not think about it and didn’t know if it was possible. Over time I learned a lot from people through their blogs and added monetization streams to my blog. Later to repeat my success I created many other websites and blogs to generate more passive income. After generating enough monthly income I quit my day job and never worked for other companies.

Blogging is not a way to get rich quick. It takes time and lots of hard work. Instead of working for others you will work for your blog. Your knowledge and work is a necessary initial investment for your success.

Step 1: Find topic (niche) for your blog

Before starting your blog you need to know what you will blog about. You are reading this article because you want to start a blog for making money. It is not just a hobby blog. It has a clear goal of earning money.

Think of it as a business. You are building a business that will generate income. In return you will invest your experience, time and money into your business.

With every business there is simple logic. Lets see business logic of a blog that generates income.

  1. You have an experience or you are learning something that you want to share.
  2. You share your experience through your blog. In other words you market and sell your knowledge.
  3. People find value in your blog posts. They read and share your posts, buy products that you sell or recommend,
  4. You gain more experience and continue providing value to your readers.

As you can see, the main point in blog logic is to give something of great value to a group of people and in return earn money.

As human beings we tend to underestimate the value of things we own. Same underestimation applies to knowledge and experience. We tend to think that everybody knows what I know and do not think that it will make any value for others. This is a big mistake that will hold you from sharing your knowledge.

Remember yourself before gaining that knowledge. You were eager to learn it and spend your time and resources to gain that knowledge. This means many people like you are looking for it and want to learn it.

Do not hesitate to share your knowledge and present it to people who need it in the most appealing form.

This is where blogs will help you to share your knowledge. If you do it right and think about the monetization aspect at the stage of planning and choosing your niche you can earn money from it.

Do not think about monetization afterwards. Gaining traffic and reaching potential audiences can take up to a year. You need to have a monetization strategy before reaching that level.

Remember that money will fund your blog so you can spend more time on it and invest to grow your blog further.

What is a niche?

Niche is a specific topic for a targeted audience that you will write detailed articles in your blog. Niche should be as narrow as possible while having enough interested people in it. Blog should cover one niche only with the ability to move to a wider niche when it grows.

Because there are so many blogs on the internet you have to choose a narrow niche for your blog in order to succeed. Wide niches are dominated by big names and it will be very hard to stand out from them and attract visitors to your blog. By choosing a narrow niche you focus on one topic and attract like minded people who are interested in your blog.

How to find a profitable blog niche?

There is a unique tactic to find a profitable niche. We are going to use popular search engines to find a profitable niche. Search engines are places where people all over the world search for information.

Google uses all searches and calculates the relation between them. That way it will suggest related searches based on real data gained from users. We are going to use this feature for finding a profitable niche.

  1. Pick a topic you have some experience with. For example “play guitar”
  2. Search google and check if there are any ads shown for the current term. If there are ads then you can monetize it.
  3. Check top results and see what they offer. Mostly you will see topics about “learn to play guitar”, “how to play guitar for beginners”. These are topics that users search and come to your blog. You need to write how to guides to attract site visitors that will be your loyal readers and fans that can buy from you.
  4. Search for buying intent keyword by adding “best” before your keyword. For example “best guitar”. At the bottom you will see google suggestions like “best guitars under 2000$”, “best guitar for beginners”, “best guitar accords”. These are review articles where you can list best items with review and add affiliate links to them.

Find profitable niche for your blog

When you create enough content in your niche and attract visitors with how to guides you can monetize it with review posts. More on monetization streams I will explain in step 5.

By now you know if your niche is profitable, what type of content you need to write to attract more people, what type of content you need to write to convert your visitors to buying customers.

What is my blog niche?

I started this blog in 2005 with two goals in my mind.

  1. Primary goal: Showcase my software projects written during college years. Simulator software niche.
  2. Secondary goal: Find a web programming job.

Both of these goals were achieved in a couple months and the blog served its purpose. I had many downloads for my software and I used my website to showcase my experience for finding relevant jobs. I found my programmer job with a couple job applications. Worked for a web design company for 5 years and created many side projects to earn passive income.

At some point I started earning enough money to quit my day job and make a living from passive income from my blogs.

You can also leverage the power of blogs to share your experience and earn money from it.

Now let’s create your blog in the next step.

Step 2: Pick name for your blog and get hosting

Find name for your blog

First thing when creating a blog is to pick a name (like blogname.com). Name is what people see, remember and type in when they want to visit your blog.

