How To Start A Blog That Is Set Up To Make You Money

How To Start A Blog WordPress

There are a million and one tutorials out there on how to start a blog. They cover everything from what IS blog writing, how to use a free blog maker or a social media platform to blog, what to blog about, popular blogs to subscribe and follow, and more.

So why am I adding yet another voice to the mix?

When I created my first blog, I jumped in with both feet and faced a steep learning curve. You see, if you don’t set up your blog right from the start you can face A LOT of challenges down the road when you try to make money from your site. I got lucky with a lot of my first blog’s set up and it kept me from some major headaches. I also learned a ton growing that blog into a consistently profitable site. I’m jumping in with my own tutorial on how to start a blog that is set up to earn you profit because just maybe my voice will guide another new blogger to avoid some major mistakes at the start of their blogging journey.

Yes, there are a million and one resources out there – and I HIGHLY recommend that you check them out! Learning is critically important if you are starting a blog for the first time so the more knowledge that you can absorb the better. However, be careful that the resources you are reading are guiding you to create a blog that is set up well to make you profit if that is your goal. Many resources advocate for blogging platforms and/or free hosting plans that are great for starting a blog that you want to share with family and friends but very poor for starting a blog that you can grow with organic search and monetize.

My first blog (a mommy blog) makes me a consistent 4-figure income each month – and a lot of that is because it is set up on a good foundation for my content reach to grow and for a good advertiser to work with me.

I created this site to spread some of the knowledge that I gained in my journey with first site, and I created it following almost step by step the below instructions.

If you want to start a blog that is positioned to make you money, read my steps below. If you take nothing else away from my information – remember that your blog host and platform are key!!

Note: This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you purchase through one of my links I make a commission on your purchase – at no additional expense to you! Read my full disclosure here.

How To Create A Blog:

  1. Choose a blog host. This is the organization that will “hold” your site online. There are several different hosting providers but some of the most popular starting host companies include BlueHost, Lyrical Hosting, and Siteground. For service, site speed (which is an important Google ranking factor), and affordability I recommend starting your website with Siteground and have used Siteground in the set-up instructions below. If your website gets to the point where your traffic volume exceeds Siteground’s capacity you can then transfer your hosting to a more expensive plan. I recommend BigScoots at that point. (I host my mommy blog with BigScoots.)
  2. Visit Siteground.com and click on their web hosting plans. From there click on “Get Plan” to find the plan that’s right for you. They have a StartUp plan for up to about 10k views a month, GrowBig for up to 25K, GoGeek for up to 100k. If you are just starting your blog I would recommend the StartUp plan – you can always upgrade it later if your views start to grow. Click on whichever plan best suits your traffic needs.
  3. After you select your plan follow the instructions to pick your domain name (the name of your site) and enter your contact info and payment. You will have to pay for at least 1 year upfront.
    • When you get to where it asks you to choose your application choose “Wordpress” unless you have another plan for how you are going to manage and design your site.
    • When it prompts you to set up login information choose an email account you want associated with your website and a password you will remember (ie. I used holly@bizbuildingmoms.com).
  4. Verify your domain in the email that Siteground sends you and make sure you “complete setting up” your site on the Siteground site and select WordPress. Your hosting is now set up! Next you need to login to WordPress to configure some of your blog basics.
  5. Type in the URL “YourDomainName.com/wp-admin” and you will be directed to a Siteground page that will walk you through some of the basics of using WordPress. If you don’t need/want that overview simply click “Exit” and you will be directed to your WordPress dashboard.
  6. To set up the design of your site click on the “Appearance” menu item located on the far left of your wordpress dashboard screen. When you click on “Appearance” you should see an option for “themes” to select. You will see a few themes available but you can also click “add more” to see more theme options for the layout of your site. Here you will find a selection of free theme options to install for your site. There are also many theme options that you can purchase elsewhere and upload into the WordPress dashboard for your site. You may find the functionality of a purchased theme to serve your needs better down the road, but you can always apply a new theme later. If you are just starting your website I recommend picking a free theme first.
    • Simply click on the a theme you like and then click “install.” (Don’t worry too much about the preview of the theme that it pops up – you will be able to alter so much of your site that it won’t end up looking as bad as some of the previews do!)
  7. After you click “Install” on your theme option you can then customize design aspects of it by clicking on the “customize” option under “Appearance” on the left side of your wordpress dashboard. When you click “customize” it will open a whole new window with new menus that all correspond to different design elements of your site. The available options will be different for each site theme. It is in these menus that you can upload a site logo and icon if you have them and often play around with changes colors and layout options (If you don’t have a logo and/or icon for your blog, read my tutorial here about how to create free graphic designs for your site). The best way to learn how to use these menus is just to play around for awhile! Any changes you make will not be seen on your site until you click “publish” so don’t be afraid to experiment.
    • In the “customize” menu screen you can also toggle your view to see what your website will look like on a laptop/desktop, tablet, and/or mobile phone. Just click on the small icons that resemble each device in the bottom left hand corner of the screen. This is especially helpful to be sure that your website’s theme is mobile responsive! (In fact, if you’ve chosen a theme that is not mobile responsive you may not see these icons – that is a problem. You definitely want a mobile responsive theme if you plan to monetize your blog, so I recommend switching themes if you don’t see that option!)
  8. After you’re done setting up some basic design elements, it’s important to tend to a few “techy” details. Make sure you change your permalink structure to “post name” under permalink settings. You can do this by hovering over “Settings” in your left hand dashboard menu and selecting “Permalinks”. Once you click on permalinks you will see an option to set the permalink to “Post Name”. Do this and then be sure to save your changes at the bottom of the screen. This will help your Google ranking for your posts by allowing you to edit the permalink (or link to your post/article, etc.) whenever you publish new content so that you can include keywords.
  9. Next, add the “Really Simple SSL” plugin to be sure your site is https compatible
    1. Click on “Plugins” on your left side menu
    2. At the top of the page on the right will be a small button that says “Add New”. Click on this.
    3. Type “Really Simple SSL” into the search box
    4. Click “Install Now” on the Really Simple SSL box when it pops up
    5. Click “Activate”
    6. You will see a box come up that says “Almost ready to migrate to SSL!” Near the bottom of that box is a button that says “Go ahead, activate SSL!”. Click that button. Your site is now https compatible!
  10. If you didn’t finish setting up your blog design you can access it at any time under the “Appearance” menu item. Don’t mess with anything under “Theme Editor” or you may cause major issues to your site, but here is where you can access “Customize” to make design changes to your theme, change your theme, dictate what shows up in your header and footer on your site, and build your site menus and sidebar content. You don’t need to set this all up before you add content to your site, so you can always revisit this later once you have some posts and/or pages to add to the menus. When I created this site I waited to configure menus until I had some posts and pages published to add to them. However, I configured the sidebar right away.
  11. Add some content with pages and/or posts on your site! Add pages under your “Pages” dashboard option and new posts under “Posts” (I usually start with an “About Me” and “Contact Me” page.) If you want to add a Contact Me page with a form for visitors to your site to submit, you can easily add a contact me form with the free WP Forms plugin.
    • Click on “Plugins” on your left side menu
    • At the top of the page on the right will be a small button that says “Add New”. Click on this.
    • Type “WP Forms” into the search box
    • Click “Install Now” on the WP Forms box when it pops up
    • Click “Activate”
    • You will be able to configure your form fields in the plugin options when it shows up. You can then copy the code it provides, x out of the plugin window, and paste the code into the body content section of the post or page you are trying to build and it will show your contact form! When visitors submit information through your form it will be sent to you in an email.

Let your creative juices flow and keep adding posts and pages to your site! A blog is never a published and immovable work, so don’t be afraid to keep playing with different options and tweaking things. If you follow the instructions above you should have a good foundation to get you started and to build on as you grow.

Make sure you read next how to set up Google Search Console for your blog.

Once you have posts published getting traffic to your new site is key to making any income from it! You can read my post on the step by step strategy that I use with my mommy blog to get over 100K veiws from Pinterest each month as well.

Your blog is on it’s way to becoming a money-making site! Keep at it and you can get there.

how to create a blog for free and make money

Blogging For Beginners – How To Start Your Blog

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