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Blogging is pretty much the best job ever. I can still be a stay-at-home mom, and work in my PJs writing about things I love! The best part? I actually make money doing it! How many people do you know make money while at home in their PJs?
Is there really money in blogging?
Now I hear this question all the time and the answer is yes!
I started my blogging journey when I read a post from the blogger of The Busy Budgeter titled “How I Made $12,484.68 in One Month as a Stay at Home Mom”.
I mean, if you’re a mom and that title doesn’t peak your interest I don’t know what will! And obviously as a new stay-at-home mom I was convinced, I needed to start a blog!
Now she is making over $100k A MONTH from her blog (yes you read that right, a month)! You can read my own income report from January here where I made over $500. I’m even on track to double that in March!
So as a small blogger making $1000 a month, I would say the answer to that question is YES! There is money to be made from blogging!
And guess what? Right now is the perfect time for you to start a blog!
Still not sure if blogging is for you? Well, if you’re:
- ready to make an income from home
- looking for a creative outlet
- love to write
- and willing to put in the hours
Then It’s time to start a blog! And here’s how!
Before You Start: Money or Pleasure
Now before you hop in feet first, decide why you want to start a blog.
Are you wanting to create an online business that actually makes money?
Or are you just looking for a place to record your life as a hobby?
If you’re ready to take the plunge and make your passion an online business that makes you money while in your pjs then this post is for you!
And if not, check out the platform Blogger to start a free hobby blog.
Step 1: Choose a Niche
What the heck are you going to write about? Money? Crafts? Mom life? Recipes?
Think about things you love, things you’re good at! What are your friends always coming to you for?
Keep in mind the long run. What can you grow with? What could you write about for years?
When I first started Life on Waller I thought I might write about Cheerleading because I was a coach for 3 years and loved it. But decided if I had to write about cheerleading for years I would get so sick of the sport and run out of post ideas!
So when choosing a niche, pick something you love, and won’t get sick of!
Step 2: Choose a Name
In my opinion, this is the hardest part of starting a blog!
When choosing a name for your blog think of descriptive words from your niche. For example, The Busy Budgeter obviously writes about budgeting and money!
Another good option is a self-named blog and building your brand around yourself like www.yourname.com.
If you need a little more help, you can download my free worksheet to Creating a Killer Blog Name here! It’ll guide you through the brainstorming process and the steps to creating the perfect name for your blog!
Once you have a killer blog name, it’s time to check if the domain name is available. Check it using the box below or go to GoDaddy.com and type in your blog name.
A domain name is your site URL, mine is www.lifeonwaller.com.
You want your domain name to be the same as the name you picked for your blog. If your blog name and domain name are different it may be hard for readers to find your blog and can cause confusion.
For example, if you decide to name your blog Trips with Tricia, a traveling blog, then you want your domain name to be www.tripswithtricia.com, not www.iliketotravel.com.
When checking the availability of your name, you want the domain to cost something small like $2.99. If it says some crazy number then someone has already purchased that domain and is sitting on it to make a profit. You don’t want that.
Other times It’ll tell you a .net or .org is available with the same name, but you don’t want that either! Keep searching for a .com name in the $2.99 – $15 range.
Finally, before purchasing your domain name, run it by your friends and family. Ask them their opinion, sometimes they see things you don’t.
My favorite example is Kim from Thrifty Little Mom originally wanted to call her blog ‘Little Mommy Secrets’ until she later decided it sounded like an adult website!
This naming process may take you a while, and you’ll probably end up pulling out your hair once or twice, but once you’ve decided on a name and it’s available, it’s time to buy!
Step 3: Buy Domain Name & Hosting
Once you finally have your name and it’s available at a .com, you need to get hosting.
Hosting is the network/company that gives your blog a space in the world. Like a hairstylist who rents a booth at a salon. She is self-employed, but the salon gives her the spot to do her work.
There are a few different options, but I’m just going to talk about the one I use!
Bluehost is the hosting I recommend! They make things super easy to set up and are always there to walk you through something if you need help! And they offer a free domain name with their service so you don’t have to buy the domain separately!
Bluehost is what I use and I have nothing bad to say about them! You do have to pay for the year upfront, but I felt it was easier for me to just pay for the whole year and forget about it.
When buying through Bluehost they will first ask you what plan you want. The basic package is all you need (It’s what I have!), then type in your desired domain name, and it will take you to a form to fill out your information.
*Helpful tip! If a pop-up extra savings window comes up during your Bluehost application, click the extra savings! I was able to get 1/2 off my already cheap hosting.
Step 4: Install WordPress
Once you have your hosting and domain, you’ll need to install WordPress the service for the backend of your blog.
If you have hosting through Bluehost, they have a super simple 1-step install for WordPress. Literally, all you have to do is click it and done!
Or if you don’t have Bluehost, you can get WordPress Here.
Once you have WordPress you can access your dashboard (the backend of your blog). This is where you will do everything for your blog.
You can get to your dashboard by typing your URL /admin for example if your domain was www.budgethungrymomma.com then use www.budgethungrymomma.com/admin.
Now you have a blog but it’s just a blank screen, let’s fix that.
Step 5: Install a Theme
Now it’s time to pick a theme.
Your theme is the basic layout and style of your blog, you will be able to edit fonts, colors, and other things but a theme just gives you a basic skeleton.
WordPress will try to sell you themes for about $50 with some more expensive than that, but you do have a few very basic free options that come with your WordPress install.
