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10 Steps How to Start a Blog (and Make Money) on the Side in 2019


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money starting with r My decision to learn how to start a blog and begin making money from it on the side of my full-time jobis what led me to build a six-figure freelance writing business and eventually fully self-employed.
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links and at no additional cost to you, I may earn a commission.
When you purchase hosting usingthey compensate me, which helps make this ultimate guide free of charge to you.
Each of these ten steps in the blog starting checklist below are clickable and will take you immediately to that section of this guide.
So, how do you start a blog?
Disclosure: Please note that when you purchase hosting usingthey compensate me, which helps me make this ultimate guide to starting a blog free of charge to you.
Remember, hosting is the service that actually gets your blog online and keeps it live on the Internet.
Personally, I recommend choosing the Choice Plus plan which I use —because it comes with Domain Privacy, which will protect your personal information your full name, email address, phone number and home address from being published anywhere online.
Instead, Bluehost will guard that information on your behalf.
Choosing your plan will look like this right here.
Pick your domain name.
Create your Bluehost account.
Select the right hosting package.
Note that Bluehost only offers options for you to pay 1, 2, 3 or 5 years upfront.
Even still, with whichever plan you choose, the price works out to be a great deal for starting your own blog and getting it online today.
Which pricing plan is best?
And it secures your blog hosting at their lowest rate and gets you domain privacy for the next 3 years.
And because this low pricing for new customers only applies to the first payment you make, if you were to choose the 1-year plan, your pricing may go up after that first year.
For that reason, I recommend going with the longest duration plan that your budget can spring for.
Choosing the right package extras skip all but one.
I highly recommend keeping the Domain Privacy Protection extra, but you can get away with skipping the rest.
As I mentioned earlier though, having the domain privacy extra keeps all of your personal contact information your name, email, phone number and address private.
Enter your billing information.
How to pick the right name for your blog.
I get a lot of questions from readers about how to choose the right name for your blog, so I wanted to touch on that a little more here.
First, dig deep into your niche.
For example, if you want to start a blog about hiking and you live in the state of California… one name you might consider for your blog could be letshikecalifornia.
Check out the other blogs in your niche and pay special attention to how they name and brand themselves.
Is there anything you can learn from, play off of, or subvert?
You can even get a little outside your niche and look for words that some of your favorite companies use.
Make a list of these.
Next, uncover your why.
What does your company and product mean?
Where do you want to take it into the future?
Does your existing or new name let you do that?
A great name has meaning, but there are plenty of good ones that are just plain fun and memorable.
What do they want to read?
Start with a list of everything you want your blog to be about.
There are no bad ideas here.
Try to keep them simple and memorable.
But it still needs to be easy enough that people will remember it and be able to tell their friends about you.
To practice, say the name out loud and to friends and family.
What do they think about it?
What emotions does it bring up for them?
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I made this quick video tutorial to walk you step-by-step through the entire process in just a few minutes: Disclosure: Please note that when you purchase hosting usingthey compensate me, which helps me make this ultimate guide to starting a blog free of charge to you.
And if you need a little more detailed guidance, I put together a free master course for you to take that spreads all of this work out into a series of action-packed lessons and goes into even more granular detail than this tutorial.
While the first crucial step to getting your blog started today is registering your domain name and setting up hostingmy free course breaks the entire process of starting a blog and actually growing it, down into an incredibly simple 7-day process for going from zero to publishing and promoting your first blog post in less than 1 week.
I can't recommend it enough.
So let's pause right here,then come back and let's get back to business!
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Get your blog online hosting The last in the setup stage of learning how to start a blog is actually getting your blog online.
That's what hosting companies like will do for you.
You can with this tutorial.
As I said, if you've already completed the first step above and gotten setup with Bluehost—then you can skip this step!
You've already got your domain name and hosting squared away.
Think of hosting like being your home.
Yes, it comes at a cost you don't have if you're on one of the free blogging platforms, but having a proper website host is one of the most important investments in starting a successful blog.
When my friend, Michelle Schroeder started her personal finance blog, Making Sense of Cents, she started by using a free blogging platform called Blogger to host her site.
At one point Google deleted my blog with no notice.
I finally begged them and they gave it back to me, but that was the moment I decided to move over to self-hosted WordPress.
In fact, her number one piece of advice for new bloggers is to start on a self-hosted WordPress site and as your host.
What are the best blog hosting services?
There are tons of great website hosting services out there for your blog.
For one, Bluehost offers an incredibly simplewhich makes starting a self-hosted WordPress blog super easy.
Now we're at the point in this guide where everything from here on out will be built upon the assumption that you've already registered your domain name and chosen the right hosting plan—so if you haven't done so already, take just a few minutes to quickly get set up on Bluehost.
Quickly Grab Your Domain Name and Hosting Today Take 30 seconds right now to get 65% off registering your domain name and hosting withthe most affordable and reliable blog hosting provider I've used with several websites over the years.
Installing WordPress and beginning to create your blog's layout is when you might start to feel a little friction with the process of starting a blog, but I promise this won't get too technical.
That's why, in my free courseI break this technical setup process down into an even more actionable, step-by-step checklist for you.
Want my Free Course: How to Start a Profitable Blog in 7 Days?
Enter your name and email address and you'll get instant access to my course that's been featured on Forbes, Business Insider and Entrepreneur.
What is a CMS?
A Content Management System or CMS is where you'll be writing, designing, and publishing your blog posts.
In fact, the latest numbers say thatincluding the websites for Forbes, New York Observer, TED, Thought Catalog, TechCrunch, NBC and others.
Should I start my blog on WordPress?
And is WordPress free?
Of course, there are other CMS options you can look at, such as Squarespace, Ghost, and Wix when learning how to start a blog.
Now, one thing you need to be careful of is that WordPress comes in two very different platforms.
They have almost the same name, but there are very big differences between the two: WordPress.
It's the backend CMS of choice that'll sit in the background and power your blog.
Plus, with affordable hosting plans from providers I trust likeyou can be up and running with WordPress installed and powering your site in a matter of just a few minutes using their after signing up.
How to configure WordPress and publish your first blog post Here's a step-by-step video walkthrough of how to install WordPress on your new blog and configure the right settings.