Name should match your niche and should be short. It can be your name, name of your company or name related to your niche. Do not pick a name by combining more than 2 words because it will look a bit spammy and google does not like it either.

For example, the name of this website is veppa.com. Other domain names that you may know google.com, facebook.com , wikipedia.org etc. It is a unique address that points to your website.

Check if the name is available →

Name is technically a domain name.

Important disclosure: I am an affiliate for some of these blogging platforms. If you click a link and make a purchase, I earn a commission at no extra cost to you.

What is a domain name?

Domain name – is an internet address of your blog that people will type to their web browser in order to view your blog. Domain name generally costs around 10-20$ per year. (domain explained in Wikipedia)

Get place to store your blog – web hosting

Blog consists of articles and images. All this content is controlled with blogging software WordPress and stored on web hosting company Bluehost.

WordPress is free blogging software used by more than 43% of all internet websites in the world.

Bluehost is a popular hosting company recommended by WordPress which hosts more than 2 million websites. It is a place to store your articles.

Click here to go to Bluehost and click the green “Get started” button.

 

How to start a blog 5 step guide.

Select hosting plan

On the next page you will see different hosting plans. I recommend selecting one of “Plus” plans because they have the option to host multiple blogs. That is what I prefer. After starting your blog you will come across many great ideas to start another website or blog. And then you can use your existing host for all your websites. Currently I have more than 10 websites.

Choice Plus plan has Domain Privacy Protection selected. It will keep your contact details hidden from the public. On other plans this option will be optional.

Click the green “Select” button in your plan as shown in the screenshot and continue.

Select hosting plan to start a blog on bluehost.

Define domain name

On the next page you will see an option to define a domain name. Type in domain name that you want for your blog (mine is veppa.com)

How to start a blog: define blog domain name.

If the domain name that you want is not available then try an alternative name that you have in mind. In case you cannot find a suitable name for your blog or want to decide later then select the “I’ll create my domain later” option at the bottom. You will be taken to the last step of creating a hosting account.

Create Bluehost account

Here you will fill in your account details like name, email address (this is very important to use the email address that you always use because all important information regarding your account will be sent there) and actual address.

Create host account to start a blog. Fill in your details.

You can also use a google account by clicking the “Sign in with google” button on the page to fill most of this information automatically.

Select hosting period

Next you have to choose a hosting period. Price will be low if you choose a longer period. I prefer choosing a 36 month period. This will keep your hosting cost for 3 years at minimum. Price will go up a bit after the initial payment period. So you will have a minimum price for a longer initial period.

Start a blog: select hosting period.

Extra options to check

There are other options you have to choose or skip. I recommend selecting domain privacy if you choose the domain name in steps above. Domain privacy will keep your personal information hidden from public.

How to start a blog: extra packages.

Uncheck other options because you will not need them. They can be installed and used for free from WordPress later. I will show you how to install and use things like SEO optimization later in this guide.

In the screenshot above Domain Privacy Protection is marked as Free because I choose Choice Plus hosting plan. If you have chosen Basic or Plus plan then Domain Privacy checkbox will be selectable with 1$ per month price next to it.

Enter your billing information

Create blog by completing purchase.

 

Enter your billing information and complete hosting setup. Remember to read and check terms of service.

Step 3: Install blogging software WordPress

Have I mentioned that installing WordPress on Bluehost is very easy. Because they have built an installation wizard for new users.

When you complete your sign up with Bluehost you will receive an email from them with your login details and some instructions. Log in to your Bluehost account and you will see the setup wizard to install WordPress on your web hosting.

Alternatively you can create your WordPress blog by clicking “My sites” and then the “Create site” button.

Start a blog: install blogging software WordPress

You will need to provide a name for your blog and create a username/password for managing your blog. Remember your login credentials to your blog because you will need it to add posts and other content to your blog.

Once you complete the setup you are ready to go.

Get familiar with your blog

Now that you have installed your blog check user interface and get familiar with it.

On your browser navigate to yourcomain.com/wp-admin

Enter your username/password that you created for your blog above. You will need to login every time when you want to add or change content on your blog.

Start a blog: view WordPress dashboard.

Once you login you will see navigation to important parts of your blog on the left side.

You will work mostly with “Posts” for adding content.

“Pages” is a place to add your important pages like “Privacy policy”, “About”, “Home page”. It is similar to “Posts”. Main difference is posts are grouped with categories, where pages are grouped by parent page. We will be using “Posts” for content articles.

