Are you looking to start a blog and make money online? Great, let’s get started! Here’s is an awesome step by step guide for beginners that will guide you through every step of blogging!
And the best part? You’ll also get a free premium theme worth upto $249 if you use my partner link to start your blog! Keep reading on to find out more.
So you want to start a money making blog, huh?
Well, you’ve come to the right place.
Before we jump into the process of setting up your blog, I want to briefly introduce myself.
I’m Maria and I’m the founder of The Chic Pursuit, a fashion and beauty blog that focuses on finding the best deals for style on a budget.
I started my blog in 2017 with the intent of making enough money from it that I wouldn’t need a job.
Then, 1,5 years later it happened – I was making enough money from my blog to pursue it full-time! Now, I make anywhere from $8,000+ / month and I’m renting out my own office space to run my business.
I’m not one of those bloggers who makes their money blogging about blogging: My niche has always been fashion, beauty and lifestyle, and I’m proof that you can make money blogging from ANY niche, not just personal finance and other money related subjects.
Whether you’re looking to go down a similar route like me and escape the 9-5, you simply want to make some extra money on the side or you want the flexibility to go travel more, starting a blog is one of the best things that can help you achieve those goals.
However, if you want to make money blogging, important that you start your blog THE RIGHT WAY. Let me show you how!
For those of you who like video tutorials better, I made an easy step-by-step tutorial that shows you exactly how to start a blog that makes money!
If you’d have the same information laid out to you in text format, read along!
How To Start A Blog For Beginners: First Steps
Before you jump into blogging, there’s a few things that you need to get clear about. The most important things are:
1. Your Vision & What You Want To Blog About
2. Your Blog Name
3. Your Brand
4. Your “Why”
5. Your Hosting
Now, let’s dive a bit deeper into each and every one of these.
1. What’s Your Vision & What Do You Want To Blog About?
The first step is to get creative and create a vision for your blog. What do you want to be known for? What do you want people associating you with?
You can start out very broad or choose to go very niche.
If you want to become a food blogger, you can choose to include all of the recipes that you come up with OR you could choose to niche down and only write about a certain topic, like paleo recipes, for example.
My tip is to start out broad and niche down once you know what your audience likes the most (once you have an established blog!).
2. Your Blog Name
After brainstorming your niche, you want to create a few name options for your website. Now, I know that it feels like coming up with the perfect blog name is super important, but it really isn’t.
Why? Your blog name isn’t going to be what drives people to read your content, it’s the content itself that drives more people to your website!
There are plenty of bloggers with seemingly random blog names, like Chasing Foxes and Just A Girl And Her Blog, but you know what? It doesn’t matter! Both of them make well over $10,000 per month from blogging!
So, my tip here would be to come up with a few name options for your blog that are somewhat related to your niche and that aren’t “totally embarrassing” – you still want to feel proud when you talk about your blog. Your blog name could also be your real name.
I would suggest thinking about a name for a maximum of couple of days, and then just sticking with the best option.
It’s better to get started now and have a blog that’s up and running, than it is to have a blog in 3 months from now. Besides, you can always change the name of your blog in the future if you come up with something better.
Need more help with coming out with a blog name? Check out my guide here on how to come up with the perfect blog name in 30 minutes or less!
3. Your Brand
Next, you want to start thinking about colors of your blog and branding. If you don’t have a clear idea, have a look at some blogs and see what you’re most drawn into.
I know that finding the perfect theme can be a costly process (some themes cost up to $249!), so I’m going to help you out here.
You can claim one of the four premium themes below that are worth up to $249 for FREE if you use my Bluehost partner link to register your blog.
To grab this deal, simply head over to my free blog maker page and let me know which of these you want included with your blog set up!
On the page you’ll also be able to see all of these themes in action.
4. Your “Why” – What’s Going To Keep You Going?
It may not feel like the most crucial thing right now, but it’s actually really important. The reason is that you WILL encounter some struggles on the way of becoming a successful blogger. Understanding your WHY will keep you pushing forward and propel you out of the dark times.