Spend time familiarizing yourself with the backend of your blog.
Explore, test things out.
You'll develop a much deeper understanding of how WordPress works and which things you can quickly change about your site's appearance.
This is when the fun really begins!
Basic WordPress settings you want to become familiar with now.
There are many different reasons for starting a blog and just as many unique goals you may want to accomplish with your site.
Regardless, it pays to have a basic understanding of the broader aspects of how WordPress functions, so that you can control the visual appearance of your blog.
Let's dig into a few of the bigger picture settings.
We touched on this in the walkthrough video above when I customized the URL for the first blog post I published.
And when you set up your WordPress blog usingthe permalink settings will already default optimized to publish new blog posts in the format of domain.
If your permalink settings aren't already set to this format, it's important to change them right now.
This'll help you rank better in search engines like Google, because your title's text will appear in each of your URLs.
It should look like this here: You'll still be able to customize an article's URL before publishing in WordPress, but now you've got a default URL structure wheel earn crush to spinning candy money by how on SEO-friendly.
Choosing the right free WordPress theme for your blog.
While OptimizePress is an incredible theme, diving into something like that at this stage will be a distraction from your most important priority of actually bringing readers to your blog.
You can always come back and change it later.
I recommend going with the Hello Elementor WordPress theme, like so: I like Elementor because it's super crisp, clean, simple and will get you to a good starting point without needing to invest in other paid themes.
Cleaning up your default site URL.
Next, you want to change the default URL of your website to include a " www" before your site URL.
Setting your blog homepage.
As I recommend in the tutorial video above, my advice is to just set your homepage to be where your blog posts display for now.
You have the option of setting your homepage to be a static, custom designed page that can serve to capture email sign ups, sell a product, or otherwise in the future.
But for now, stick with just a list of your recent blog posts.
If you're setting your homepage to be the blog, then one thing you can consider is changing the settings to show the complete text of your blog posts right on the homepage, rather than a list that has short previews of each post.
Since you won't have many posts on your blog for the next few days or weeks, this'll make it look like there's more content in the short-term, and you can change the settings back to a list and preview format once you've gotten your first 5 or so posts published.
Setting up your blog's menu.
Alright, now we've covered the basic foundation of getting your WordPress install set up.
It's time to move into the most important aspect of why you chose to learn how to start a blog in the first place.
Creating content that'll bring you real readers!
Although those both help.
You read a blog because you care about what it says.
Why is this a topic that you can add value to?
To answer these questions, I like to think of a blog like any other business and pick a niche.
What is a niche?
And why does your blog need one?
A niche is more than just a topic.
But it does have to be an interest of yours.
So, whether that means Medieval history, traditional Mexican cooking, starting a drop-shipping business, or knitting tips, is up to you.
The reason your blog needs a niche is that it gives it focus.
Remember, when you write to everyone.
We all have our own individual tastes and opinions—and a blog is the perfect destination to put those out in the world.
We can coax it out of you with a few questions.
Right away, you should have an idea or two for what you could learn how to start a blog around.
Next, list out 5 things you find easy to do.
But be as specific as possible.
Finally, look through your answers and pick out the patterns, phrases and common keywords.
Is there anything that jumps out right away?
Are there any themes you can see like wanting to spend time outdoors or cooking?
Pick these out and rank them in true importance on a scale of 1—10.
You just found your niche.
The steps you took, the strategies you used, and the mistakes you made.
They can never write it from the same place that you can.
And that's a competitive advantage for you when learning how to start a blog.
And can you add value and help them in a way that makes you money?
In order to create a business from your blog, you need to solve a problem for people.
To do this, I use a simple spreadsheet I call the Niche Market Demand Checker.
Now, enter one of those keywords into your Google search.
But to be extra sure, I like to use a free tool like or to check the Monthly Search Volume how many people are searching for this term each month.
Do this for each of your keywords and look at the results.
Over time, as you move from this beginning phase of learning how to start a blog and into the stages where you're progressing in differentgrowing your established base of readers and focusing on improving youryou'll be able to start competing on the bigger topics—but for now, picking a niche is the name of the game.
Who is your ideal reader?
This is the person most likely to visit your blog and get value from your writing.
For me, the easiest way to think about this is to use myself as an example.
When Preston first started the blog, he was publishing 3—5X a week on a variety of topics like design, freelancing, and starting a small business.
I also really enjoyed writing that kind of content.
So that was this pivotal moment of understanding if I want things to be shared and I want to be consistent, this is what the blog should be about.
Can you come up with 10 blog post ideas for this niche that you would be interested in?
Remember, consistency is going to be key when you start a blog.
Therefore picking a niche you can keep up with and stay excited about is essential to growing a successful blog.
Want my Free Course: How to Start a Profitable Blog in 7 Days?
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The first place to start is with your blog theme.
In step 3, we already installed WordPress and a free theme, but this section will expand on further customizing your WordPress theme.
You can think of a theme as the template for the visual layout of your blog.
Plus, once you buy a theme which are relatively inexpensive investments like the one I use for my blog here,you'll own it forever and get all the benefits of excellent support and customization options that come with premium WordPress themes.
Plus, thanks to a little psychological bias calledwe extend that judgement to all parts of your blog.
What this means is that in less time than it takes to snap their fingers, a reader has decided whether or not to trust your blog.
Good design builds trust.
It tells people that you care enough about your blog to make it look nice.
In fact, the best designs are simple, clear, and easy to read.
But everything has just grown from there.
I suggest gathering inspiration by starting with looking at the blogs you admire the most.
What is it about the way they look that you enjoy?
Look at their logo and branding.
The way they layout text.
How you navigate and search for topics.
What makes this site look good and feel good to use?
Write all this down in a blog inspiration document.
How to pick the right theme for your blog Picking a blog theme can be a lot of fun.
But it can also take up a ton of time that you could otherwise be using to write and promote your posts and thus getting to your first blog income faster.
And the easier it is to navigate and read, the better.
And unfortunately, a lot of fancy blog themes get in the way of that.
Today, more and more people use their phones to read blogs and depending on your audience, that number could be 50% or higher like mine is.
