This post talks in-depth about how to start a profitable blog from scratch.
By the end of reading this article, you will exactly know how to start a blog that not only drives an engaged audience but also makes money on autopilot.
You will exactly know how to decide a profitable niche by a 6-step formula that not only helps you to gather blog post ideas but also let you know which topics to target to make money for a long run.
I will show all the exact steps from choosing a domain name until monetizing your blog. Overall, I will cover all the topics required to start a profitable blog.
So, if you know nothing about blogging, then this article is your cup of tea.
Why Start a Blog?
Frankly, there are many reasons you must start a blog. But if I explain the reasons, then maybe, I will need one whole day LOL. So, to keep it short, here are a few popular reasons:
- Make money from your home: Yes, it’s true. You can make money from your home but it doesn’t mean that you have to stay in your home. Blogging gives you the flexibility to work from anywhere as long as you have access to the internet. I am myself a full-time blogger and I love it because it has given me a lot of freedom. Moreover, it has become my hobby now.
- Gives exposure to any business: With blogging, you have the power to give exposure to your business to a wider audience. This means you can reach to many people at a very small cost.
- Build an online presence: If you want to have followers or an online presence, then blogging is the key. You can share your story, help & encourage others, build a strong community that can help you build an online presence.
- Learn a variety of skills: With a blog, you can develop different skills such as writing, graphic designing, online marketing, SEO which is awesome.
How Much Does a Blog Cost?
Well, starting a blog doesn’t cost thousands of bucks. You can literally start a one with just a few bucks. If you follow this article, you can literally start a blog under $5/month.
Over time, when your blog grows, you can invest more to upgrade it.
Can I Start a Blog For Free?
This is a kinda question which I see a lot. Well, to be honest, you can definitely start a blog for free.
But there is one huge problem.
It’s very difficult to make money from a free blog due to the following reasons:
- Most of the free service offers basic features. This is great if you want to try out blogging. However, when your blog grows further, you realize that the current features aren’t sufficient.
- Starting with a free service limits monetization unless you upgrade to a higher plan. Now, upgrading a free blog to paid one will need some money which makes little sense to start a blog for free.
- When we pay for something, we care for it. Same goes for blogging. You know, blogging takes a lot of discipline work and the result won’t happen overnight. So, it’s very important to be consistent. So, paying for service will eventually lead to a better result.
- A free blog makes you feel restricted. Think about it, when you visit others blog and you notice some cool features and tools, you might think to replicate it. But sadly, you won’t be able to do it due to the free service.
- If you ever want to switch to a paid service (which surely you will do), then migrating to a paid service is a heck lot of work and inconvenient. Also, if you think to hire someone, then it may cause hundreds of bucks.
What All The Requirements Needed to Start a Blog?
- DOMAIN NAME – The URL address of your future website (For example, lifezeazy.com).
- WEB HOSTING – The hosting provider who will host your website and store its data.
- BLOG THEME – A Website design t on your website.
How to Start a Blog?
STEP 1: Choose a Blogging Niche
I have seen many people who start a blog just intending to make money but end up giving up on their blog soon.
Do you know why? Because
- They were more behind the money which obviously takes time.
- They thought blogging is just about writing contents & money will roll automatically. But to be honest, you will need a proper strategy to execute a profitable blog.
Always remember, blogging is not a get rich quick scheme. It takes time and dedication. However, you can speed up the process if you do some research while choosing a niche.
Selecting a good niche is the same as building a foundation for your blog. Now, it doesn’t mean that you run behind the most profitable niches. Even if you do, what’s the guarantee whether you can blog on that niche for a long time without getting bored?
That’s why you should select a niche which is profitable and most importantly, you must have an interest in it.
Now, there are other factors as well that should be considered like
- How many topics are under the belt you can cover?
- How many problems does that niche have?
- Are there suitable solutions that can solve that problem & make money as well?
Well, there are a lot of things that need attention before picking your final niche. Thankfully, you can do a proper analysis using a 6-Step method.
This method is a great way to analyze any niche you want which will give you a clear roadmap about its success rate.
You can read the exact method here:
STEP 2: Choose a Blogging Platform
If you want to start a blog, then obviously you will need a blogging platform. A blogging platform is a service that gives all the tools for the creation of web pages for publishing your content.
