Learning how to start a blog is the best decision we ever made…
Maybe some of these will sound familiar? When we started our blog we were:
- Frustrated with our 9-5’s feeling like we were trapped
- Sick of waking up to alarm clocks and fighting rush hour traffic
- Unable to travel like we wanted and always chasing the weekends
- Drowning ourselves in coffee just to survive the boredom
- Wondering if this was going to be it for our lives??
We were tired of chasing fleeting weekends and vacations that never lasted long enough and we were frustrated with the illusions of the American dream.
Because the realities we were living included…
- Invisible corporate ladders
- Two-weeks of vacation per year
- Living in a stuffy office
- Just not having enough time to do the things that really made us happy
Then, just like you today, we made the life-changing decision to learn how to start a blog and it flipped our world upside down.
Allow us to introduce ourselves…
Hey there! We’re Alex and Lauren — two professional bloggers who went from broke and frustrated to making $103,457.98 our first year blogging!
Blogging has allowed us to quit our jobs, travel the world, work from anywhere, and make more money than we ever thought possible.
Blogging has completely changed our lives and we want to be a part of your journey blogging as well.
Starting a blog and making money blogging has allowed us to experience a kind of depth to life that’s hard to put into words…
But our purpose today is not to talk about us but to help you.
We’ve now helped thousands of students just like you go from no blog with no idea what they were doing to building beautiful, fun blogs that they enjoy that also earn them a full-time income!
We wrote this free guide to help you learn how to create a blog without any website coding skills or having to pay an expensive web developer to do it for you (because who has an extra $2,000 laying around?).
UPDATE: Bluehost has given us a special discount for our readers! You can now set up your blog for as low as $2.75/month, and it also comes with a FREE domain name!
Make sure to save/pin/bookmark this page, and come back to it for later if you can’t finish everything today.
For those of you who like video walkthroughs better we made this simple tutorial of How to Start a Blog in 10 Minutes (Step-by-Step)…
The following will be a step-by-step guide to creating the blog of your dreams and actually make money from it!
And trust us when we say this:
If we can do it, ANYONE can!
How to Start a Blog in 30 Minutes or Less (9 Steps)
Step 1. Choose Your Blog Topic
Choosing a blog topic that makes money does not have to be a crazy ordeal.
Most blog topics can make serious money (we even know a blog about Herbs making $10,000 per month!
Lauren and I personally love health and fitness, so we created our first blog about that avocadu.com which currently makes well over $10,000/m! Here’s what it looks like…
Some great blog topics that are known to be profitable are:
- Health and Fitness (Weight loss, Workouts, Muscle Building, Etc)
- Essential Oils
- DIY and Crafts
- Specific Diets (Keto, Vegan, Etc)
- Home Decor
- Beauty and Fashion
- Making Money Online
- Relationship Advice
Feel free to pick two topics or more and combine them into a lifestyle blog. Many of you will have multiple topics of interest and that’s a-ok!
Finally, don’t overthink this too much. Both your blog topic and blog name can be changed later on if you decide to go a different route. The most important thing is that you GET STARTED.
Step 2. Build Your Blog (Our So-Easy-Yo-Grandma-Could-Do-It Guide)
To build your blog you need two things:
- A Blogging Platform– This is the place you will make edits and write your blog posts.
- Hosting– Just like buying a lot for a new home, you need to buy a space on the internet for your new blog to be set up. A blogging host helps you buy and secure this lot!
We are going to use the blogging platform WordPress with the hosting company Bluehost as this combination is the perfect way to start for a newbie.
WordPress and Bluehost are like peanut butter and jelly for blogging beginners because:
- WordPress is the main platform used by 95% of successful bloggers because it’s insanely powerful/customizable
- Bluehost is a perfect starter host for newbies and has 24/7 customer service
- They are fully integrated with one another and Bluehost makes the setup process easy.
You don’t really need to know the technical ins-and-outs of blog hosting and the like, but if you want to understand the more technical side these articles we wrote can be helpful:
- Best Blogging Platforms – WordPress is clearly #1.
- Blog Hosting Review – Bluehost is our favorite for newbies because we had some real problems with other hosts…
If you have not already, click here to go to Bluehost and then use the tutorial below for easy, step-by-step directions (clicking that link if how you get the discount.
This tutorial is going to start with a webpage showing our bright, shining faces.
Here we are going to walk you through the process of how to start a blog step-by-step!