Google also favors mobile-friendly websites and ranks them at the top of their organic search results.
This test will almost always show some warnings.
But major red flags to watch out for are text too small or content wider than screen.
Most theme developers rigorously test their themes across browsers, but sometimes mistakes slip through.
Try testing on a couple different browsers just to make sure.
Some themes use bulky code that makes it difficult for search engines to read.
And when they do, you want to be able to ask for help.
If the theme is sold on a third-party marketplace you should be able to see reviews no problem.
One of the biggest reasons why I love this blog theme money starting with r much, is the visual editor—which ensures I never have to write custom code in order to do something on my blog.
This is important to me for many reasons, most of which being that I don't have to rely on help from someone else in order to make changes to my blog—something you should keep top of mind when learning how to start a blog if you don't have advanced technical skills.
But the functionality, support, flexibility, and ease of use has made it a no-brainer for me—and if you're https://qc2.info/start/how-to-start-a-slot-machine-business-in-illinois.html to learn how to start a blog with the goal of building an online business for yourself, this is the best route to go.
Though, OptimizePress is not the only theme out there.
The only problem is that, like themes, there are literally thousands of them to choose from.
And if you add too many or poorly built ones to your blog, it can weigh your site down and make it run slowly.
To help you cut through all the noise.
Keep in mind, however that some plugins will make more or less sense depending upon the type of blog you want to build: 1.
The more people that can find your content, the better your blog will do.
Yoast helps you to optimize your blog post titles, descriptions, content length and other elements across your entire blog so that you can be found easier by search engines.
Social shares, email captures, and more.
Pretty much a no-brainer if you want to build and grow your blog.
This is probably the best Google Analytics plugin for WordPress.
Again, sometimes things go wrong.
Faster websites rank better in Google and give your readers a better experience.
W3 Total Cache reduces your file sizes so that your blog loads faster for everyone.
Speaking of speed, MaxCDN makes images and other static elements of your blog load faster as well.
You can create subscription, restrict content, and set up payment options.
However, doing it in the code of your theme can cause issues.
This plugin lets you add small snippets of code easily.
The best places to find a designer for your blog.
Luckily, there are tons of amazing resources for hiring freelance blog designers out there.
One of the largest and most well-established marketplaces for freelance talent.
You can easily find a web designer or graphic designer looking for or otherwise that can help with your blog on Upwork.
Unlike the other marketplaces, 99Designs runs on a contest system.
If you're looking for more sites to track down some freelance designers, check out my list of the.
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Enter your name and email address and you'll get instant access to my course that's been featured on Forbes, Business Insider and Entrepreneur.
Create your main pages about, contact, hire Every blog needs to showcase some basic, foundational information.
Why people should listen to you.
How they can get in touch with you if they have questions or want to work with you.
In fact, I use to not only introduce who I am and tell my story, but also to explain my value proposition for potential clients looking to hire me as a and show off some of my recent achievements.
Here are some step-by-step instructions for how you can create an about page that does the same: How to write an About page for your blog You might not think much about it, but your About page can quickly become one of the most popular pages on your blog.
Now, you can either give them an old High School photo and a couple thrown-together sentences like most people.
Or, you can tell them a story and turn them into a fan.
What value are you creating for your readers?
First things first, you need to be ultra clear on who your audience is and the value you create for them.
For example, my blog is all about helping people find the and to launch profitable side projects.
Who is your blog for?
This is like a secret handshake for your blog.
So how do you do this?
Do you write for other blogs or sites that are in your niche or actively contribute to popular communities and forums?
What about adding a testimonial or social post from someone in the industry who read and liked your blog.
Personally, if you have the resources I would go for the second option.
But it also gives you a chance to show social proof that other people have recognized you as a thought leader.
The more you know your ideal reader, the better your blog will serve that person.
Why should they listen to you?
That means answering a few more questions and setting their expectations.
People connect more than they do with carefully crafted prose.
So be who you are!
The whole reason readers will come back is to hear your voice.
For my niche, I know my readers are here to get personal, actionable advice on starting a side business.
And so I show them that I not only talk the talk, but walk the walk as well.
Where should your readers go next?
The last and probably most important part of your About page is also the one that most people forget about.
Telling your readers what to do next!
Do you want them to read your latest blog post?
Sign up for your newsletter?
Follow you on Twitter?
If someone has made it all the way to the bottom of your page, why leave them alone now?
Instead, I want them to get to know me better, so they can do that on their own.
While mine goes into more depth, your Contact page can be as simple as having your email and social media accounts listed on a page.
You need to think about why someone would want to get in touch with you.
Can you answer basic questions upfront with an FAQ on your contact page?
For my blog, I know that people reading it might want to hire me to help them with their own content marketing.
For everything blog and content-related, I try to get people to stick to comments and social media.
This way, comments are public and other readers can learn from them and engage.
Think about what types of communication you want your readers to use and for what.
You can use your Contact page to set those expectations right away.
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Develop a successful content strategy Most articles about how to start a blog stop at this point.
I've been lucky enough to work for some fantastic companies and get paid to learn about the importance of having a for your blog.
And I've successfully applied those same lessons to my own blog as well.
Moreover, I've learned how to come up with winning that my audience loves to consume more of.
First off, why have a content strategy?
If you know your niche and understand your why.
If you know the value you want to give them and your unique angle.
Then creating a content strategy is as easy as solving your readers most pressing challenges.
Define your goal for your blog.
What do you want to achieve with your blog content?
Is it to drive traffic and get readers?
To get people to sign up for your email newsletter?
To get them to download a book you wrote or some other resource?
Really get to know your readers and where they hang out.
Your readers determine whether or not your blog is successful.
And to write for them, you need to really understand them—which is why it helps if you're also writing for yourself.
This guarantees at least an audience of one.
I'm a firm believer that you write your blog posts for, is equally as important as what you write about.
Now, the next question is: Where does Chad hang out online?
The goal of your blog is to create value for your Chad.
Decide on your content pillars.
Having a few set pillars like this helps keep your blog focused.
It also gives you a lense and a voice that you can write from.
Brainstorm blog post ideas and use keyword research.
The good news is you can honestly write whatever you want!