Now, there are many blogging platforms available right now such as Wix, Blogspot, Weebly, Squarespace, WordPress.
Each & every one of them has a good & bad side. But, the one used by most of the bloggers is WordPress because it is flexible, easy to use & has a large community.
Websites made in WordPress has better chances to get ranked on Google. That is why my vote always goes for WordPress.
Now, this might confuse but, there are actually two kinds of WordPress i.e. WordPress.com & WordPress.org.
- WordPress.com are hosted which means they are free to use but has a limitation which can hinder your online income.
- WordPress.org is self-hosted which means you need to pay a little fee. But it gives you full control & doesn’t hinder your online income potential.
Now, WordPress.org doesn’t mean that your website name will end with .org. You can use .com, .co or any domain extension you want.
This guide will show you how to start a profitable blog using a Self-hosted platform which is a choice of many professional bloggers.
STEP 3: Choose a Domain Name
After you have chosen a niche & blogging platform, it’s time to pick up a domain name. A domain name is nothing but the URL address of a website.
This is the URL people will write on their web browser to reach out your blog. Here are my few tips for choosing a domain name:
- Try to include your niche name along with other words. It gives a little SEO favor. For example, smartpassiveincome.com which is a blog about making an income through online marketing
- Try to make your domain name as short as possible so that there will be less chance for misspelling if someone wants to visit.
- Go for a .com domain extension.
- Avoid hyphens & numbers because that may confuse people.
- Check all the social media websites to see whether the chosen domain name is available for creating handles. This is because you will need to brand your blog in all these social media.
To help you further, check out this step-by-step guide for purchasing a domain name from GoDaddy.
What I will suggest is to compare your domain prices in both of them (GoDaddy & Namecheap) and see which one is cheap.
STEP 4: Setting Up a Web Host
Choosing a good web host is the most important part when getting started with blogging.
Having a self-hosted blog gives you the power to own all your content and blog which is not possible if you go for Blogspot, Wix, WordPress.com, etc.
There are many web hosts available online that promises many things but falls short. Never get into the trap of cheap web hostings because either their service is crap or their speed might suck.
I have used multiple web host such as Bluehost, Hostgator, etc. But quickly changed my mind because of a lot of downtime problem.
They both are awesome and delivers much greater speed. If you choose either of them, there is not much difference in the pricing because:
- Siteground starts from $3.95/month. However, this is only valid for the first-time buyer. Once, you renew the plan; you need to pay $11.95/month
- A2Hosting starts from $3.92/month. This is also valid for first-time buyers. But once, you renew the plan; you need to pay $7.99/month. That’s $3.96 less than SiteGround
If you compare both, A2 Hosting is much cheaper, provides a good performance & gives you a prorated refund.
But, if you go for Siteground, you will get a little better performance than A2 Hosting. But for that, you need to pay more during the renewal period.
Overall, if you can pay a little more, then I highly suggest Siteground. But, if you are on a tight budget, then go for A2 Hosting.
You can get A2 Hosting for just $3.92 per month through my discount link.
Steps to Buy A2 Web Hosting
After choosing your web host, it’s time to purchase it. Earlier, I highly recommend A2 or Siteground as a web host.
But as A2 Hosting is much cheaper and delivers great performance, I will go with it. You can click here to get a discount price of $3.95/mo.
When you click my link, you will land on the below page. Click “compare plans” as shown below.
If you are just getting started, then the Lite plan will be the most suitable for you. However, Swift & Turbo are most suitable for those bloggers who have bigger sites with great traffic.
So, choose whichever is suitable for you & click on “Get button” which in my case is Lite.
Another thing is you can also change the currency according to your country. For example, If I want to pay in Indian Rupee, then I will change the currency as shown below.
After clicking, you can see the prices have changed to Indian Rupees.
So choose accordingly and continue. After that, they will direct you to the next page.
Therefore, select “I will use my existing domain and update my nameservers” option and click “Use” after entering the domain name.
Next, you need to choose your billing cycle for 1, 12, 24 or 36 months. Remember, the higher the billing cycle you choose, the bigger the discount will apply. So, choose accordingly.
If you look below on the same page, you will find server location. That is:
- USA (Arizona)
- USA (Michigan)
- Europe (Amsterdam)
- Asia (Singapore)
Make sure whoever is your target audience, you need to choose the server nearer to them.
