how to start a blog

10 years ago, if you were to ask anyone what a blogger was, you’d get a confused stare. Now, people are blogging for a living and making major bucks! To start a money making blog could result in a lot of extra income! Blogging has skyrocketed because of the ease of accessibility and the power of social media.

Anyone from anywhere can get on the internet and access a blog. They can follow their favorite bloggers on social media and stay up-to-date with their every move. If you are passionate about a certain subject, blogging can be a great way to talk about it and eventually make money from it. Today, the CGS Team is sharing a guide on how to start your own blog. Keep reading to learn how to start a money making blog today! Note, this post contains sponsored links.

One-Time Set Up

#1 Decide on a Topic

Above, we mentioned that being passionate about a certain subject can be a great way to make money from your blog. The reason for this is because when you’re passionate, you’re authentic. Your words resonate from your true feelings and you become relatable. If you are writing about something just to write, you may not see the success you want.

The great thing about blogging is that the options are endless for what to talk about. You can write about being a mom who gardens. You can write about your love of vintage fashion. You can write about books. Anything you are passionate about can be put into words through a blog. Think about the things that make you happy and excited. If you do start a blog, you’ll be talking about that subject for as long as the blog is active. Make sure you like what you are talking about!

#2 Pick Your Blog Name and Purchase Your Domain

Once you have the topic on the blog, you can come up with a name for it. If you decide to write about being a gardening mom, your blog name could be “Fun Moms Who Garden” or “Growing Children and Gardens”. Before you are set in stone with a name, do quick search to ensure it’s not already taken. The last thing you want is to be sold on a name only to find that someone already has that domain.  Bluehost has a great website name checker:

After confirming that your domain name is available, don’t hesitate to purchase it! Also, you will need web hosting for any website you start. Bluehost offers incredibly affordable and powerful hosting plans, and you get a free domain with your purchase! CGS readers get a special price as well! Be sure to click the direct Bluehost link above to take advantage of over 50% off!

 

how to start a blog

If you were to pay for web hosting elsewhere, you will be paying a lot more! It also makes it easier to stay organized when all of your blog-related admin items are all in the same place. If you decide to purchase your domain and web hosting from different places, you will want to make sure that you register your domain name with your hosting company.

#3 WordPress is Your Best Bet

WordPress is one of the leading website and blog builders around. In fact, WordPress powers 28% of the internet! Because WordPress is very user-friendly and easy to navigate, it’s what the CGS team recommends that you start with when creating your blog/website.  If you decide to go with Bluehost for your domain and hosting, they make it very easy to set up WordPress on your website.

Check out an in-depth “how-to” set-up and use Bluehost in the video below. Incredibly simple!

Tips and Tools for Consistent Blogging

#4 Create a Blog Schedule

Once you start your blog, you’re in! Failing to have a consistent blogging schedule could result in low traffic, a loss of readers, and an overall flop.  When you make the commitment to blog, stick to it! Blogs that post new content at least 2 times a week perform the best in Google searches.  To ensure that you are staying consistent with your blog, we suggest creating a blog schedule. You will want to have your blog topics decided on long before you actually write them.

The CGS Team created our own blog schedule in an Excel spreadsheet. Each tab is a year, starting with 2015 (when we launched). Each page includes the date the article will be posted, the topic of the article, the category it falls into, and the name of the article.  Here is a screenshot of our blog schedule:

blog schedule

As you can see, it’s nothing fancy, but it has all of the applicable topic and article information needed for us to write about!

#5 What Each Blog Post Needs

Any blog post you write, needs to include the following:

  • Posts with a minimum of 1000 words perform best, although this is not always necessary.
  • A Pinterest graphic at the beginning of your post.
  • Search engine optimized (SEO) content in the article.

Canva is a great resource for creating blog graphics. You will want to decide on 3-6 brand colors for your blog. You will also want to decide on a few fonts for your blog. These fonts and colors will stick with your blog unless you do a brand revamp. Your branding has a huge impact on how you are perceived, so think through your colors and your fonts in detail.

Yoast SEO is a powerful SEO plugin available for WordPress blogs. City Girl Savings uses this plugin and would recommend it for anyone looking to optimize their content. It’s extremely easy to use and provides detail as to what makes your blog perfectly or poorly optimized for SEO.

#6 Create Social Media Platforms for Your Blog

Once your blog is created, your brand fonts and colors determined, and your post schedule determined, create your social media platforms for your blog. Social media can be an excellent source for getting traffic to your blog. Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter are all great options.

Think about the type of content you will be creating. Instagram is perfect for imagery. If you are a fashion blogger, this would be a great option. Twitter is great for short blocks of text. If you are more word-based more than image-based, this is a good option.  Ultimately, it’s your decision as to what social media platforms are best for your blog.  Since City Girl Savings is primarily a financial-learning and lifestyle blog, we do best on LinkedIn and Pinterest.

#7 Social Media Schedulers are Great

To avoid forgetting about posting on social media, use a scheduling tool. We love ViralTag because it has the most popular platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn) all in one place. You can schedule posts for each of the platforms ahead of time. Set aside a certain day each week to create your social media content and schedule your posts for the week ahead. Nothing is worse than scrambling to get your posts out!

Making Money from Your Blog

#8 Affiliate Income Rocks

One of the easiest ways to make money from your blog is through affiliate income. You link a product or service on your blog that takes potential customers (your blog’s readers) to that product or service’s website. If the reader purchases the item, you get a commission. Amazon Associates, Rakuten Affiliates, and ShopStyle Collective are great when looking for affiliate income.

#9 Other Ways to Make Money Blogging

Sponsored blog posts are posts, written by you or the sponsor, placed on your blog in exchange for money. This could be a review, a guest post or a feature in your newsletter.

Display advertising is when you place an advertisement on your blog in the sidebar, below a blog post, below your header image, or in some other location on your blog. You are paid per impression or click. Google AdSense is a great way to earn money from traffic. While it’s not necessarily affiliate income, you can pick and choose what types of ads are shown on your website. If someone clicks the ad, you get a commission.

eBooks are electronic books. If you write about a particular learning subject, creating and selling an eBook can be a great way to bring in some cash. Digital products in general are very popular right now. eBooks, online courses, webinar presentations, and eGuides are a few examples of digital products that can be sold.

 

Blogging success doesn’t come overnight, but doing the right things from the beginning can make it a lot easier to grow your blog traffic and make money from your blog. We hope our tips above empower you to start your own blog! Even if the goal isn’t to become rich, blogging can be a great way to bring in some extra income and help you reach your financial goals!

What tips do you have for people looking to start a blog and make money from it? Do you have any experience blogging or creating online content? Share your tips, tricks and feedback by leaving a comment below.

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a commission. All opinions are my own.

-Raya
The CGS Team

Raya ReavesFounder; Financial Consultant