First, go to Bluehost.com, if you haven’t already. Make sure you have the page pulled up in a separate window before beginning the tutorial.
After you click the button to get started on the homepage, you will then see a list of pricing options.
Next, choose which pricing plan is best for you. No worries – you don’t need anything more than the BASIC plan.
After selecting your plan, you will want to enter your new domain name, as seen below:
A domain name is the text on the top bar of your webpage. So “createandgo.com” is our domain name for this website.
Don’t have the domain name you want just yet? Don’t sweat it! You can click the “Choose Later” button at the bottom to continue with the guide and select your perfect domain later on!
On the next page you’ll fill our the create your account section:
Then scroll down to the section with the package information.
FIRST — Select your account plan. This is where you select the LENGTH of your plan. We recommend the 36-month plan because it provides the best value for your money, but the 12-month plan is great as well. Remember:
- You can cancel risk-free for 30 days. Bluehost offers a guarantee, and you can cancel your plan at any time during the first 30 days and get a full refund.
- Signing on for a longer plan represents a commitment you are making to your blog and yourself. Commit to making this a long-term deal that will reap you TONS of rewards over the next few years! Yes, you have to pay the money up front, but this is going to be something you stick with for awhile right?! Make the commitment to yourself to see this thing through.
After selecting your package information, scroll down to the section on package extras.
Uncheck all boxed except privacy protection. It should look like this:
Selecting domain privacy protection hides your personal details so that your information remains confidential. Unless you want spammers and scammers blowing up your phone – you want this checked!
Congratulations! You now own your very own blog and hosting!!!!!
Not too painful, right???
The next few steps will direct you to create your password before beginning with anything else. Make sure to create a secure password!
After selecting your password, click the “Login” button. This will direct you to select a theme for your WordPress blog.
Getting Started with WordPress
The themes on this page are all free. You can select any one of these free themes to get started.
Don’t worry – you can change this at any time, and we’ll discuss it in more detail in a few moments.
After selecting your theme, it will take a few minutes to set up your WordPress dashboard. Once it’s finished, click “Start Building” to go to your WordPress dashboard.
From here, click on the “Business” button, as shown below. If you miss this step and accidentally click Personal, don’t worry. It doesn’t really matter.
Next, you’ll be asked to set up a Site Title and Site Description. This should be simple and descriptive of what your blog is about but if you aren’t sure what you want to say just yet, just click to skip this step and you can set it up later.
You can see an example of a Site Title and Description below:
After this step, it will ask you if you will be updating your blog with new content. Heck yeah, you will be! Select Yes.
From here, you will be prompted to select whether you’d like to set your homepage up to display recent posts or to have a static homepage.
You can select either, but most people end up using a static homepage, so we’ve selected that option in this tutorial. You can also change this at any point in time in the future if you change your mind!
After selecting your homepage design, Bluehost will ask you if you want to set up a Contact page. We’re going to select No this time because you can set that up later. It shouldn’t be a top priority right now.
From here, click on the Connect to WordPress.com button. Next, you will be prompted to create an account for JetPack.
JetPack is a software that connects to your WordPress blog to provide you with information on the visitors to your website as well as additional plugins that allow you to make customizations on your site.
You can create a new account by entering in your information or you can scroll down to sign up with your Google account:
In the next step, you will be directed back to WordPress and asked to fill in your address information. You can just click “Skip this step” for now.
Before moving on to the next steps, make sure to visit the email account that you used to sign up so that you can verify your address with Bluehost. You have 14 days to do this after signing up, but you should verify it as soon as possible so that you can access your Bluehost dashboard.
Just click the button in your email to verify:
Now, before we start designing and customizing, we want to show you how to access your Bluehost account and WordPress dashboard in the future in case you need to stop and start at any time.
How to Access Bluehost and WordPress
There are two different way to get back into your WordPress dashboard and access your blog.
The first way is to go to Bluehost.com and log in using the email and password that you created in the setup above.
From here, you can click on the Log in to WordPress button.
The other way to access your blog is a little more direct but it requires you to set up a new admin account within WordPress first. You can do that through these steps.
- Follow the step above to access your WordPress dashboard through your Bluehost.com account.
- On the menu on the left, go to Users → Add New.
- Create a new user account with a username. This will be the account that you will use to login with in the future.
- Next, go back to All Users and delete the old admin user.