Some reasons may include….
- Make more money. Maybe you want to earn a little bit of extra money on the side, or maybe you want to quit your job to become a full-time blogger. Both are possible!
- Get free clothes and makeup. This is an awesome perk of being a fashion blogger! Brands are always looking for people with a platform to promote their products.
- You want a creative outlet. Having a creative outlet is super freeing and fun. Blogging is an amazing way to get some mental relief.
- Become a little bit internet famous. Many bloggers have leveraged their online popularity and become trendsetters in their field. There’s nothing wrong in wanting to become better known – you never know which opportunities it can lead to!
- Be your OWN BOSS. Whether you want to set your own hours or become a location independent digital nomad, having FREEDOM is a big perk of blogging. This is also the reason why I started a blog – I wanted to be my own boss and escape the corporate world.
There are a lot more reasons why you might want to start a blog, but it’s important that you know what your reason is.
This is because building a successful and profitable blog will not happen overnight: there will be times when you want to quit and you will need to put in a lot of hard work.
At the end of it, I promise it will all be worth it! But now, just know that knowing why you want to start a blog is important.
5. Finally, Let’s Talk About Your Hosting.
Now that we’ve covered everything else, let’s talk about laying the foundations of your blog. What is hosting anyway?
Hosting is when you pay a webserver to maintain your site, so that other people can visit it.
You’ve probably heard of free blogging platforms that offer free hosting, such as Wix, Squarespace and Blogger. The truth is, even though these platforms are “free”, they’re actually going to cost you a lot of money in the long run.
Why? Because you can’t monetize a free blog nearly as well as a self-hosted blog. You’ll be lucky if a free blogging platform even allows you to use affiliate links.
Another reason is because they aren’t seen as professional: they’re not seen as an authority site neither by your peers nor by Google.
This means that you won’t get as much organic traffic. And on top of that, you’ll have ads on your site that you can’t get rid of.
The list goes on and on. I recommend checking out my post on 8 Reasons Why Going Self-Hosting Your Blog Will Save You Money In The Long Run if you want to find out more about how going with a free blogging platform can seriously hurt your blog.
So, if you’re serious about making money blogging, you need a self-hosted blog. But which one of them?
Exclusive Bluehost Offer
I always recommend Bluehost for beginner bloggers. The reason why is because they are the fastest, most reliable host and they take away all technical aspects of starting a blog.
They have 1-click WordPress installation, which means that the guys at Bluehost will take care of everything that happens on the back-end, and you can focus on designing your blog and creating content. Super easy!
Bluehost is also the #1 recommended web hosting by WordPress.org. They power over 2 million websites worldwide and have one of the most popular and affordable hosting options.
3 Top Reasons To Choose Bluehost
- Cheapest prices: Their prices are incredibly cheap! You’re looking at roughly $2.95 a month for hosting or less than $36 for a year of hosting including a FREE domain name ($15 value)! Seriously, it doesn’t get much better than that does it?
- Fastest user experience: Not only are they one of the most affordable hosting providers around, they are also one of the FASTEST.
For example, Bluehost‘s average loading speed is 419 ms vs SiteGround’s 722 ms. Bluehost will also be able to carry around 500,000 monthly visitors on your website, compared to 10,000 visitors on SiteGround.
- Excellent customer service: No matter how great your host is, you’re going to run into some tech issues at one point or another.
That’s why it’s super important to choose a host who offers incredible and FAST customer service. The average chat response time on Bluehost is 5 minutes, so you can rest assured that your blog issues will be solved quickly and efficiently.
So, to recap, this is what you’ll get with Bluehost:
- 1 Year Premium Bluehost Hosting $2.95/month
- Free domain
- Free SSL Security
- Unmetered Bandwidth
- 1 Click WordPress Installation
- Plus Unlimited Web Space On Plus/Prime plan
So, if you’re ready to finally get started with setting up your blog, head over to Bluehost to register your domain.