This is your blog after all, and one of the major benefits of learning how to start a blog for yourself—it's your platform to speak and share.
Sometimes running a blog is harder than it seems.
This is where I believe a is so important.
Not banging your head against the wall trying to come up with ideas.
Sign up for and I'll give you my editorial calendar template that I've honed over years of helping some of the world's top brands nail their content strategies.
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Aim for things you know your ideal audience would find valuable.
What questions are they asking?
Where do you have expertise and can help fill in the blanks?
So take all those terms and start to refine them.
Are there duplicates that you can lump together?
Do some just not look right now?
Refine and edit it down.
Start a spreadsheet and include your keyword, estimated search volume, difficulty, and opportunity You should be able to get all this info from the keyword tool you use.
Looking at all these, assign a priority to each one either on a scale of 1-5 or a basic High-Medium-Low.
Join my to grab my editorial calendar template.
Look for topics that hit all three key needs: Fits your content pillars, are genuine needs of your readers, and have some potential to in the long run.
If I'm still left needing more blog post ideas, I'll turn to even more creative tactics.
By this point, I've usually got a fully restocked content calendar.
But what's important to keep top of mind when deciding how to prioritize which posts you should write first vs last, is how much potential traffic you could stand to drive from eventually ranking well in organic search for that topic.
This goes back to consistently doing keyword research before ever starting to write a new article.
Not only does it ensure you'll have the opportunity to eventually monetize your traffic, but it validates that other people out there in the world actually want to consume content on the subject at hand.
Before you launch your blog, you might ways to make money online by to have a bit of content already ready to go.
This is optional, and I personally do this both ways with new blogs I launch, depending on many variables.
But if you have a decent sized audience on a social network that you plan on alerting once your blog launches, you never know if your first post might blow up and go viral.
In that case, you'll want to have at least a confirm. get making money online started confirm plan to engage the new readers you get.
We did 40 and put them all up on our site when we first launched.
If you want to get lots of viewers right up front you need to create that content beforehand.
People want instant gratification.
It helped that she was working full-time on preparing to start a blog for several weeks leading up to their big launch day.
Even just a post or two under each of your major content pillars is definitely enough, but if writing comes easily to you, it's ok to do a little more.
And lastly, remember to have fun and be interesting.
If you picked a niche that you care about, remember why you care about it.
People want to hear your voice and your take on things.
The best content strategy and management tools Putting together a blog content strategy and sticking to it can be a bit daunting at first.
Luckily, there are tons of fantastic tools to help you stay organized, motivated, and on track.
Trello because it's so visually appealing and easy to wrap my head around—but a Google Sheet is where I track much of the ongoing promotion work I do to make sure my articles rise in organic rankings.
From ideas to chosen, in-progress, scheduled and published, I like Trello so much because I get a quick visual snapshot of my content pipeline without having to wade deep into a Google Sheet.
After I decide an article is approved money in poker starting my editorial process, it does make it's way into my Editorial Calendar Google Sheet, like so: From here, I'll take to the more granular management of writing up a description of my approach to tackling this topic, confirm my keyword research, and this is where I'll spend time updating the status of the post even after it's published when I secure new backlinks from high authority sites or it gets some press pick up.
Commit to a regular publishing schedule If you want readers to consistently come back to your blog, you need to give them a reason to.
Consistency is one of the least celebrated, yet most important aspects of starting a successful blog and one of the reasons you decided to ways to make money online by how to start a blog in the first place, I'd imagine.
Even more, this claim.
There are a couple reasons why consistency is key.
However, if you decide on and commit to a schedule, you know when you have to publish.
We all do better with a few deadlines in our lives.
Not only this, but publishing consistently helps you test and understand what types of content work with your readers.
You might have a ton of ideas and enthusiasm, but over-committing is the easiest way to kill both of those.
Instead, you should commit to the minimum amount you want to publish—say once or twice a week—and try to stick to that religiously.
Perfectionism is a deadly killer when it comes to projects like this.
So remember, done is better than perfect.
This is where having a clear becomes so important.
This can be in a simple Google Doc like the one in my free blogging course, or by using a tool like Trello that lets you track posts through the whole process from idea to writing to published and promoting.
Oh, and side note—once you've started generating a decent amount of traffic to your blog, it'll be a smart long-term decision to move up your hosting plan to a managed WordPress hosting provider like that have even more features which is what I use now that I'm in the hundreds of thousands of monthly readersespecially when you're in need of.
And when it comes to posts getting shared on social media, that those without one, while.
Simply adding a few visual elements can almost double the amount of views and significantly expand the shares a post that monopoly empire start money with />Because people eat with their eyes.
And it allowed me to focus on what I love to do, which is developing recipes and engage with my readers.
You can even just use product screenshots throughout your content, depending upon the subject matter—take for example my recent article about the.
Free blog photo resources One of the easiest ways to add some design elements to your blog posts is with images.
Unsplash is probably the best online resource of completely free-to-use, user-uploaded photos for your blog.
Making it the easiest option for free blog photography.
Lots of cool options depending on your niche and design style.
Free blog design resources Along with stock photos, there are a ton of great design resources out there that can elevate the design of your posts.
Basic usage is free and you get access to a ton of design resources, logos, and photos.
Like Canva, Visme is a free online tool that lets you make custom designs for your blog.
What does a well-designed blog post look like?
Ultimately, what looks "good" is subjective and totally up to you—based on what you think your future readers will resonate most with.
However, there are a few time-tested design principles and tips I can offer on constructing an appealing blog post that's easy for readers to digest from my years of practice.
But what you can take away.
White space or negative space is so important to the legibility and readability of your blog.
Look for ways to make things flow easily a good theme should do this for you.
Next, make sure your font size is big enough.
Most designers say the ideal length of a sentence on your blog is 50—85 characters as it helps keep readers moving through the post.
We have a very emotional response to good design.
Try some fonts and spacing options out and see what feels good to you.
Always include a relevant image at the top of your blog post The human brain has two ways it remembers things: verbally and visually.
If you can combine the two at the top of your post, you have a better shot at people remembering you and becoming a fan of your blog.
What I mean is that you should always have an image at the top of your post that relates to it.