Once you set up this new user, all you need to do to log in to your site is to type in yourdomainnamehere.com/wp-admin/ into your browser and you will be directed to log in to your WordPress account.
For example, my domain name is mynewtravelblog.com for the purposes of this tutorial. I would type in mynewtravelblog.com/wp-admin/ to access my blog.
Log in using the username and password you just set up in the steps above and you can access your WordPress dashboard!
Step 3. Get Some Blog Design Inspiration
This section is just a quick read to give you examples of some common blog designs so you can get ideas of how you might want yours to look before you start designing your blog!
We’re going to go over 3 main types of blog designs:
- Mix of Both
So, no matter what type of blog you are starting, you’ll have some great examples of how to design it for success!
Abby Lawson has a different setup because you can see that her face is not the first thing you see when you get to her blog.
Items to note about this blog design:
- The main feature on the page is her content. She has three different blog categories of content to choose from based on what readers are most interested in.
- She also has a sign-up form for her email list right on her homepage.
This is a great blog design for a beginner because many new bloggers aren’t ready to put their faces front and center or hire a photographer to take a professional photo.
This is a little closer to the original design of our first blog in the first few months, but it can work for anyone because Abby has been blogging for several years now!
Items to note about this blog design:
- The main feature on the page is, of course, Pat Flynn himself. He is an established authority figure in his niche, and he includes a big headline next to his photo so that his readers know exactly what his website is about when they visit his homepage.
- He also has two menus up at the top with various links to pages on his blog.
- Lastly, he has a “Learn More” button that takes you to another page to learn more about what he offers on his website.
This blog design is best-suited for someone who has established themselves in their blog niche community or who has the resources to hire a photographer to take professional photos.
It’s also best-suited for anyone that KNOWS they want to be a big name in their community and they want to start off with a bang. When you are the central focus, it can help to establish you as an authority figure in your niche.
Elsie and Emma of have a great mix of the above two styles.
Items to note about this blog design:
- The focus of their homepage is split between their recent blog posts and a section about them.
- There is also a separate menu just for their blog categories.
This type of blog design is also great for beginners because you will be posting a lot of content in the beginning and the addition of the section about you helps to build trust with your new readers.
It’s also a great design for anyone with a lifestyle blog that plans to blog on several different topics.
ADDITIONAL TIPS FOR DECIDING ON BLOG DESIGN
Don’t overthink this. Go with your initial thoughts on what might be best for you and your blog.The truth is that you will end up changing your blog design MANY times as your blog grows, your content strategies change, and you begin monetizing your blog.As you get more readers to your blog, you will begin to learn more about who your target audience is and what they are interested in and that will help determine how you design your blog.The overall design matters very little in these early stages, so it’s best to stick with something simple and professional.
Step 4. Select a great WordPress Blog Theme
A blog theme is additional software and coding that allows you to design and customize your blog.
Please pay very close attention to this section because this is the place where most new bloggers waste the majority of their time in the first month of blogging.
Some of our blogging students have actually earned money in their first couple of months blogging and there is a reason that they are different than most other bloggers.
They heed the advice in this section!
It’s design time!
We need to start this off with a bit of a warning. When learning any new software or platform, the beginning can be daunting and confusing. It’s going to take a few weeks working in WordPress and playing around with it for things to start becoming familiar.
This is the stage where a lot of people get frustrated and a lot of self-doubts come up. This is normal and something every blogger before you has gone through.
I was a CPA and Alex was a personal trainer with NO coding experience or anything close to an “understanding” of how the system worked.
Trust that you are going to stick with it and learn the system.
WordPress is the most POWERFUL blogging resource on the web today and gives people who have no experience in coding the ability to create beautiful websites.
Commit to learning the ins and outs of WordPress, and it will serve you very well in the future.
And if every day you focus on creating awesomeness, in 2 month’s time, you’ll be shocked at how proficient you will be!
Option 1: Use a Free WordPress Theme
Free themes are a great place to start if you’re a beginner blogger, but they will lack some of the tools a paid theme gives you. If you have the extra $50 – $100 to invest, then go for a paid theme. If you feel stretched at this point, we get it. Rock a free theme for a month or so and get used to the platform.
You can use one of the free themes WordPress has pre-installed under the “appearances” and “themes” tabs. Just click customize to switch themes.
There are also a ton of free themes. Here is a great list of them that you can try.
If there are free themes, why would I ever want a paid theme?