Make sure you use my special discounted link that is just for my readers – this will save you up to 60% on your purchase! You can start a blog for just $2.95 /month and get a free domain ($15 value)!
The Ultimate Guide To Starting A Blog On Bluehost
Pst! Want to skip this step? Let me set up your blog for you for FREE! Check out my exclusive offer here (you’ll also get a free WordPress theme worth up to $249!)
Step 1: Pick Your Bluehost Plan
To get started with setting up your own blog today, head over to Bluehost to register your domain. Make sure to use my special discounted link that is just for my readers – this will save you up to 60% on your purchase!
You can start your blog for $2.95 and get a free domain ($15 value)!
Click on the “get started now” button and let’s get started!
Now, select a hosting plan that fits your needs. Normally, if you are just starting out I recommend the basic plan.
For 99.9% of the cases, starting out with a basic plan will work perfectly well. However, if you are really serious about blogging and want more resources & power go with their Prime or Pro plan.
Keep in mind that you can always upgrade later if you more space!
Step 2: Register Your Domain Name
Bluehost gives you a FREE domain name, which is awesome. (This normally costs $15!)
Type the domain name of your choice in the bar on the left to check out if your domain name is available – if it is, awesome, you’re one step closer to creating your site!
If you’ve already bought a domain from a third party provider, you can set it up with Bluehost using the bar on the right-hand side. Super simple!
The next few steps are about filling out your account and billing details.
Using my link will save you a total of 63% if you choose the 36 month option.
You’ll get the biggest bang for your buck if you choose the 60 month or 36 month options, but you’ll still get amazing savings even if you choose the 24 month or 12 month option!
I would actually recommend sticking to the 24 month option, because you want to try out blogging at first to see if you even like it. Also, your blog might grow exponentially in the next 2 years, which means that after that, you might want to upgrade to a bigger hosting plan.
In this step you can also choose any package extras that you might want. I HIGHLY recommend getting domain privacy protection.
This will protect your site from hackers and keep your personal address private. You can skip the other extras (if you want to add them on later, you can always do this.)
Next, review your package information. Bluehost charges you for the entire year up front – this is how you’re able to get such a good deal!
And…..you’re done – congrats!! Your hosting account has now been created. Bluehost will now send you an email confirming your account and FTP details.
The next step for you is to finalise your account and create a password.
Then, Bluehost will ask you to login to your new account…
… and decide on a site title and site description – I recommend sticking to your blog name and a tag line that is descriptive of your website.
(For reference, mine is: The Chic Pursuit – High Street Fashion Blog Based in The UK | Affordable Chic Style.)
Bluehost will also ask you a few questions about your goals online. If you are building a blog, I recommend sticking to “Share my ideas, photos, stories or videos”.
If you want to make your blog a business, you can also check “sell products or collect payments online” and “Offer services, training and education”.
Now, we’re almost done with the boring bits!
Step 3: Install WordPress
Bluehost makes this step super simple.
WordPress will automatically be installed on your hosting account after you’ve completed set-up!
This is unique among hosting providers and it’s the number one reason that I recommend Bluehost for beginner bloggers – everything is as easy as it can possibly be.
Now, it’s time to pick a free theme. You don’t want to spend too much time doing this – it’s just to get you started. You can change and update your theme at any time after this step.
Now you’ll see Bluehost and WordPress integrating. This will only take a couple of minutes!
After a few moments, your integration is ready:
Now, click on the “start building” box to start building your website on WordPress!
WordPress is where you can manage blog posts, pages and plugins. (I’ll come back to the plugins that you need later on in this post – don’t worry about it now!)
If you are ready to launch your website straight away, go ahead and click on the “Launch Your Site” button in your dashboard.
If you’d rather build your website before revealing it to the public, that;s cool too! Simply click on the orange “Coming soon active” sign at the top of your dashboard when you are ready to launch your site!
