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How to Start a Blog on the Side and Make Money in 2019 (The Ultimate Guide)

One year ago i knew nothing about blogging and if you told me you could make a living blogging, i would have never believed you.

How i came to know about blogging is rather interesting. Because i was using Facebook and i was reading an article of a someone who is making $100,000 a month from online business.

I was hyped to know more and see if i can make that kind of money a month or even 1/3 of it. As i was scrolling the person news feed i found his website link and i followed and that’s how i got to know he was a blogger.

I may not have reached my goal of turning my business to a million dollar business but am sure i will definitely reach my goal soon enough. Learning how to blog has been the best decision i ever made.

If you are launching an online business, personal brand or you want to make some money from blogging then i challenge you learn how to start a blog today.

Most people are afraid of starting blog because of the technical staff around it but that’s why i created this ultimate guide. I am going to teach you everything you need to know to actually succeed in blogging.

All that said are you ready to start this wonderful journey with me and learn how to start a blog and profit from it.

How to Starting a Blog: A Step-by-Step Guide.

If you are just getting to learn how to start a blog you may be worried about the cost of running it. Don’t worry their are two ways to get started, for free or for small cost.

Starting a blog for free is possible but it has its limitation but if you are blogging as a hobby it’s ok to use the free once.

Examples of free blogging platforms are Medium, Tumblr, Blogger and many more.

Why i don’t recommend free blogging platforms.

  • They simply look bad.
  • Limited capabilities.
  • Low monetization potential.
  • You can lose everything if the site goes down.

Before we jump to the next step you should think about which platform to use according to your plans and goals for your blog.

STEP ONE: Pick Your Blog’s Domain Name.

A laptop on top of desk

I recommend starting with a self-hosted site using WordPress.org. Why? This type of site will give you the most freedom and the most control over your blog.

If you’re looking to start a WordPress blog for cheap, then choosing Bluehost for your hosting needs may be your answer. Bluehost is a great web host and I personally have had a great experience with them.

When choosing a domain name you should choose :

  • Use a known top-level domain (TLD) such as .com or .net
  • Keep the domain short, no more than 15 characters or so
  • Try not to purchase a domain name with hyphens, since they’re more often associated with spammers
  • Avoid using self-hosted subdomains to rank or categorize posts

Head over to Bluehost and get 65% off on both your domain name and hosting plan right here on Bluehost and you’ll be able to quickly search to see if your domain name idea is available—and get smart suggestions on a second best domain name if your first choice is already taken.

Domain name and hosting are two different things but some companies like Bluehost offer all on one package and that’s making it easier.

10 tips for choosing the perfect domain name

1.Make it easy to type.

Finding a domain name that’s easy to type is critical to online success. If you use slang (u instead of you) or words with multiple spellings (express vs. xpress), it might be harder for customers to find your site.

2.Keep it short

If your domain name is long and complex, you risk customers mistyping or misspelling it. Short and simple is the way to go.

3.Use keywords

Try using keywords that describe your business and the services you offer. For example, if you’re a glass replacement business, you may want to register GlassRepair.com or GlassReplacement.com.

4.Target your area

If your business is local, consider including your city or state in your domain name to make it easy for local customers to find and remember. Example: PhoenixGlassRepair.com.

5.Avoid numbers and hyphens

Numbers and hyphens are often misunderstood. If you need these in your domain, register the different variations to be safe.

6.Be memorable

There are millions of registered domain names, so having a domain that’s catchy and memorable is essential. Once you’ve come up with a name, share it with close friends to make sure it sounds appealing and makes sense to others.

Quick solution: Got a great idea for a domain? Register your name today and put a website out there before someone else beats you to it.

7. Research it

Make sure the name you’ve selected isn’t trademarked, copyrighted or being used by another company. It could result in a huge legal mess that could cost you a fortune, as well as your domain!

8.Use an appropriate domain name extension

Extensions are suffixes, such as .com or .net, at the end of web addresses. These can have specific uses, so make sure to choose one that works for your business. The .com domain extension is far and away the most popular, but it can be tough to get a short and memorable .com domain name because it’s been around for so long.

9.Protect and build your brand

To protect your brand, you should purchase various domain extensions, as well as misspelled versions of your domain name. This prevents competitors from registering other versions and ensures your customers are directed to your website, even if they mistype it.

10.Act fast

Domain names sell quickly. Head to Bluehost quickly and pick a domain name that you have liked.

Ready to get your own blog?

Click here to go to Bluehost and hit the green “Get Started Now” button.

Get started with bluehost

After clicking the ‘get started now ‘ button you will be directed to another page where you will choose the plan you may want.

In the next step you will choose the best hosting plan for your blog. Hosting is the service that actually gets your blog hosted and keeps it live on the Internet

Choose the plan that will be good for you

choose the best plan

After selecting a plan you will need to choose a domain name. An example of domain name is google.com or Facebook.com.