If you have some extra money you can purchase a theme you like the look and feel of, but I would suggest going the free route until you have earned enough money to pay for a professional redesign.
I personally wouldn’t suggest using one of the free themes provided, they are just way too basic and gives a cheap look. However, I do suggest these free themes Simple and Ultra by Themify.
These themes have the most customizability of the free themes I’ve seen. The Ultra theme is actually a paid theme but you can get it free through this link!
The Ultra theme is the #1 free theme I suggest because it’s free, super customizable, and has a complete step by step tutorial to set it up!
This is what I used to get familiar with WordPress and learned how to customize my theme. It is a fairly long tutorial but so worth it.
Step 6: Create a Logo
Once you have your hosting, domain, and WordPress installed and a theme, it’s time to create a logo for your site!
Look around at some of your favorite blogs, and blogs you love the design of. This is a great place to get some inspiration for your own logo! What do you like about them, the colors, font, graphics?
Then get creating! The easiest way to create your own logo is at Canva.com for free!
This program is great especially if you don’t have Photoshop or Illustrator on your computer, like myself. It has a bunch of awesome templates and fonts so you can create something amazing!
Another option, if you don’t want to create your own is Fiverr.com. For $5 they will create a logo for you. Just be sure to find a designer you like!
Remeber not to stress too much about your logo. You can always redo it later!
Step 7: Decide Blog Categories and Sub-categories
Think of your niche and what you want to write about on your blog and how you plan on organizing that. What will your categories be? What will your sub-categories be if you have them.
Your categories will most likely be displayed in your main menu while your subcategories will most likely be in a drop-down menu under the main category.
Write these categories down and be careful not to add too many in the beginning. It may be smart to only have categories right now then add a drop-down menu later.
Step 8: Set up Blog Email
Now it’s time to set up your blog email. It will be something like email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. You will be able to set this up through your hosting site. If you have Bluehost, here’s how to set it up.
Blog email set up through Bluehost:
- Login to your Bluehost account.
- Select the Email tab on the left menu area.
- A form will open for you to create a new email. Fill in your info.
- Select Create Account.
Step 9: Build Necessary Site Pages
Now it’s time to add some basic content to your blog!
This tutorial that I mentioned before will take you through the basics of an about and contact page if you decide to use the free Ultra theme. Yes, that tutorial is awesome!
A disclaimer policy protects you, your rights, free speech, your content, and everything else.
I felt that having a disclaimer was especially important for my blog because I have a lot of DIY posts. My disclaimer basically says that I am 100% honest with all of my posts but you can’t sue me if one of my projects doesn’t work for you, we’ve all seen those DIY fails.
It seems kind of silly but keeps everything on the up and up legally.
This website will generate one for you!
Lastly, a terms of service page is also a good page to have on your blog.
This is pretty much some heavy legal language that says you’re are not responsible for how people use the posts and information on your site.
While you are fully capable of writing your own about and contact page, I wouldn’t attempt creating these legal pages yourself unless you have the appropriate legal knowledge.
Step 10: Create social media accounts for your blog.
Be sure to secure your username on all platforms you plan on using. It is best to use the same username for all platforms. Mine is @lifeonwaller for all of my social media accounts. So to find me it would be so easy as to type in www.” social media site”.com/lifeonwaller for all my social sites!
Check the availability of usernames here! There it will tell you what is in use and what isn’t on a bunch of different sites. If you can, stick to using the name of your blog, it will help your readers and potential followers find you easier while minimizing confusion.
Also, when you’ve set up your social media accounts, add follow me buttons to your site and about page!
Step 11: Write some Posts!
The only thing left to do before you launch is to write some posts!
Yes, this is the good part! Before you launch your blog you need to have some content there for people to find!
Brainstorm some post ideas and start writing! This is what blogging is about! Write your post, add some photos and post!
I use my free monthly blog planner to plan and create all of my content for my blog And you get it as a free bonus when you get the free start a blog checklist!
Step 12: Set up Google Analytics to track your blog’s traffic!
You need google analytics to keep track of important info for your blog like how many pageviews your blog is getting , where your readers are coming from, and what posts are most popular. This will help you to know who you are writing to and what your readers like!
Tutorial to set up Google Analytics here!
Once you have some posts done, it’s time to launch!
Step 13: Launch Your Blog!
Finally, it’s time to launch your blog! Click that launch button and you’re live!
But what now?
When your blog goes live you want to establish a regular posting schedule.
It keeps your readers interested and keeps you on track. Decide what works for you and stick to it! Once a week, twice, or even three times a week.
But remember it is better to put out really good content once a month than nonsense content 3 times a month just for the sake of creating content!
When I first started Life on Waller I was posting three times a week to build up my site’s content, but since have gone to once a week and now back to twice a week.
Promote your posts – Focus on building traffic!
No one is going to magically see your blog! So start sharing your blog posts on your social media platforms!
Making Money From Your Blog
After your blog is live it’s time to focus on creating great content and building traffic! That should be your main focus right now.
You need readers on your blog if you want to make money, but you need great content to get readers! When you have enough content on your blog then you can apply for Google Adsense to get ads on your site and apply to be an Amazon Affiliate to start reeling in the money. But first, focus on creating amazing high-quality content and building your traffic!
What did you think of this post? What did you like, what are you still confused about? Let me know along with any questions you might have! Happy blogging!
P.s. Don’t forget to join our email list to get the free start a blog checklist!