Paid themes are generally much more powerful and customizable than free themes.
This is because they will have an entire support staff dedicated to helping you and making sure you succeed. They are also used by 95% of people running profitable blogs.
That being said, starting by playing around with some free themes is perfectly fine. It will get your feet wet and help you start better understanding WordPress.
Warning: There are lots of bloggers that recommend starting your blog with the Genesis Framework (the most powerful and fastest WordPress theme). These people are looking to get PAID, and anyone who remotely suggests that it is a good basic theme for beginners is outside their damn mind.
Don’t use that theme to start with unless you are tech savvy and ready to battle through quite a few headaches. It will leave you frustrated at the beginning and out around $250 for the entire package.
Option 2: Save Time and Get a Better Design with a Paid Theme
We have a couple of recommendations here:
Divi Theme is incredibly customizable and very user-friendly. It’s our #1 recommendation and what most of our new bloggers in our Launch Your Blog Course are using. You can easily customize the design of your homepage and other pages on your website and they have great customer service.
They also have a no-questions-asked, 30-day money-back guarantee, so there is absolutely no risk to try it!
When you purchase Divi, you also get access to the entire Elegant Themes market, which includes over 70 other themes to choose from if you don’t end up loving Divi. This theme is quickly becoming the #1 new theme on the market for newbie bloggers!
Avada Theme is what we personally used for the first couple of months on our blog. At the time that we used it, it had fewer customizations than it did today, and that was why we ultimately made the switch to another theme. BUT it has since been updated and now comes with a LOT more customizations and less of a learning curve.
Get to work on selecting the right theme for you, but don’t over analyze it! If you have spent more than 2-3 hours selecting a theme, just pick one and rock it for a while.
The steps below will show you how to upload and change your theme in WordPress.
How to Change Your Theme in WordPress
Next, head over to your WordPress dashboard and navigate to Appearance –> Themes.
Click on the button to add a new theme:
At the very top of the next screen, click the button to upload your theme:
Next, choose the zipped theme file that you previously downloaded to your computer in the first step.
Once it’s uploaded, click the buttons to Install and Activate and you’re finished!
Additional Theme Resources:
Here are some additional resources and tutorials to help you start exploring your new theme!
If you’re still undecided on a blog theme, you can also check out our article on best WordPress themes for some other recommendations.
Step 5. Install Essential Plugins for Your Blog
A plugin is a software that integrates with your WordPress blog to allow you to make customizations and improvements to your blog.
Here are a few examples of what plugins can do for your website:
- Collect email subscribers
- Compress images to speed up your website
- Display your traffic statistics
- Other traffic and monetization tasks (ads, SEO, etc.)
In this section, we’re going to show you a couple of basic (and free!) plugins that every new blogger needs in the beginning. First, we’ll show you what these plugins are and then we’ll show you how to install them on your blog.
SEO stands for search engine optimization, and that basically means that you are optimizing content to be found in a search engine (like Google).
Yoast SEO is a plugin that helps you optimize your content by using a traffic light system. It will give you tasks to complete to make sure your articles are optimized for Google search and give you a green light when you have everything set up properly.
This is GREAT for beginners who don’t really know how SEO works or what to do. It’s a great starting point!
Resize Image After Upload
Resize Image After Upload is a great plugin for website speed! Adding images to your blog posts can, unfortunately, be a big drag on your website speed. If they aren’t properly sized and compressed before you upload them to WordPress, they will take up more space than necessary.
This plugin automatically resizes images for maximum width and height, which minimizes the file size on your website and keeps loading time down.
It’s absolutely essential to have in your arsenal of blogging tools!
How to Install Plugins on WordPress
There are two different ways to install a plugin:
- Search Feature
- Direct Upload
You can use either method, but some plugins are not available through the search method and must be directly uploaded.
To upload a plugin via search, navigate to Plugins on your left-hand menu in the WordPress dashboard and click the blue Add New button at the top of the page.
From here, just search for the plugin you are looking for (i.e. Yoast SEO):
Click the Install button (ours is showing as “Active” in the screenshot above because we already have it downloaded) and then click the Activate button.
Before uploading a plugin, you will need to download the zip file directly from the website (i.e. visit Yoast’s plugin page to download the free version of the plugin).
To upload a plugin, follow the same steps as above to the blue Add New button at the top of the plugins page.
From here, click the Upload Plugin button up at the top left corner of the screen and choose your zip file that you downloaded.