For example, If I am targeting Indian audience, then I will choose Asia (Singapore) as my server location.
Next, choose the “Free option” for A2 website builder.
Also, don’t forget to tick the “Lets Encrypt (FREE, good for personal sites)SSL certificate” option as this will make your HTTP URL into HTTPS which makes your blog more secure.
You can leave the “Auto-install application” to “none” because it can be configured later. But if you don’t want that, then select “Wordpress A2 Optimized”.
Finally, check the order summary and click continue.
Then review your details and checkout as shown below.
That’s it. Congrats, you finally own a self-hosted blog.
But it doesn’t end here because you need to install WordPress on your blog if you have ignored the “Auto-install application” option.
STEP 5: Install WordPress
Installing WordPress is pretty easy, and it’s a 5-minute job.
You need to login to your A2 Hosting Cpanel. (They will provide links for the same via e-mail by A2 Hosting members)
After login, click the “Wordpress A2 Optimized” under Softaculous App installer.
After that, they will direct you to an installer page where you need to click “Install Now” button & WordPress will be installed automatically on your blog.
STEP 6: Log in to Your WordPress Dashboard
After following all the previous steps, you need to log in to your WordPress dashboard.
For that, type URL “www.domainname.com/wp-admin” & hit enter. For example, https://www.lifezeazy.com/wp-admin
You can now see your login box. Enter your username (or email), password & click on Log in. (A2 Hosting will provide details via e-mail)
STEP 7: Set Up a Blog Theme
So till now, you have bought a domain name, web host and installed WordPress. Great.
Now, it’s time to set up a blog theme which makes your blog look professional and beautiful. There are tons of free themes available on the WordPress.
Choose any of them & install it. However, before you choose any theme, you need to pay attention to a few things.
- Make sure you can customize theme color
- If you want to have a sidebar, then make sure your theme has one.
- Sometimes you want to publish a few pages with no sidebars. If your business demands such pages, then make sure your theme has the feature to customize the page template.
Well, sometimes it is very difficult to find free themes which fulfill all these features. In such cases, it’s better to buy a premium theme which has more customization option with cleaner codes.
You can go for Elegant themes as they are one of the best WordPress theme provider.
To install any theme on WordPress, go to Appearance > Themes. Then click “Add New” situated at the top. Here you can find several free themes. Choose anyone and install it.
If you have a premium theme, then you can find an “upload button” at the top. Click it and upload your premium theme & then install it.
That’s all you need to do to set-up your theme. Quite easy, right?
Next, you need to learn how to write your first blog post so you can share beautiful contents with your audience.
STEP 8: How to Write a Blog Post
This is where you can attract lots of readers by writing valuable contents. To write your first article, go to the left menu and click post.
By default, you will see a “Hello World!” post. This is a default post that appears on every newly setup blog.
Simply delete it by clicking on the “trash” option.
Now to write a new post, click on “Add New” which you can find there itself.
You can also add a new post by going to your left menu & clicking on Post > Add New as shown below.
You now prompted to a post creator screen where you can enter the title of your post and then write the content.
There are a few steps that must be considered while writing any post. If you aren’t aware of it, make sure to check them out.
If you need to add pictures to your blog post, then click on the Add Media button and upload the picture from your computer.
You can also refer my SEO guide you can incorporate into your blog post to make it more search engine friendly.
Also, download my free blog post checklist that can be referred to while writing any content. This will help you to never miss any important steps.
So, by now you have done all the things required to start a blog. But what about making money? That’s exactly what we will see next.
STEP 9: Build Your E-mail List
Building an email list should be implemented right from the beginning.
Having an email list is like having a loyal audience who will never get lost.
Do you know, Many bloggers make most of their money from their email list.
These are the people who have a higher chance to buy your products.
If you create your list and nurture them well, then you don’t have to depend on your traffic to make money.
Even if your traffic sinks for a particular month, you can still make money from your email list.
To know more, you can read this guide:
STEP 10: Ways to Monetize Your Blog
Well, having a blog is one of the best feelings. But what if it makes money for you?
There are many bloggers out there who make a heck lot of money from their blog.
I made money from my blog from the very next month i.e. the 2nd month. Though it was only $3, it gave me the confidence I can make money.