Choose a domain

If you have not yet decided the domain name you can press the choose later button.

Enter your account info

On the next page, you can connect your Bluehost account to your Google account, or enter your account info manually. Either is fine. Just make sure you use a working email address because this is where your login information will be sent. Save those emails!

Account information

Select your package information

Choose an account plan based on how far in advance you want to pay. Bluehost bills 1, 2, 3 or 5 years upfront. They do not offer a monthly payment option (hosts that do often charge double or triple). As you can see, it works out to be a very reasonable monthly amount. Not bad for your own blog or website, right? It’s a great deal.

Select plan

N/B

The low pricing they offer to new customers applies to the first payment only. In other words, if you choose the 12-month plan, your pricing will be good for only a year, but if you choose the 36-month plan, your pricing will be good for 3 years. So, I recommend choosing the longest plan your budget allows.

You can skip the package extras except the domain privacy protection.

Domain privacy protection

Enter your billing info

Next, fill in your billing information, confirm that you agree to the fine print and click Submit.

Enter billing info

Set a password

After your purchase is complete, you’ll be asked to set a password for your Bluehost account. Just click the “Create your password” button.

Create  a password

Note, this is the password to your Bluehost account, not your WordPress blog password. You can always get to your WordPress site by logging in to Bluehost first.

After your password is set, click the “log in” button.

Login

STEP TWO: Choose a Blogging Platform (CMS)

A blogging platform is a software or service that you use to publish your content on the internet in the form of a blog.

A CMS or a ‘Content Management System’ quite literally allows you to control and manage the content within your web site – without technical training. Using this uncomplicated system you can very easily add, delete images and edit text in your web site on the fly.

I strongly recommend setting up a self-hosted WordPress site for your blog as it’s the most sustainable, long-term solution—and really the only option worth considering if you’re starting a blog with the eventual goal of making money from your website in some way, shape or form.

Why i recommend wordpress :

  • Flexible and Adaptable for Changing Needs.
  • User-friendly—Even for Beginners.
  • Themes Offer Multiple Options.
  • Plugins Extend Functionality.
  • WordPress Sites Rank High.
  • WordPress Sites Are Mobile Responsive.

STEP THREE :Find Your Niche and Decide What to Blog About.

niche

Let’s start at the beginning – why does this even matter?

The purpose of a blog is to share your thoughts and ideas with the world, right? So why can’t you just…share your thoughts and ideas as they come to you?

Basically – why do you have to pick a single niche?

Well, there’s no Internet police that will come break down your door if you don’t stick to your niche. And there are people who’ve found success with a more scattered approach.

But this is the issue most of the time:

Your readers aren’t guaranteed to be interested in all the topics you personally love. So unless you can make you yourself the topic of the blog (which is possible, mind you), it’s difficult to build an audience that way.

On the other hand, if you stick to one topic, you can guarantee that people who are interested in one of your posts have a high chance of being interested in all of your other content, as well.

What is a niche exactly?

A blog niche is a specific topic you’ll write (or create other types of content) about on your blog.

Now, the problem is everyone has a different idea of what a specific topic is.

The reason your blog needs a niche is that it gives it focus. Your niche is how you’ll plan your content calendar, decide on design, and know where (and how) to market your blog. It’s also how your audience will find you and how you’ll make connections with other bloggers.

Remember, when you write to everyone. You’re writing to no one.

STEP FOUR : Choose a Theme (or Template) and Design Your Blog.

Laptop with wodpress theme

Choosing the right theme for your blog is an important step to setting up your own little online empire. Once you’ve picked your niche and decided what blog platform to use, the only thing standing in your way of getting your site live is figuring out what you want it to look like.

The first place to start is with your blog theme. You can think of a theme as the template for the visual layout of your blog. If you’re not a web developer (and I’m definitely not one), having a good theme makes design and organization of your site a snap.

If you’ve gone with a self-hosted WordPress site like I suggested, you’ll have literally thousands of amazing free and paid theme options at your disposal. Plus, once you buy a theme (which are relatively inexpensive investments) like the one I use for my blog here, OptimizePress, you’ll own it forever and get all the benefits of excellent support and customization options that come with premium WordPress themes.

However, if you’re using a free blogging platform, you’re most likely going to be quite limited in the themes and design options you have.

Let’s assume at this point we’re working with a self-hosted WordPress blog (like mine). Here’s what you should be looking for in a theme and your site’s design.

Good design builds trust. It tells people that you care enough about your blog to make it look nice. This doesn’t mean you need crazy animations or tons of fonts and colors. In fact, the best designs are simple, clear, and easy to read.

While picking a theme look out for the following

  • Keep it simple
  • Responsiveness is a must
  • Does it work in different browsers?
  • Supported plugins
  • SEO friendliness
  • Support
  • Ratings and reviews

If you have been with me from the start of this article until now then you should be having a ready blog by now.