Then click Install and Activate!
You can also check out this article for some additional plugins to download for social media, site speed, design, and more!
STEP 6. Write Your First Blog Post!
Welcome to how to blog 101 -> Let’s start by writing your first blog post!
What should my first blog post be about?
Your first post can be about whatever you want, but we recommend keeping it simple and introducing yourself to your audience.
Tell them a little bit about yourself and why you started your blog.
Let’s get started writing your first blog post in WordPress!
First, navigate to Posts –> Add New from your left-hand WordPress dashboard menu.
Let’s start with the title of your first blog post. You can name it whatever you want but here are some suggestions:
- Welcome to My New Blog!
- Why I Finally Started My Blog
- What This Blog is About
- Hello Party people, I’m [Name], and Welcome to My Blog!!
- Welcome to My Blog About [Blog Topic]
You can also change your blog post title at any time, so don’t worry too much about getting the headline 100% right.
After you’ve written your title, click on the block underneath the title to start writing your content.
I started off with a simple welcome message and introduced myself. Next, let’s add an image. You don’t have to do this, but it’s a great way to build that first personal connection with your reader.
This is the first step to building trust with your reader. If they are able to put a face to the words they are reading, they are more likely to feel connected to you.
To insert an image, you can click the plus button or the image icon. Then click “Upload Media.”
Now you can select a photo from your computer and upload it straight to WordPress. Once it’s uploaded to your WordPress media library, you can easily select it for any other posts in the future.
Once you’ve uploaded a photo, you can continue writing the rest of your content by adding a new text/media block underneath your photo:
The rest of your content on this first blog post should be about you and why you started your blog.
Here are some helpful questions that you can answer in this first post:
- What got you interested in your blog topic and what made you finally start your blog about it?
- What do you want to help others with?
- Do you have a mission statement or a core belief about your blog topic that you can share with your audience?
Feel free to include any other photos or ideas that you think might be helpful or relevant here.
You can also include a few links to websites that you felt motivated and inspired by on your journey to starting a blog.
To add a hyperlink, type out the text that you want to link, click on the hyperlink icon, and then paste a link to the website in the field that pops up:
Include 3-4 websites that you have found inspirational so far.
Lastly, you can conclude your post by saying THANK YOU to your reader for being here and ask them to please leave a comment below the article if they enjoyed the post or have any questions for you.
This is a great way to start getting some initial feedback on your blog and start building those relationships with your readers.
Publish Your WordPress Post
Your blog post remains in “draft mode” while you are writing it. This means that a draft copy is saved in WordPress and no one can view it until you decide to publish the content.
Once you’ve finished writing your blog post, you can publish it so that other people can see it.
To publish a blog post, just click the Publish button at the top right corner of the page:
Once it’s published, there will be a link at the top of the screen to view your post.
After you’ve published your blog post, you can share a link on your Facebook account or send the link to family members or friends if you’d like to share it with anyone!
STEP 7. Learn How to Get Visitors to Your Blog
How do you get readers to your new blog?
There are many different ways to drive visitors (also called “traffic”) to a blog! Most new bloggers jump on Facebook and Instagram first because they are the most widely used platform, but they are also the most competitive and not necessarily ideal for driving traffic to blogs.
If you want visitors from Facebook these days, you’ll need to get creative with engaging and live content (think live videos).
If videos are your thing, that’s great! You should also consider using YouTube as a source of traffic.
Our YouTube channel has been a great way for us to generate traffic, get subscribers, and build relationships with our readers.
But if videos aren’t your thing, we totally get it!
Here’s the key to getting started getting your first readers the right way:
Start with one traffic source and really focus in on it. Learn everything there is to know about it. Master it.
DON’T start out on every social media platform or you will get overwhelmed.
Start with one, then move on to something else after you really know it!
Where Should I Start with Traffic?
You can use whatever social media platform you like or feel comfortable with, but make sure you think about the following when deciding which platform(s) to use:
- Where your target audience hangs out (go where your peeps are!)
- How easy it is to get them off the social site and onto your blog (some are much harder than others to actually get people off of the platform and onto your blog)
- How much you actually like the platform(you’ll be spending some time on it, so don’t pick a platform you don’t like).
Our favorite traffic platform for new bloggers is Pinterest.
You heard that right. If you thought it was just this weird platform where people save photos of wedding dresses and dream homes, you were wrong.