Use lots of sub headers to break up copy Readers get tired quickly.
And looking at a giant wall link text is intimidating and can make people leave your blog.
Some people say it should be even less than that, but I think it depends on your niche and how long your posts are.
As always, do what feels natural to you.
I also try to include images around each heading in my post to break up the flow of text.
Use styling to emphasize key parts of your post Good blog design guides your reader through the post.
And one of the easiest ways to do that is to emphasize key parts with bold or italics.
And italics to indicate just how much value you can expect to get from this post?
So use it sparingly.
Make sure people know where they are I get a lot of my blog traffic from organic search.
Which means people might not necessarily know who I am when they get to the page.
To build a lasting connection with them and make them feel comfortable, I make sure to have a short blurb about who I am at the top of the page.
It looks like this: Not only does this let people know where they are, but it tells them what they can expect if they stick around.
Plus, that using photos of real people increases the time readers spend on your blog.
Related side note: Today you're learning how to start a blog, but soon you'll have people joining your email list.
Apply this same strategy to how you communicate with your blog subscribers via email—always ensure you're sending your email newsletters from an email address that at least appears to be coming from a real person, with a photo set to the account and a personal signature at the bottom of the email.
Here's an example from a recent email to my subscribers, sharing a new podcast episode.
Notice that the sender name is set to my name, Ryan Robinson, and I have my usual profile photo set to display too: Not only will the personal touch help immensely in building relationships with your readers and increase the likelihood of starting more conversations over time, but it'll create a sense of visual recognition—readers will start to recall your name and photo when they see it.
And that's the beginning of building a personal brand.
It'll take time, hard work and momentum to reach a level where you're recognizable within your industry, but the payoff can be immense.
Crafting the perfect headline that encourages readers to click through One of the primary reasons you chose to learn how to start a blog was to attract readers, right?
Well, it pays dividends to put some time and concerted effort into writing headlines that'll be interesting, engaging, and most importantly—deliver on the promise of what your blog posts are actually helping here reader to accomplish.
As a starting point, learn by observing the headlines of other successful bloggers in your niche.
Do they often lead with numbers?
How many of their article headlines include parentheses?
Does it seem like a best practice to capitalize the first letter of every word?
Here are a few of my most recent headlines from.
At first when I chose to learn how to start a blog, I had no idea how to write compelling headlines.
Today, I've developed a formula that ways to make money online by several key traits that work very well for attracting readers in my space of entrepreneurship and personal finance.
It's super cool—you just paste in the headline you're thinking about using, and it gives you a score on a scale of 0 click 100 with 100 being a truly perfect headlinebased on their analysis of millions of headlines.
Here's their analysis of my headline for this guide, 10 Steps How to Start a Blog On The Side And Make Money in 2019 The Ultimate Guide : Once you've progressed from your early days of choosing to learn how to start a blog and you make your way deeper into content optimization, you'll start to develop a consistent style—which should be informed largely by what your readers respond to best.
Well, this is the exact reason I'm hired by companies like LinkedIn, Zendesk, Adobe, Close, Gusto, Intuit and more—to not only write in-depth content for their blogs, but to teach them how to promote their content and drive new readers.
So you've learned how to start a blog.
How do you drive traffic now?
And it's one that separates the great blogs from the ones that are only read by your mom and a few spam bots.
In fact, I'm a strong believer that you should spend as much time promoting a post as writing it.
But where do you start?
Here are a few of the best ways to start sharing your posts and getting in front of new readers.
And if you want even more strategies, here's my guide to learning where we dig even deeper into the tactics I've used to grow my blog to millions of yearly readers.
Social media The obvious first place to turn to is social media.
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Reddit, Instagram, Snapchat.
Whatever platform best suits your niche and your audience is the right one for you.
Instead, look for the ones that give you the best return.
For Michelle Schroeder of Making Sense of Cents, Pinterest has been her 1 source of traffic for years and brings in more than 25% of her readers.
Each social network naturally appeals to a certain niche and a certain type of reader.
But luckily there are lots of tools that can help you manage your social media posts throughout the week.
In fact, with the right tool, you should be able to promote all your posts across social in just an hour or two a week.
Their browser plug-in is also great for quickly adding interesting posts you find to your social promotion queue.
Instead, being a part of targeted forums and online communities can give you a way better return on your time.
If you find the right ones.
Look for a topically relevant group to join.
For example, if you're making a blog about photography, you could consider joining Facebook groups like 26,000+ members27,000+ members and 13,000+ members.
I found these groups by searching for "Nikon" and clicking the 'Groups' sort tab at the top of the menu.
If your blog is relevant to anyone with a DSLR camera, you're sure to find enough people who'd be interested in reading your posts within those groups.
Look for my general Facebook groups that relate to your niche or groups on or Reddit.
You need to provide value before you ask for anything in return.
So start by building relationships and engaging with people there.
You never know, you might come up with some great blog ideas in the process.
Guest posts and blogging on sites like Medium, Quora, Linkedin, and others One of the best things about starting a blog is that bloggers love to help each other out.
And guest posting on other relevant blogs is one of the best ways to connect with an already established audience.
It definitely took a while to gain traction.
It might seem like a lot of work, but those early guest posts are what helped her build her own audience and community.
And eventually, as her network grew, she was able to make better connections and start posting on bigger blogs.
For my own blog, one of my biggest early breaks came from going up on the blog for social media scheduling app Buffer.
Not only did I tap into their audience of 1 million+ readers per month, but it also associated me with a brand that people in my niche look up to.
The key point to all of this is that you want to look for places where your audience is and be there.
Building your email list is easy as well.
Simply put a signup in your posts and on your site.
I still get around 50 new email subscribers a day just from old posts that have these content upgrades.
I send my community an update whenever I post a new blog post, have a resource I want to share, or when new podcast episodes go live—and this now ensures my content will quickly be seen by thousands of people right off the bat.
Not only does interviewing them help you build a relationship, but other people reading your blog want to hear from them.
You can use these interviews for blog posts or even start a podcast like I did with.
And one of the best ways to do that is to mention other relevant bloggers and blog posts on yours.
I mentioned you in my most recent article.
This is essentially your industry and these are your coworkers.