Currently, I earn a good amount of money from my blog which helped me to not depend on my 9-5 job (which obviously I left before starting this blog). Making money from a blog is great because:
- You can work from anywhere which is quite better than sitting in a cabin for like 8-9 hrs.
- Never worry about the 9-5 job
- You are your own boss
- You can spend more time with your family & kids.
There are a heck lot of ways to make money from your blog. But right now, I will discuss the most popular ones.
I suggest before you monetize your blog, make sure you have 10-15 blog post ready with you and have some decent traffic.
You can check out my full guide on how to make money from a blog as a beginner.
But for the sake of this guide, let’s see some of them.
1. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is my favorite way to make money from my blog. Most of my income comes from it. If you don’t know what it is?
Basically, you promote someone else product or service on your blog or social media through a link.
If someone makes a purchase through your link, you earn a commission.
2. Create a Product
Having your own product is the best method to make money for the long run.
There are many blogs out there who make most of their money by selling their own product.
Though it is much time consuming to create your own product, but it’s definitely worth the time.
There are basically two types of products you can go for.
- Physical product
- Digital product
A physical product can be anything like a T-shirt, mug, painting, etc. It all depends on your niche.
Digital product includes e-books, online courses, etc. Create which one is best suitable for your niche and sell through your blog.
3. Offering Services
If you are good at something in your niche, why don’t you offer services for the same?
There are many services you can provide via your blog. For example, If you are good at SEO, you can provide SEO auditing services.
If you are good at graphic designing, you can sell your graphic designing service.
If you know how to do marketing for a blog and drive tons of traffic, you can offer the same to other bloggers.
Providing such services is a great way to add an extra stream of income.
You can promote all these services from your own blog at no start-up cost. Isn’t that great?
4. Monetize Your Blog Through Ads
This is the easiest way to monetize your blog and make a good stream of income. Though, it is only worth when you have a decent amount of traffic.
The way it works is when you run ads on your blog and if someone clicks, views or purchases anything from ads, you get a small commission. This increases when you have great traffic.
There are many bloggers who earn more than $2000/mo just by running ads. That’s a lot of money on auto-pilot.
One of the best advertisement company is Google Adsense.
Getting approval for Google Adsense is a bit tough but possible if you have unique contents.
5. Sponsored Post
If you don’t know what it is? A sponsored post is the blog/social media posts that contain promotional information about a brand’s product or service.
There are various brands that are looking for bloggers who can promote their product in their blog. A good place to find such brands is Linqia.
Linqia matches bloggers with brands for sponsored post opportunities. This is a great way to increase your blog income.
The great thing about Linqia is that the average payment for campaigns is $200+ and you get paid within 10 days of completing the campaign.
However, you must be located in the US or Canada & have at least 2,500 monthly visitors on your blog. If you fulfill this requirement, then feel free to apply.
Another one is PayPerPost which doesn’t have any specific requirement.
If you go for any of them, then my only request will be to never promote a product that provides none value to your audience.
Rest all is great. If you want to know more, then check out below article.
STEP 11: Drive Traffic to your Blog
This is the most important step which makes a blog successful.
No matter how good your content is, how great your site design is, if there is no traffic then all these things make little sense.
As a new site, it’s quite difficult to drive traffic to your blog because first, you are new to this blogosphere. Second, nobody has heard about you & your blog.
So starting a blog from scratch is hard work but slowly you will definitely see the progress.
With that in mind, here are my best blog posts regarding blog traffic.
Remember that you don’t have to try everything at once. Instead, implement one at a time.
This means pick a traffic source and be a master in that. Once you can drive steady traffic from that source, then only go for another one.
- How to drive Pinterest traffic to your blog
- 6 Steps to drive Quora traffic to your new blog
- 7 Ways to attract traffic to your blog
Wealthy Affiliate is an online business building platform that offers everything to create, grow and manage your businesses online.
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There is also a premium membership which includes more benefits but if you are thinking to join them, start with the free one.
Over to You
Starting a profitable blog definitely takes a little work, but it definitely pays well for a long time.
It requires dedication and patience. If you are ready to invest much time and effort into your blog, you will definitely taste success.
You must look at your blog as a business and must spend money on it whenever required.
Last, never give up on your blog because eventually, you will surely see the desired results.
That’s it. I hope this guide has surely helped you. If you got questions, feel free to drop your comment below.
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