“Appearance” is for designing your blog with themes and widgets. Also do not spend too much time on design. Choose a simple theme for focusing your readers attention to your content. Prefer not using sidebar because it distracts users from main content. More users read the main content, the more they focus on learning from your articles. Also remember that there is no sidebar on mobile devices.

“Plugins” section is for adding custom features and enhancements to your blog. Usually performance, security & SEO plugins are most popular for every website. SEO (search engine optimization) plugin will help you most when creating content that ranks on Google. Search engines are the main traffic source for blogs.

Start a blog with correct permalinks for better SEO.

Important: First thing you need to set up is the correct permalink structure. Navigate to “Settings” -> “Permalinks” page and select in “Common Settings” option “Post name”. This will make your article links search engine friendly (ex: https://veppa.com/sample-post/ ). You need to set this before writing any content so search engines index your posts with the most optimal URLs. Do not ever change this setting otherwise you will lose all link value that you have built to your articles over time.

Step 4: Create content for your blog

There is a popular saying that “Content is the king”. And we need to create that winning content which attracts and engages with your readers. We need to create content that will bring visitors to your blog.

Remember that we are creating a blog for earning passive income. As with any website we need special pages on our blog.

Main pages for your blog

There are 3 important pages for a blog to gain trust, to show the main goal of your blog and resources or tools page.

  1. Home page: This page is main page when visitor directly comes to your website. Use a regular page for your homepage. Home page should reflect the main purpose of your blog. Use call to action to direct your visitors to your main content, service, product, event, offer. Think of it a landing page and direct your visitors to important parts of your blog.
  2. About page: This page will explain you or your company. It should gain trust, connect with your visitors through story. When you teach, suggest, promote anything on your blog first question that comes to the mind is “Who is this person?”, “Why should I listen to this blog?”, “Should I trust this blog?”. About page should answer those questions and connect with your visitors. Think about your target audience and introduce yourself to them so that they trust you and value your blog.
  3. Resources page: This is most searched page by your regular readers. Because they read your articles and they will want to use tools that you have explained in your articles. So they will visit your tools page and find products that you used to achieve certain goals. This page collects all valuable resource and tools. Your blog audience will use it to purchase products that you recommend.

There is also one technically important page required for showing ads, promoting affiliate products, and complying with local law. It is a “Privacy policy” page. WordPress has a tool for creating privacy policy pages. It is located in the “Settings” → “Privacy” page.

Winning content types

What type of content performs best for money making blogs? Remember that we want to generate income from our blog.

We want to trigger two important actions in our visitors:

  1. Visitors make purchases → we earn money.
  2. Visitors share content → more visitor come to our blog.

We need to attract those users in order to increase our website traffic and earn money from their actions.

There is a best content type for getting visitors with high intention to perform each of those actions:

  1. Review posts: This triggers to make purchase. We need visitors that search for products before making a purchase. They are searching for a specific solution for their problem. We need to target those users and offer them best product review articles on our blog. So they read and learn about products and make purchases. This is known as transactional content.
  2. “How-to” posts: Most read and shared content. These are tutorial posts that provide great value and solves problems of your visitors. They learn how to use certain products, their pros and cons, research that you made using given products etc. This should be unique content that is not found elsewhere. Users will share and refer to your content in their blogs when you provide unique well researched content. This is know as informational content.

With these two content types you will have targeted visitors that will make your blog profitable.

Write more content, group content in categories or clusters of 10-20 articles. Create internal links between articles. Cover every aspect of your blog niche.

Step 5: Promote your blog and start making money

Search engines are the main traffic source for blogs. You need to promote your blog on related blogs. Success with content marketing requires 90% content writing and 10% guest posts and building links. Links from relevant quality websites are solid signs of trust. Search engines value relevant links and rank your blog relying on them.

SEO is the best promotion mechanism for your blog. It is passive and free. Generally traffic from search engines can count for 50-90% of all traffic for blog. Optimize your WordPress blog with this SEO guide for beginners.

Once your blog gains some traffic it will grow and attract more visitors. Continue writing and updating your posts. serve your visitors so they stay on your blog and regularly visit it, share your content, link to your content from their websites.

Also search for other paid promotions. Usually they are expensive and you may not earn back money you have spent on paid promotions quickly. Every blog and niche is different. You can always try banner ads, Facebook or Instagram promotions and make your own decisions.

Blog monetization options

There are many ways to monetize your blog. Depending on your niche some income streams are more profitable than others. You can always explore more monetization options by analyzing your competitors.