But that effort is what makes starting a blog so worth it.
The bar for how to start a blog—and what constitutes great content—has been raised in 2019.
You need to set realistic expectations.
In fact, there are more opportunities than ever.
They're committed and excited to post.
And they know that running a blog is an investment that will only bring them bigger returns the more they keep at it.
Bonus: The 8 best ways to make money blogging monetize your blog There's a reason why monetizing your readership is the very last step in my guide about how to start a blog.
You need to find your readers, start building relationships with them, forming a community around your blog, and keep delivering value in the form of content before immediately trying to sell them on an online course, buying your freelance services, or otherwise.
Blogging is an investment that can pay massive dividends, but it's a longer-term payout.
Even still, it's good to have an idea of which ways you'd like to as you go into this.
Now, keep in mind that when you're just getting started, some of these monetization strategies will be easier than others while your readership is still growing.
Generally, it's when a brand, company or individual pays you a fee in order to get their content or offer in front of your audience.
That means you'll likely ways to make money online by some semblance of a readership base before you're able to broker a sponsored content deal—because the sponsor's going to want to see your readers click through and at least evaluate the special offer you're writing about.
Unless you already have a sizable option on another site or social account that you plan to use for driving traffic to your blog, it'll take you some time to grow your readership to a point where sponsored content is a viable monetization option.
Here's a snapshot of my first year of traffic to ryrob.
As you'll see, my first year of blogging saw only about 9,000 total readers, but I wasn't really taking blogging seriously and I was still learning how to drive traffic.
In my second year, you'll see traffic begins to pick up dramatically as I start to figure out who my audience is and which traffic strategies work best for me—that's when I started driving almost as much traffic money starting with r month than I'd gotten in my entire first year.
It was at this point, once my readership grew to around 10,000 monthly readers on averagethat it became a viable games casino free slot machines to start commanding a decent rate for sponsored content to be published on my blog and emailed to my couple hundred subscribers.
Tune in towho's mastered the art of landing blog sponsorships for his side hustle blog.
But, there are much quicker ways to start monetizing your blog.
Freelancing Selling Your Services.
If you want to start earning from your blog right now, then selling your services is going to be your lowest effort option by far.
All you really need in order to land your first freelancing client, is a strong enough pitch, which is where a blog will help significantly.
You'll want to build out your key pages About, Contact, Hire Me and showcase at least a couple examples of the type of work you've done that you'll soon be pitching freelance clients on.
And if you don't have those work samples yet.
Spend a few days right now to create those example articles, designs or other deliverables and host them on your own blog as if they were a project you got paid to produce.
If you have a skill that you can sell as a service, then you're already prepared to go out and start pitching potential clients.
That skill could be something like.
But that's where I am today.
They discovered me because of my blog, and liked the style of content I was producing, so it was an easy decision for them to hire me as a freelancer to ramp up their publishing at an affordable rate.
After having this realization, I started going out and pitching other similar non-competitive startups and online brands that clearly needed more business-related content for their blogs.
If freelancing sounds like your cup of tea, you'll want to grab my free collection of all my best resources.
That resource bundle is the culmination of more than 5 years of refining my freelance contract template, proposal template, cold email templates that convert new clients, and more.
I also put together an in-depth guide to that you'll want to read and another great foundational read about how to develop a pitching process that works for your type of business, is my.
And if you want to try out some of the websites where freelance clients are already looking for talented help, here's my list of the.
Once you have a skill or experience that others also want to learn, it's relatively easy to package your best advice, strategies, tactics and tutorials into an online course where people can pay for access to accelerate their learning much quicker than they otherwise would going through the stumbling process of learning through trial and error.
What's great about online courses as a monetization path for your blog, is that you don't need a huge audience in order to start earning from course sales.
Once you have even just a handful of readers on your blog, encourage them to interact with you—ask questions, offer free downloads, share advice and get them to either join your email list or to personally reach out and connect with you.
Learn about their biggest challenges as related to the broader topics covered on your blog.
Pinpoint the ways you can uniquely help them by leaning on your own skills, knowledge, experience.
After you've determined the right way to help a handful of your readers solve a real problem they're encountering, pitch them individually in a very personalized manner either over email or ideally on the phone on pre-ordering your course and getting direct coaching from you in the meantime while you work on building out the actual course material.
This is the exact process I've followed to launch each of my online courses some to very small audiences of just a few hundred people and earn five-figures from every course launch over the years.
Take your learning a bit further in where she's built a series of online training courses that have reached more than 15,000 designers and developers over the past couple of years.
Traditional Blog Advertisements Joining Ad Networks.
On my blog right now, you'll see a small advertisement in the right sidebar just below a little information about me.
I'm a member of a small ad network calledthat partners with bloggers and pairs them up with ads from high-quality startups like Slack, Asana, Freshbooks, Monday, Upwork and others.
I also have small ad placements from them throughout a few of my highest trafficked blog posts.
Some of the other major ad networks to consider installing on your blog would be Google AdSense, BuySellAds, and Propeller Ads.
All in all, traditional CPC or CPM advertising doesn't become very profitable at least as a viable source of meaningful income until you're driving close to a million monthly readers, so it's not a great monetization channel to focus on in the short-term.
But if you figure out the right levers to start generating massive amounts of traffic, this is a very quick way to flip a switch and start monetizing your readership in a pinch.
They've cracked the code to driving insane amounts of traffic from Pinterest very quickly, and offer up a lot of actionable advice.
Another great way to start monetizing your blog is by launching a simple podcast for your readers.
Here's the growth trajectory of my podcast over it's first year: You can even combine podcast ad placement offers with sponsored blog posts on your site to sweeten the deal.
What I like most about podcasting is that it gives me an excuse to interview some of most interesting people in my industry, and depending on the niche you're blogging about, it may be relatively easy to start booking interviews with some of the figures you look up to in your space.
When I launched my show, I already had about 100,000 monthly readers on my blog and 20,000 email subscribers to seed the early listenership numbers.
That worked for me because of where my blog was already at—but when you're starting out with less traction, I recommend getting a few episodes recorded and launching your show without trying to book a sponsorship in advance.