That’s it! You’re all done with installing your site on WordPress. You officially have a blog – wohoo! That’s awesome!
You’ve officially registered your domain, your host and set up your site on WordPress. Go you!
Now, let’s get to the fun bit: designing your website.
The Step By Step Guide To Launching Your Blog
Step 1. Design Your Site
Yay! You finally made it through the technical aspects of setting up a blog – now we can get started with bringing your vision to life.
Like I mentioned, if you used my Bluehost link to start your blog, I’ll throw in a free premium theme worth up to $249. You can choose from any one of these three themes:
Get A Free Premium Theme Worth Up To $249
Once you’ve made up your mind, simply e-mail me your Bluehost receipt to maria (at) chicpursuit.com and I’ll send you your complimentary theme within 24 hours.
(Please note that you will only be eligible for the free theme if you’ve purchased your hosting through my partner link!)
If none of these themes tickle your fancy, there’s a few other options that I can recommend to you.
Theme Spotlight: Divi
I use Divi on my own blog. It’s a great design for both new bloggers and advanced bloggers alike. What I love about Divi the most is that it has a drag and drop builder. It makes it super easy to create dynamic pages that look exactly like you want them to look like.
It’s also great for advanced bloggers because you can create great sales pages and other landing pages without having to pay anything extra (with other themes, you would need to purchase a landing page template, which would be at least $79, if not more.)
Other Options: More Feminine WordPress Themes
There are plenty of other WordPress themes that you can choose from! In fact, you could even start your blog with a free theme provided by Bluehost if you wanted to.
However, I strongly encourage you to look for a paid premium theme that feels like your own: this way, you’ll set yourself apart from other bloggers. Getting the right theme can get expensive, but it’s a one off fee.
Here’s a couple more of my favorite themes from 17th Avenue:
Step 2. Start Building Your Blog
Now that you’ve chosen your theme, it’s time to start creating your blog!
But don’t worry – your blog isn’t live at this point yet, so you can play around with your theme and customize your layout as much as you want before showing your masterpiece to the world.
I recommend writing at least 5 blog posts and having a brief “about me” page as well as a “contact” page in check – you want your visitors to have something to read when they do arrive on your blog, right!
Step 3. Launch Your Blog
Now that you’re finally ready with your blog, it’s time to launch it! Go you – this is an exciting moment!!
BOOM. Now you’re officially a member of the blogging world. Welcome!
Welcome to the world of blogging! You’ve now officially completed the steps that many set out to take, but don’t end up doing. But you’re done them, so I applaud you! 🙂
Blogging is amazing, and it can change your life like it has changed mine.
However, I have to tell you that good things take time. Don’t expect your blog to blow up within a week of launching it. It’s normal for a blog to start gaining significant traffic and income only after 3-6 months, so don’t be discouraged if your traffic seems a bit slow.
If I can do it, so can you!
Now that you’ve started a blog, you can start learning about how to drive traffic to your blog and monetize it.
My best advice is to start driving traffic with Pinterest.
To get started with Pinterest, read about how I managed to get 5 Million Pageviews On Pinterest and sign up to my Ultimate Blogger’s Toolkit below – this will give you all the resources to get started with growing your blog for free!
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And if you want to get started with monetizing your blog ASAP, head over to the my free Make Money Blogging Crash Course that teaches you how to start making your first $100 /month blogging.
Last but not least, if you want a full recap of how I make money blogging, I really recommend watching my video above on how I make money blogging.
Here I explain how I personally make money blogging and also I give you other ideas of what’s working for other bloggers.
Feel free to also read through my monthly income reports to get ideas on the best ways to monetize your new blog, and to get a behind the scenes look on what’s working for me and what isn’t.
Good luck! 🙂
P.S. I’d love to check out your blog and read your latest blog posts, so comment your new blog url below and I’ll make sure to check it out!
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