6 Steps To Starting A Blog and Making Money

If you want to make money online one of the best ways is by starting your first blog.

But, what do you blog about? Is there money in blogging? Do you get paid to write or how does it work?

How to blog and make money

Let me give you a quick rundown of how blogging for money works.

  • You create a website first. This is your business.
  • To get eyes on your business, you need content to attract an audience.
  • Write blog posts your audience will enjoy.
  • Get traffic from Google, Pinterest, Facebook and more.
  • Join Google Adsense and place ads on your blog to monetize this traffic.
  • Join an affiliate network like Amazon Associates to earn a commission for every sale you refer.
  • Create a digital product or service to earn even more money from your website.

That is a lot to digest, so if you want to take this route, be sure and go to my other brand DoSixFigures.com. I have plenty of detailed resources to help beginner bloggers here.

So, are you ready to start a blog and start making money online? Let's get on with this step by step guide to starting a blog.

Step 1. Pick a profitable niche

There's plenty of different topics to write about. Be sure to choose something you're passionate about and something that can make you money.

Some niches are easier to monetize than others. For example, it's much harder to sell ad space on a political blog compared to a tech blog. Likewise, it's harder to monetize a sports or celebrity blog compared to a finance or a weight loss blog.

Step 2. Get hosting and a domain name

Start a blog with Bluehost

Hosting is like paying the rent to host your new blog. You might not need office space just yet, but your blog sure does!?

I recommend using Bluehost for several reasons:

  • It's cheap. It's only $3.95 (sometimes $2.95) per month
  • It's newbie-friendly. There is no technical knowledge required to start your own blog.
  • Free domain. You get your own domain name just for signing up.

You can get your free domain later if you're still undecided.

I recommend signing up for the Basic plan and not selecting any extras.

Step 3. Set up your blog

  • Install WordPress

After signing up with Bluehost, the blogging platform WordPress will be automatically installed.

  • Choose a theme

The next step is to choose a blog theme. My recommendation for blog themes is Divi from Elegant Themes.

With Divi you get full control over the design of your blog with their drag and drop page builder.

  • Create a logo

To create a logo, use Canva.

  • Write your first blog post

For help writing better blog posts, use Grammarly.

Step 4. Start an email list

It's difficult to make money with a blog the first time someone visits your page.

But it is way easier once the person has gotten to know and trust you. To build that trust, you need to start an email list.

I recommend using ConvertKit. Use my link to use ConvertKit for free up to 500 subscribers.

Step 5. Get traffic to your website

To get traffic, go where the people are! The highest trafficked sites with a potential to send traffic are are Google, YouTube, Pinterest and Facebook.

The easiest source of traffic for new bloggers is Pinterest. I use the Pinterest scheduler Tailwind to automate my Pinterest marketing for this blog.

Step 6. Monetize your blog

There are plenty of ways of monetizing your blog, from digital courses to monthly memberships. But for new blogs, there are two really good ways:

  • Ads

Sign up with Google Adsense to get started with ads. They pay you for every click your ads receive.

  • Affiliate marketing

This is where you get paid a commission for referring a customer. A good first option to sign up with is Amazon Associates. Other affiliate programs to join are Shareasale and Flexoffers.

How to get free traffic from Google

A lot of people know that in order to be successful with your blog you need to get some Google love. While social media sites like Facebook, Instagram and Tiktok are creeping up behind them, Google is still the king of traffic.

Whether we like it or not, we must play by their rules. The problem is that we’re not quite sure what the rules are. Google wants us to think that we should just create wonderful content and they’ll show their appreciation by giving us traffic.

But if only it were that simple. Bloggers need to decipher the clues to determine what works and what doesn’t.

One thing is certain though, in order for Google to send you good traffic they need to trust that your website will deliver a good user experience.

Here are 5 things every blogger needs to do in order to get more traffic from Google search.

  • Domain age really helps

A newly registered site is nowhere near as trustworthy as an older site. So what do you do if you have a new blog, other than wait?

One option is to purchase an existing site that’s been around for years. You can buy a neglected older site and take advantage of their domain age.

There’s a downside to this though because you are also buying their past history. For all you know, this site has done some shady things in the past such as spamming or is banned in Google.

Do your due diligence before buying an existing site. Type the domain into Google and see if their site ranks #1 as it should. Use the Wayback Machine to see previous versions of the website. These two tools go a long way in determining whether the existing site has a shady past.

It is also a good idea to register your domain for longer than one year. If your domain is set to expire in a few months it shows you might not be as committed as another site registered for another 5 years.

  • Link to reputable sources

A reputable trusted site in Google’s eyes naturally links out to other sites and also naturally receives links back.

This means that when you write your pieces you should not be shy about giving out links to other sites. Many bloggers feel like when they give a link out they are leaking link juice from their site and sharing it with others. But it doesn’t work that way at all.

Linking to a trusted source does not damaged your site. Instead, it shows that you are doing your research and helping your readers by sharing a valuable resource.

Go ahead and look at popular sites like CNN and HuffingtonPost. Their content frequently links to others and they are doing just fine in Google.

  • Get quality sites to link to you

One of the ways Google determines how popular you are is by the quantity and quality of the links going toward your site. But don’t just go requesting links to your homepage with the same anchor text. A good link profile is a natural one.

Get a good mix of links with different anchor text going to different pages of your site. Whatever you do, don’t pay for them though. The best links are those you receive naturally from other bloggers.

When trying to manipulate Google, odds are you’re going to slip up at some point. A natural back link profile gets links from small sites and big sites at a constant rate.

Google wants to send traffic to trusted sites. What better way to show you’re trustworthy than if others trust you enough to link to you.

  • Google may be listening to social signals

Social media is playing an increasing role in determining Google rankings. This groundbreaking study by Branded3 showed that the number of retweets appears to influence rankings.

It makes sense. If Twitter users are mentioning your blog post, it must be pretty good.

It’s not just the amount of retweets that matter, but the influence of those who retweet your message. You can see your influence and those of others on Klout.

While other social media signals like Facebook likes and Pinterest pins may play a role in the search algorithm, Twitter shares seems to be the most important factor.

  • User experience and user behavior

The way your visitors interact with your blog plays a big part in whether Google trusts your site.

Good blogs keep visitors on the site for a long time. Good blogs have visitors going to multiple pages on the site. Good blogs have users return back to the blog time after time.

Google has a few ways they may be tracking user behavior.

Google Analytics?

If you have installed Google Analytics to track visitors to your blog, Google knows everything they need to know to determine the quality of your site.

Google Chrome?

Google also has the Chrome web browser. They may track how users of Chrome interact with your site. They’ll know where you click, where you scroll, where the cursor moves, what pages you visit and how long you stay on each page.

Google Adsense?

If you monetize your blog with Google Adsense you’re inserting a code that Google can use to track visitors of your blog. They may use this data to determine if you have a quality site by monitoring user behavior.

Google Search?

Another important way Google determines the quality of your site is by seeing how Google search users interact with your site.

If someone conducts a Google search, clicks on your site in the search results, then immediately goes back to the search results page, it’s a sign that your site did not have what they were looking for.

Wrapping it up

For me, blogging is the side hustle that led to me earning a six figure income.

Blogging is the perfect side hustle and it's never been easier to start a blog and make money than it is today.

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Edwin Contreras

Edwin Contreras is the money hacking millennial behind Cash The Checks. He lives a minimalist lifestyle and is always eager to learn and share his methods to save and make money.

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