Release a handful of episodes and ask any guests you've interviewed or mentioned to share with their communities.
Those that tune in and like your show will subscribe and stick around.
One of the best ways to reach more listeners and grow your download numbers is to be a guest on other more established podcasts in your space.
It's a true masterclass in starting a podcast that you don't want to miss.
Every month, I earn a good amount of passive income from affiliate programs I'm a member of.
Here's how affiliate programs work: You get a special tracking link from the company you're an affiliate for.
Then, you'll place that link within posts on your blog, emails to your blog subscribers, and weave it in elsewhere that you reach your readers.
When someone clicks on that tracking link and completes a purchase, sign up or occasionally another metricthen you earn either a set fee or percentage of that sale.
You're getting compensated for referring new customers to your affiliate partners.
Some of the biggest brands have affiliate programs.
Think global companies like Amazon, all the way down to key players in specific niches like online education where brands likeand have lucrative programs.
Here's a snapshot of my recent earnings from a few of these programs: You don't need https://qc2.info/start/start-money-com.html be a member of an affiliate network in order to start earning, either.
Take my friend Preston Lee over at the blog and community for freelancers, Millo, for example.
A few months ago, he launched a new paid weekly email newsletter for freelancers that surfaces the best gigs of the week for them, called.
Since I have a large proportion of freelancers in my audience, he offered to set me up as an affiliate where I'd earn a set fee for each new paid subscriber that signed up as a result of an email or clickthrough from my blog.
The week I sent my first email out to my community about SolidGigs, nearly 100 people signed up to try it out.
And that number's only continued to grow over the months, adding more to my recurring income that comes from this channel.
The takeaway here is that you don't need to be confined to read more the affiliate opportunities you find on the major networks like ShareASale, Rakuten, Flex Offers, Commission Junction and others.
Once you've built even a small readership.
For a LOT more on the subject of monetizing your blog with affiliate income, listen to mostly via affiliate programs.
Physical Products eCommerce and Software Tools.
Similar in concept to launching an online course to your blog audience, another great way to monetize your audience is by selling a physical product or https://qc2.info/start/free-poker-starting-money.html tool to the people in your community—especially if you'll be starting an eCommerce store to sell products that are related to what your readers need.
At the end of the day, this one all comes back down to solving the problems your blog readers have.
Take for example the story of.
When he and I sat down for a podcast interview a couple of years ago, he'd just started to monetize his Twitter following of several million people who tuned into the daily barrage of cute dog photos he published alongside witty captions.
Nelson's since grown his blog and social following into a selling everything from t-shirts, to mugs, hats, a card game, stickers, dog tags, socks, pillows and so much more.
What's even more attractive about this business model, is that Nelson doesn't even need to stock his own product inventory.
He consider, start games casino online win real money excited use to fulfill orders after they've been placed, and warehouse his goods in centers that stock and ship the more popular items so that he's not packing and shipping products out of his own garage.
What once used to be a much more labor intensive business, eCommerce has become a great way to monetize an audience of readers on your blog.
And on top of just selling to your own audience, you can leverage loyalty programs that incentivize customers to invite friends to purchase with offers like first-time customer discounts, free one-month trials, gifting programs and more.
These channels create opportunities for amplifying your message and spreading your products through word-of-mouth marketing efforts that won't cost you anywhere near that of similar advertising fees.
Here's a simple way to think about getting started with your own eCommerce efforts.
If you can build a relationship with 10 early readers and work with them to pinpoint a challenge you're interested in building a physical or digital product for, focus next on repeatedly solving that problem yourself, then develop a plan of action for how you can personally help those 10 people solve that problem in their own unique situations as well.
This'll be very manually at first, but that's necessary.
Next, ask these 10 readers to "pre-order" the product from you and work with them through a personal coaching regimen that you'll use to make sure your eventual product has all the necessary features in order to successfully solve their challenge.
At the end of this validation process, you'll emerge with a solution that's built on the foundation of genuinely helping your readers.
Tune in towho's used his personal blog to connect with his target audience and release several profitable software tools as a result of the validation conversations he's had with them.
Of all the ways to monetize your blog, this is the most unpredictable.
Who knows who you'll meet as a result of building your blog?
What about future guests on your podcast?
The possibilities here for stumbling into partnership opportunities are endless.
As a result of sticking with my blog for several years, I've been able to use it as a tool to meet some incredibly talented entrepreneurs.
I've launched new websites like with other established bloggers who have similar audiences as my own.
There's even a former podcast guest who's helping me build a software tool I've envisioned for years.
It's true that there aren't as many ways to authentically engineer the creation of these types of partnerships, aside from growing your personal brand and the reach of your blog.
On the flip side, if there's someone in your space that you really want to collaborate and work with, strategize on a way you can add value topic start bonus their business first.
Build a community of people you know they'll want to reach too—and then start building a relationship with your influencer before pitching them on a collaboration idea.
What this all boils down to is being excited and engaging with your content.
The monetization and everything else will follow.
We got through a lot here.
I wrote this guide to learning how to start a blog because launching a blog has been one of the most empowering, life-changing decisions I've made in my life.
And I hope that by now you feel confident enough to go out there are start a blog of your own.
I'd love to have you in my free 7-day course that'll teach you my proven and in the course, we also dive deep even further into topics like driving traffic, my personal writing process, monetizing your blog and more.
You can sign up for free and join thousands of bloggers I've helped to get their sites off the ground and earning right here.
Want my Free Course: How to Start a Profitable Blog in 7 Days?
Enter your name and email address and you'll get instant access to my course that's been featured on Forbes, Business Insider and Entrepreneur.
To sum things up.
Infographic: How to start a blog for profit For those of you more visual learners, I also put together this infographic breaking down how to start a blog and my personal process for beginning to generate both traffic and revenue from your blog.
Want to share this infographic on your blog too?
Email me at and I'll hook you up!
How to start a blog FAQs frequently asked questions people also ask I get dozens of questions every day from readers like youwho are learning how to start a blog for the first time.
Here are my answers to the most common beginner blogging questions people also ask when learning how to start a blog.
Can you start a blog for free in 2019?
There are tons of ways you can get started blogging today in half an hour or less that are absolutely free.