It’s so much more that.
Pinterest is incredible for bloggers for a few reasons.
Traffic that comes from search engines (Google, YouTube, Pinterest) is generally of a higher quality because people are SEARCHING for your information.
You don’t have to create content from guesswork or assumptions because you can look up exactly what people are searching for and create content around those topics.
That’s why our favorite tool is just to use Pinterest search.
If you go to Pinterest and type in keywords, the platform will give you similar topics and suggestions based on what people are searching for on the platform.
For example, if you type “Yoga Poses” into the Pinterest search bar, the first suggested keywords that come up are “For Beginners” and “For Flexibility.”
This tells us that Yoga Poses for Beginners and Yoga Poses for Flexibility are some of the most commonly searched terms related to yoga poses.
This simple search method is how we came up with most of the keywords on our health and wellness blog.
Search traffic also means that unlike Facebook, your content will continue to be found in search for months or years to come. When you post on Facebook, you’ll get traffic for a day or two but you would have to pay to promote your content to get it seen beyond that.
You’re playing more of a long-term game on Pinterest because the longer you are on the platform, the more search traffic you should see from your efforts.
Pinterest is one of the least-competitive platforms out there because most marketers and business owners don’t know about it and those that do generally don’t understand it.
Again, most new bloggers flood to the popular platforms like Facebook and Instagram when they start driving traffic to their blog.
Most people just don’t get how Pinterest works and immediately dismiss it as a viable source of traffic, so they don’t bother with it.
This means that you’re competing with less content — both organic and paid. Lower competition means a lot cheaper ads.
You’re competing with everyone else who already has much more established blogs.
This makes it a great platform for new bloggers because it can be hard to “break out into the scene” with a new blog. No one knows you yet and you have to prove that your content is worth something.
How Do I Get Started with Pinterest Traffic?
Here are a few resources to help you get started:
- How to Drive 300k+ Views to Your Blog with Pinterest
- Pinterest for Business: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide
You can also check out some additional tips on how to get more traffic to your blog here.
STEP 8. How to Make Your First Bit of Money Blogging
This is the REAL reason you’re here, right?
You’re excited about your new blog but what you really want is to learn how to make some actual money with it!
There are a variety of ways you can monetize a blog and in general, the more work you put into it, the more you will get out of it.
Let’s talk about the pros and cons of some of the different ways to make money with a blog and then we’ll tell you where to get started.
How Do Bloggers Make Money?
Ads are a great place to get started because you set them up, you really don’t have to do anything else but sit back and collect some passive income.
But because this income is so easy to set up and so simple, it’s also going to generate you the least amount of income.
The reality of ads is that for the tradeoff of making your blog look a little less professional, you generally won’t make more than a few cents per day.
When we first set up ads on our blog, we made $2.93 in the first week.
That was pretty disappointing…
We quickly realized that ads alone weren’t going to get us very far.
It’s okay to monetize with ads, but make sure you have the right expectations when it comes to how much money you can earn from them.
You can sign up for Google AdSense right away when you start a blog, but it’s often better to wait until you have enough traffic to partner with a premium ad network that will pay you more for the ads on your blog.
We personally use AdThrive on our health and wellness blog and earn $3,000 – $4,000 each month with ads.
Now, that may sound like a lot, but it’s only a VERY small percentage of our overall income and we generate a LOT of traffic on that blog.
And the more traffic you have, the more money you can make with other methods of monetization.
Another way that many new bloggers supplement their income is through sponsored posts, which is when you get paid to write and publish an article for someone (featuring their company in the article) on your blog.
Sponsored posts are often about product reviews, recommendations, or other product information and usually in a similar niche as your blog so that the content aligns with what your readers are interested in.
It can be quite a process to hunt down good sponsored post opportunities, and it’s not technically passive income because you are still getting paid for your time writing.
That being said, it can be a great way to supplement your income while you are growing your blog.
We personally did not use sponsored ads as part of our blog monetization strategy, but we know of bloggers making over $10,000/month through sponsored posts.
Michelle Schroeder-Gardner of Making Sense of Cents is one such blogger and has an entire course on how to make money with sponsored posts from her personal experience.
Okay, now we’re getting into the good stuff!
Affiliate marketing is the #1 best way to start monetizing a new blog.
Affiliate marketing is when you sell other people’s products on your website and earn a percentage of the purchase price as a commission.