STEP FIVE : CREATE CONTENT

A blog is not a blog without content so once you’ve set your blog up you need to focus your attention upon creating useful content. What you choose to create will depend a little on the topic that you choose to write about (on that note, most successful bloggers have some focus to their blogging whether that be a niche or a demographic that they write for).

The key with creating content is to make it as useful as possible. Focus upon creating content that changes people’s lives in some way will be the type of content that people will value the most and it will help people to feel like they know, like and trust you – which is really important if you later want to make money from your blog.

STEP SIX: Get off your blog and start finding readers

As you create the most useful content that you possibly can it is easy to get very insular with your focus and spend most of your time looking at building your blog. Many bloggers have a ‘build it and they will come mentality’ with their blogging but this is a bit of a trap.

If you want to make money from your blog you need to not only focus upon building a great blog but it is also necessary to get off your blog and to start promoting it.

There are many ways to experiment with growing your blog’s audience that I’ve written in previous blog posts and talked about in podcasts (I’ll share some further reading and listening below) but it is important to enter into all these strategies remembering that you should not just be looking for ‘traffic’ but ‘readers’.

Start by thinking carefully about the type of reader you’d like to have read your blog. You might like to create an avatar of that reader (sometimes called a reader persona or profile) to help you work out who you’re trying to attract.

Once you know who you’re hoping to have read your blog ask yourself where that type of person might already be gathering online.

Begin to list where they might be gathering:

  • Are they reading certain blogs? List the top 3
  • Are they participating in certain forums? List the top 3
  • Are they listening to podcasts? List the top 3
  • Are they engaging on certain social networks? List the top 3
  • Which accounts are they following on each of these social networks? List the top 3

Each of these places that you reader might already be gathering has opportunities to develop a presence whether that be by leaving good comments, offering to create guest posts or simply by being helpful and answering questions.

With this list of blogs, focus, podcasts, social media accounts in hand you will have some good spots to begin to hang out and create value.

The key is to build a presence, to add value, to foster relationships – not to engage in spammy practices.

STEP SEVEN: How to make money from the blog.

You have already know how to start a blog now is to learn how can you benefit from your effort.

The following are the popular ways to monetenize your blog.

1. Advertising Income

This is where many bloggers start. In many ways this model of making money from blogs is not dissimilar to how a magazine or newspaper sells ads. As your traffic and brand grows you’ll find advertisers will be willing to pay to get exposure to your audience.

While you need decent traffic to do a direct deal with an advertisers there are ad networks (like Google AdSense) that act as a middleman and enable smaller publishers to run ads on their blogs. This is where many bloggers start (I did too).

2. Affiliate Income

A recent survey of ProBlogger readers found that affiliate promotions was the most common type of income that our readers have.

To put it most simply – affiliate income is when you link to a product that is for sale on another site (take Amazon for example) and if someone follows your link and ends up buying that product you earn a commission on that sale.

There’s more to it than that but this is another great place to start with monetising your blog as affiliate programs are easy to sign up for and if you have an engaged audience you will find they follow the recommendations that you make on products.

3. Events

While not something most bloggers do I have noticed an increase in the number of bloggers making money by running events.

Alternatively online events or summits are getting more popular.

4. Recurring Income

Another growing category of income that I’m seeing more and more bloggers are experimenting is recurring income streams (sometimes called continuity programs or membership programs).

This is where readers pay a regular recurring amount (usually on a monthly or annual basis) for access to either premium content, a community area, some kind of service, tools, coaching (or some combination of these things).

6. Promoting a Business

Many brick and mortar businesses indirectly make money from their blogs by using their blogs to grow their profile and direct readers to their business.

7. Services

A common way that many bloggers make money is through offering services to their readers. These might be anything from coaching and consulting, to writing or copywriting, to design, training or other freelance services.

8. Products

While I started out making money from my blogs through advertising and affiliate promotions today my #1 source of income is through selling eBooks and courses on my blogs. These ‘virtual products’ take work to create but have been lucrative for me and many other bloggers.

Products can of course take many forms and income virtual information products like eBooks or courses but also other virtual products like software, reports etc.

The other type of product some bloggers sell is physical products. This is most common when the blogger has a business but sometimes bloggers also create merchandise (T-shirts etc) or other physical products to sell.

Conclusion

Now that you have know how to create a blog head to bluehost and start your blogging career. Keep in mind that blogging is like any other business you need to be consistent and focused in order to create a million dollar business.

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2 thoughts to “How to Start a Blog on the Side and Make Money in 2019 (The Ultimate Guide)”

  1. Aloha
    I found your step by step very helpful in establishing my blog though it seems rather technical with signing up, themes and niches. But I am up to the challenge of trying some thing entirely new. I’m 76 years old and not even close to retiring.

    My theme is dealing with a dementia parent, coming out and how it created a family schism and added to my mental and spiritual growth. This is a growing issue with people living longer and homophobia.

    Your thoughts
    Keiffer
    Keif1107@icloud.com

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