Free blogging platforms like Medium, Tumblr and Blogger are awesome resources for testing things out.
And these options are great.
If you're on the fence about whether to use a free or paid hosting provider to get started.
All of this is to say that you should think about your plan and what you want from your blog before you get started.
How do you start a blog for free?
There are tons of ways you can get started blogging today in half an hour or less that are absolutely free.
Free blogging platforms like Medium, Tumblr and Blogger are great places to start a blog for free and begin practicing at building your writing skills—especially if your blog is meant to be a hobby.
Over the long-term however, if your blogging goal is to generate an income from blogging, or eventually build a business around your blog, choosing to start a blog with one of the many affordable hosting platforms like my personal favorite,or alternatives like or will afford you many more options for customization, your own dedicated domain name like yourblog.
Disclosure: Please note that when you purchase hosting usingthey compensate me, which helps me make this ultimate guide to starting a blog free of charge to you.
Becoming a blogger, and actually getting paid for it are two very different things.
In order to become a blogger, all you need to do is publish your first blog post—either on a free blogging platform or through your own self-hosted blog what I recommend.
Welcome to the world of blogging.
Now when it comes to actually getting paid from your blog, there are a ton of options.
From joining display ad networks, to getting sponsored posts from companies that want to reach your readers, affiliate promotions, landing freelance or consulting gigs, teaching online courses, selling physical products, building software tools and more, there are many different ways to get paid from blogging.
I break down my 8 favorite ways to monetize your blog here in this guide.
How do I start a personal blog?
How do you start a blog for beginners?
Get started at the top of the guide here.
How do beginner blogs make money?
Many of dive even deeper into monetizing your blog.
How much time does it take to start making money from blogging?
To be clear, there are two different versions of WordPress out there.
What most bloggers use, the WordPress.
While this service is owned and operated by the same parent company that maintains the free version of WordPress, the.
How do I create a personal blog for free?
You can create a personal blog for free on several different platforms, including Medium, Tumblr and Blogger, which are all great places to practice writing if your blog is designed to be a hobby or just for fun.
So if your goal is to build a business andyour only smart option is to choose a self-hosted WordPress powered blog like mine here and affordable hosting from a dependable company like.
How do you start a free blog and make money?
The best way to start a free blog and make money, is to choose a simple free blogging platform like Medium, Tumblr or Blogger, and create a quick profile for yourself.
You can relatively quickly make money from your free blog by building a reputation for yourself as an expert within your industry.
Commit to writing regularly, engaging with others in your niche, networking to build relationships, and position yourself as either a consultant for hire, paid event speaker, parlay your free blog into a book deal, or use your new reputation to become a coach, teacher or advisor to others who want to learn from you.
How much do bloggers make?
The amount of income bloggers make can vary widely.
Today, I make —on the side of still holding a full-time job, which makes for a nice cushion of extra savings for me.
Building a profitable blog is all about creating winning habits, deliberately building your readership and finding win-win ways to monetize with them.
Do bloggers get paid?
Yes, most bloggers get paid somehow.
Bloggers get paid through a variety of different monetization paths.
Some of the best ways to get paid from blogging include affiliate promotions, display advertising, sponsored content, freelance opportunities, sales of your own physical or digital products, and many of the other ways I talk about in this guide above when it comes to making money blogging.
How do I determine how much demand there is for the topics I want to blog about?
This is an estimate you can get from a free or paid keyword research tool like SEMrush, Wordstream, Ahrefs and KWFinder, that'll give you their estimate of how many searches are done on the keyword phrases you run through the tool.
Determining a level of demand there is for a given set of keyword phrases, on the other hand, is much more subjective and open to interpretation—but I have a free tool I put together to help you check search demand, called.
If you ask 100 different experienced bloggers, you'll get 100 different answers.
The niche I chose to learn how to start a blog in is crowded.
How do I stand out?
By being different in some small way!
While there are more competitors in this space, you also typically have a much higher demand for more content than in many other industries—and proven demand is a very good thing when it comes to starting a blog.
There are literally countless trip destinations around the world, and travelers are always in need of helpful content when it comes to planning trips.
However, in order to truly stand out in your niche, you need to think about ways to differentiate yourself and your blog content.
If anything, this is an opportunity to gather inspiration from what you see working well for competitors, adapt it to fit your own style, strengths, interests and continue building your own unique style to blogging over time.
How do I get readers to come to my blog?
The best ways to get readers to come to your blog include first and foremost creating share-worthy content that people will actually want to read.
After that, you need to nail your on-page SEO, begin guest posting on other blogs and websites that have an existing pool of readers who may be interested in what you have to say, sharing on social media, engaging in relevant online communities, being interviewed on podcasts, launching a YouTube channel, hosting webinars, speaking at conferences, getting on local television and.
You can always login to your WordPress by going to yourblog.
Check your spam folder just in case, too.
You can reset your Bluehost password.
So drop me a line in the comments below!
Join me here, on to learnand grow a profitable side business.
I also write for publications like Fast Company, Forbes, Entrepreneur, Inc, Business Insider and more.
As far as actually writing my first post.
Would I just dive into my topic or could I give a more in depth reason on why I am writing my blog and how it would help others?
I want my reader to feel as if they know me or as if we are family and can actually relate and feel where im coming from.
You give some great info here.
I am on my blogging journey now and the thing I really struggled with in the beginning was finding things to write about.
I think number 4 on your list is really important.
I personally would put it at number one because the topic is your blog.
If you get that wrong from the start things get tough.
My advice to new bloggers would be to think of something that you can really help people with.
Today is the first day of someone doing something for the first time.
Where do they go when they want answers?
Be the blog that helps them out.
Thanks for the kind words, John!
As they say, the only way to do it is to… do it!
Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.
I'm a writer and blogger that teaches 400,000 monthly readers how to start a blog and grow a profitable side business.
My work has been featured on Forbes, Entrepreneur, Inc, Fast Company, Business Insider and more.


How to Earn Money on YouTube: Best Tips for Beginners


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Words that start with R. Rick the royal raccoon ran 'round the raspberry bush in Rhode Island. View in the Videographic Dictionary


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Total 25 comments.