If you’ve been looking for a way to make money from home or even quit your current job, blogging is an excellent way to do just that.
What’s great about blogging is you can make anywhere from a couple hundred dollars a month to $100,000+ a month. There is no set pay range. If you’re willing to work at it and take the steps necessary to create a six-figure blog, you can join dozens of other bloggers who are doing the same.
So how do you get started with a successful blog? How do you earn your first bit of income from it?
Here are 3 simple steps to help you start your successful blog today and start earning income.
3 Simple Steps to Start Your Successful Blog Today
1) Pick Your Niche
Your niche is the topic you’re going to be blogging about. What do you want your website to be about?
Do you want to blog about exercise, pets, a hobby, kids, sports, or something else you’re passionate about?
You’ll want to think carefully about it and make sure to choose something you enjoy writing about. The worst thing you can do when it comes to picking a subject to blog about is choosing something only because you think it has the potential to make a lot of money. For example, choosing kitchen appliances because, hey, they’re expensive! That means I’ll make a lot of money!
In reality, no you won’t. Do you want to spend every day, week, and month writing about kitchen appliances? If you do, great! Write about that. If not, pick something you love instead.
The key to building a money making blog is to provide great value to your audience. Provide high-quality content that answers questions and solves problems they have. In doing this, you have a great opportunity to make money.
Your niche should be something you enjoy teaching others about.
As you pick your niche, remember, this is your chance to choose what you’ll be working on and how you’ll be making money. It might as well be something you enjoy that gets you excited! That is the best way to make your blog successful.
2) Choose a Domain
Once you’ve chosen a niche, you want to pick a domain for your blog. Your domain is the web address your blog can be found at. For example, mine is theambitiousmommy.com
Ideally, your domain should be something short and memorable that tells your audience what your blog is about. You can just choose your own name like nataliebacon.com and that has worked great for lots of people.
However, that is an option I’d go with later after you’ve built up a following and people know who you are.
Once you’ve settled on a domain name, you’ll need to check to see if the domain is available. If possible, choose a domain name with a .com extension. Those seem to be easier to build and monetize because they’re more likely to be indexed by search engines.
If the domain you want is available, don’t buy it yet! You can get your domain for free from my favorite hosting provider.
To see if your domain is available you can check here.
If it is available, write it down and let’s find a good place to host it!
3) Find a Good Place to Host Your Blog
One of the great things about blogging is it’s really inexpensive to get started. You can find just about everything you need to get your blog up and running for free.
However, there is one thing you should pay for.
If you plan on your blog becoming successful, you want to pay for hosting!
Yes, there are lots of places that will host your website for free. If you’re on a strict budget, it might seem like a good idea to go free in the beginning, but you’re actually paying a much steeper price by not paying to host your own website.
Some of the problems you’ll run into with free hosting are:
- Site Speeds are Significantly Slower – Websites hosted for free are much slower than self-hosted websites. Because they’re slow, they tend to lose a lot of potential visitors before the pages even load.
- Ranking in Google – Self-hosted websites always rank higher than ones hosted through a free platform. Do a google search on just about anything and see how long it takes to find a website that isn’t self-hosted. You’ll be looking for awhile.
- Minimal Security for Your Website – Websites hosted for free are never as secure as self-hosted ones. Choosing free hosting means your website is more vulnerable to attacks and there’s a greater chance you could lose everything you’ve worked on.
- Little to No Support – When you pay for hosting, you’re less likely to need website support. However, when you do need it, it’s there and it’s fast! Any problems that have come up with my own websites have been resolved within minutes of me submitting a request for support. If you choose to go free instead, you will not have the same kind of support. Lack of support alone could cost you way more than a year of hosting does.
If you’re going to go through the effort of building a blog, you deserve to have your website hosted somewhere it’ll be safe, secure, fast, and easy to monetize!
Where is the Best Place to Host Your Blog
When I first started blogging, I spent days researching the best place to host my blog. The last thing I wanted was to host my blog somewhere that it wouldn’t be safe and easy to manage.
If you look, you’ll see there are dozens of places you can host your blog. Some of the more popular ones are GoDaddy, HostGator, and Bluehost.
A good friend of mine recommended Bluehost, but I still wasn’t sure. I didn’t know anything about them and didn’t want to leave my website in the hands of just anybody.
I spent hours reading reviews on half a dozen different hosting providers and the horror stories I found for some of them were crazy.
Some of them looked like better options at first because they were slightly cheaper (a few cents less a month). However, after reading dozens of horror stories about websites going down and horrible technical support, I ended up crossing off every host from my list except Bluehost.
Like my friend had recommended, Bluehost is widely seen as the most reliable place to host your website.
How to Set up Your Website on Bluehost – Step by Step
To get started on Bluehost, click the link here. This will open their website in another tab so you can follow the instructions I have below to get your website up and running.
1) Once you see Bluehost’s website, click “get started now” as shown below.
2) You’ll see a list of hosting options to get started with your website. To start with, you really only need the basic plan. If your website grows to need some of the things offered in another plan, that’s great! It means your blog is growing. When that happens, you can always upgrade later as you need it. In the beginning, the basic plan is more than enough!
3) Once you’ve selected your plan, you can enter the domain name you chose above. With Bluehost, you get your first domain for free 🙂 If you already have a website hosted somewhere else, Bluehost will help you transfer it
Enter your account information and select the options you want with your package. You can choose to pay for 12, 24, or 36 months.
There are also a couple add-ons you can get with your website but, to start with, you really don’t need any of them except Domain Privacy Protection. This option will keep your personal information (address and phone number) from being publicly associated with your website.
5) Once you’ve selected your plan and package information, all that’s left is to pay for it, set up your password, and log in! Make sure you enter a valid email because that is where your account information will be sent.
At this point, you’ve got your website set up through Bluehost! Now you can install WordPress on it.
How to Install WordPress on Your Bluehost Website
WordPress is a great, free platform that makes building your blog really easy.
With Bluehost, you can get it installed on your website in just a few simple steps.
The first thing you’ll want to do is pick a theme to install on your website. The theme will determine how your website is laid out and what people see when they visit it. I’ve found that in the beginning, it’s often hard to know what I want in a theme.
With every new website I’ve started, I’ve gone through at least a dozen themes before finding the one I liked. For this reason, I wouldn’t recommend using a paid theme in the beginning. WordPress offers hundreds of great looking, free themes you can use to get started. Try a couple of them to see what you like and, as your website grows, you’ll know better what you want out of a theme if you decide to pay for one.
Once you’ve chosen your theme, you can install it, choose what type of website you want, and set the name for your website that search engines will show.
At this point, you can start creating content for your website. In the beginning, if you don’t want everybody to see your website when you’re publishing your first few posts, you can wait to click the “Launch” option pictured below. This will give you time to play around with your website and add a couple pages before it’s visible to everybody.
Personally, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with Launching your blog right now. In the beginning, you won’t be getting much traffic anyway and it gives search engines time to start indexing your new content.
That’s it! Congratulations on getting your new Bluehost website up and running! Choosing to pay for hosting is a decision you’ll thank yourself for down the road. It’s the first critical step to building your successful blog!
Are you having trouble getting your website set up on Bluehost? Do you have any questions for me? Let me know by leaving a comment below!
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