We earned our very first bit of income from our first blog through affiliate marketing and more specifically, through the Amazon Associates program.
Our first month of earnings was $172.82, and we were PUMPED. It was proof that we could actually make money with our blog.
Now, we earn anywhere from $400-$1,000/month through recommending Amazon products in our articles.
This can be really big for a new blogger because it can cover some of your initial expenses like blog hosting, email marketing, blog themes, etc.
Or even just help with the groceries!
They key to success with affiliate marketing is to try to find high-priced products to recommend. They’re harder to sell but you can earn much higher commissions.
We generally earn around $40,000/month through affiliate marketing.
In addition to Amazon Associates, you can also find great affiliate products to recommend to your audience through affiliate networks
Affiliate Marketing Programs and Networks:
Most major companies have some kind of affiliate program, so you can also try searching for a company or product + “affiliate program” to see if any of your favorite companies or products have an affiliate program.
Perhaps the best part about affiliate marketing is that it will teach you how to sell.
This will prepare you for the final step to becoming a six-figure blogger, which is to create your own products and/or services.
Creating Your Own Digital Products
We’re talking about eBooks and online courses here. eCommerce is a whole separate ball game and while some bloggers have eCommerce stores attached to their blogs, it’s generally a different type of business entirely.
This is the final frontier and how most six-figure bloggers earn their income, but it’s also not the best route for most new bloggers to start with. Here’s why.
New bloggers don’t generally start out knowing…
- Exactly who their target audience is,
- What products that audience is interested in,
- What type of content to create to sell those products,
- Or how to market their products.
And you need all of those in place to successfully sell a product on your blog.
In addition, you need consistent and significant traffic and usually an email list full of engaged subscribers.
Creating a product before you have these things established is a lot riskier. We know from experience.
Alex and I created a product right away on our first blog when we had very little traffic, not much of an email list, and very little experience blogging in general.
Long story short, we only had one person buy it.
It was a devastating blow after the many long nights and weekends we spent to create it.
We had to scrap the product and start over.
The next time around, we started with affiliate marketing and learned who our audience was, what they were interested in, and how to successfully sell a product to them before we created our own.
We launched our Yoga Fat Loss Bible on our health and wellness blog and it was a success from day 1!
Now, we make the majority of our income through our eBooks and online courses that we sell on both of our blogs.
We use a combination of ads, affiliate marketing, and selling our own products to earn over $100,000/month with these two blogs.
We also discuss more about how to grow and monetize your blog in our article on best blogging logging tips (for both newbies and advanced bloggers).
STEP 9. Get Involved in the Blogging Community
You don’t have to do this alone, and you shouldn’t!
It can be a dark and lonely road full of self-doubt and fear. We’ve felt all of those emotions along the way and it’s hard not to when you wonder if you’ll ever make it.
It’s important to remember that you’re not alone and you can always get encouragement and learn from others.
A mistake most new bloggers make when starting out is not reaching out for help and connecting with other blogging communities.
Here are the final 3 steps for really getting involved. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP.
Join our Facebook Group for New Bloggers!
Our Create and Go Blogging Community has grown to over 7,000 members, and they’re a rockstar bunch of people!
Our community members are a mix of brand new bloggers plus those that have been blogging for years.
Every day, we have people asking questions, sharing experiences, and learning from one another.
Here is an example of the kind of questions people ask and the feedback that they receive:
This kind of resources is invaluable for new bloggers and is something that we wish we had used when we first started.
Get Active in the Group
Introduce yourself and what your new blog is about!
You might be able to find some bloggers that are in your niche that can provide some helpful information.
We’d love to hear how you’re doing and answer any questions you may have!
Finally, leave a comment below about how this tutorial helped you!
This is a little self-serving for us but it really matters. If this tutorial helped you AT ALL, please leave a comment and let us know.
Some final words from us…
We know it can be overwhelming and confusing when starting out. Not too long ago, we were right there looking at our computers sitting in the same seat you are right now.
That’s why we made this little video to get you motivated for what being a full-time blogger can be like…
For more free blogging tips and tricks from the experts, make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel.
To read more about creating content, driving traffic, and monetizing your new blog, make sure to read our post on How to Make Money Blogging: The Definitive Guide for 2019.
We hope you enjoyed this post on how to start a blog, and we’d be happy to answer any of your questions in the comment section below!
Cheers,Alex and LaurenCo-Founders, Create and Go .