Here are 5 main monetization options for a blog:

  1. Affiliate marketing: Suggest products with review and “how-to” tutorials. This is most lucrative and scalable way of earning money. You only promote products and earn money from sale. All other aspects are handled by the main company behind the product. Development, delivery, installation, repair, research and all hard work related to products is handled by others. This is best way of earning passive income. Read case study of earning money with affiliate marketing with promo codes.
  2. Banner and contextual ads: Easy to start monetization option. You need to have some decent traffic around 100k pageviews per month to earn some good income from contextual ads. With banner ads you can negotiate and price your banners per month and can earn a bit more than contextual ads. Read case study about content marketing and earning with ads using niche blog.
  3. Digital product: E-book, audio, video book, software, theme, plugin, mobile app etc. This income stream can be used after you have some traffic and good amount of content in your blog. It can be used to diversify your income streams. It requires initial time and financial investment to build digital products. For that reason you need to make sure that you are building a product that is needed and can return your initial investment. Also you may need to provide customer support, and team for further development product. As you can see this requires a lot of work and very difficult to make by a single person. Income stream is not fully passive. Read case study of earning 200k $ per year with digital products.
  4. Physical product: This is a product that is related to your blog. Maybe a beauty or fashion product. Requires financial investment and man power for creating products.
  5. Professional services: consulting, coaching, cleaning, designing, repairing, baby sitting, content writing etc. This requires your time and can be applied as early when you start a blog. You can create pages explaining your services in your blog, spend money on advertisement and start working with clients. When your blog grows and passive income increases then monetization with services will become not manageable and will be dropped over time. In this method you trade your time for money which is not scalable.

From this list the most profitable income stream for a single blogger is affiliate marketing. You should aim for it and try to earn more than 50% of your income from it.

You can use all monetization options in your blog by completing each other.

FAQ

How to make money blogging for beginners?

Pick a niche and create your WordPress blog. As a beginner you share what you learn and become professional over time. Cover every aspect in your niche blog. Add affiliate products, teach how to use them, show benefits of each product. Write transactional (review articles) and informational (how to articles) content.

Additionally monetize with banner and contextual ads. Regularly create unique in depth articles or update old content to cover more details to the subject. Later as you get more experience, monetize your blog with e-books & courses.

Does it cost money to start a blog?

There are 2 things that you need to spend money on every year for having a money making blog. It is a hosting and domain name that costs around $50 per year. This is needed for building your blog brand with a unique domain name. Blogging software is totally free and provided by WordPress.org website. Your time is also free. You need to spend 4-20 hours per week creating content, learning and researching your niche.

Also be aware that there are free choices as well like free blogging platform by google “BlogSpot”. Free blogging platforms are restricted in terms of software features and they do not give you a unique domain name for free. All information is stored on their platform will belong to them. You will spend your valuable time and effort creating content for their system and empowering their brand and services.

That’s why I recommend starting your blog with minimum expense and building your own brand.

How much content is enough for a blog?

Generally you need between 100 and 300 posts in your blog. If you have fewer blog posts you will not get enough traffic to generate income. When you have too much posts, your content will not be manageable and you cannot update it regularly. Also niche blogs technically cannot have too much content because you need a small niche in order to succeed.

Also remember search engines always update their algorithm. What works today may not work next year. So regularly check SEO trends and update your blog accordingly.

How long does it take to earn 1000$ each month from blogging?

Generally earning 1K $ per month requires 50-100k page views. I am talking about focused traffic of people who want to buy products. In order to have so many page views you need to have a minimum 100 quality blog posts. To create well written reviews and informational posts you will spend at least 6 months or in some cases one year.

This is an average estimation to write content, get indexed, build backlinks etc. This is a constant work that requires your commitment. It will pay off once you start seeing some traffic on your blog.

Conclusion about starting a blog

Blog is a unique platform that can generate money while providing value to your readers on the internet. When you think about a blog as a business then it is your property with brand and value created by you. You can blog in any niche while living in any part of the world and earn money that can support your family. It is a business that can replace your day job, give freedom of work schedule, teach you while you share your knowledge.

You can start a blog and get all the benefits of blogging. When done right it will support you financially and open new income opportunities. All this is possible with hard work and consistency. Start with simple steps explained in this article. Find a niche, get hosting and domain, install WordPress, white content, learn and teach others, increase your traffic and earn money.

After starting your blog and getting familiar with WordPress complete initial Search Engine Optimization for your blog →.

Read more articles related to running a successful blog. Learn and apply winning strategies. Check tools that I use for blogging.

I wish you good luck with starting your blog.