Learning how to start a blog doesn’t have to be a big ordeal, and getting one set up using WordPress is easier than you’d probably think.
I get paid to write about what I love and get the freedom to do what I want, when I want. Being a blogger is so awesome. And there’s no reason that you can’t do the same. I created this easy to follow step-by-step guide to help you create your own blog and make money from it.
If you have any trouble following this guide or need help at any point, feel free to drop me an email or leave your questions in the comments section below and I’ll do my best to help you get your blog up and running.
The 6 Steps to Start a Blog
There are six easy to follow steps in this guide, and at the end of it you will have your own blog to call home on the internet. I’m excited for you!
- What to blog about
- Choosing a blogging platform
- Choosing a web host
- Picking a domain name
- Picking an awesome theme
- Making money
Why Start a Blog?
People start blogs for a variety of different reasons. Some for money, some for pleasure, but most for a combination of those two things.
I originally started blogging just to keep my brain working whilst operating my online businesses since I found it easy to get distracted and avoid working. And now blogging is a full-time income stream for me.
- Make Money from Home
I make a full-time income from blogging, as do many others, and you can do the same if you’re willing to put in the work. You can do it from home, around your family life, and it’s low risk with little investment required to get up and running. Potential to make six figures!
- Showcase Your Writing Abilities
If you’re a freelance writer it’s a good idea to have your own blog where you can list your services and also showcase your work.
- Generate Traffic for Your Business
Blogs are a fantastic way for businesses to reach potential customers with little-to-no investment. Spending money on ads is great, but pulling in sales just by putting out great content is even better.
- Just to Write
Maybe you just want to write about anything and everything, keep a diary, share your story or encourage others. You need a blog.
Before we get started, let’s look at some frequently asked questions.
How much does a blog cost?
There are some initial set-up costs for a blog, like a domain and theme, but after that the only cost is your monthly hosting plan which will be about £25. What’s that, a few coffees from Starbucks?
Never, ever, under any circumstances use cheap hosting. View your new blog as a business and take it seriously. Don’t skimp on hosting!
Hosting is the foundation to your business. A necessity for success.
But I can’t afford that! Don’t worry, I have a solution for you.
Can I start a blog for free?
You can, but I would strongly advise against it for a number of reasons.
Brands won’t work with you if you’re on a free host because you won’t have your own domain authority, and you don’t look professional. And you also won’t be able to make money from your blog. Well, very little.
If you’re happy blogging as a hobby and don’t want to make money then you can use Blogger, Wix or Weebly for a free blog.
Free blogs are also extremely limited with features. Think carefully.
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1. What to Blog About
Choosing a topic to write about is probably the most common hurdle that most new bloggers struggle to get past. I found it just as difficult.
My advice would be to choose a topic that you enjoy as writing about things that don’t excite you will become a slog you’ll soon tire of. Choose something you’re passionate about, something you love.
Love to travel? Start a travel blog. Love fashion? Start a fashion blog. Love beauty? Start a beauty blog. Love food? Start a food blog. You get the idea. And if none of those tickle your fancy, mix them all together with a lifestyle blog. A lifestyle blog removes all limits so you can write about what you want, when you want. That’s what I consider my blog to be.
If you’re a proud mummy or daddy then a family blog might also be a good idea. There’s a great community of parenting bloggers in the UK.
Still unsure of what to blog about?
Worry about it later – just start a blog and you’ll slowly find your place as you start to write and build your character as a blogger. I did that.
2. Choose a Blogging Platform
There’s no shortage of blogging platforms out there, some you may have heard of and others you probably haven’t. WordPress, Blogger, Wix and Weebly are four of the most popular. Also Squarespace and Tumblr.
I personally use and recommend WordPress. It’s the best.
WordPress is the most widely used blogging platform in the world by quite a large margin. It’s easy to use, fast, secure and the features and functionality are endless thanks to its unrivalled plugin system and the thousands of readily available plugins that can be installed in instantly.
Another reason I recommend WordPress is that there are thousands of free and paid themes to choose from. Many look very professional, too!
Okay, it’s time, let’s get your new blog set up!
3. Choose a Blog Host
I have been making money online for well over 10 years so as you can imagine I have tried the majority of web hosts out there today.
It’s important that you choose a reliable host for your blog as free ones can’t be monetised (you can’t make money from them) and cheap ones are unreliable meaning slow loading speeds, downtime and poor support.
If you’re serious about your blog, you need to use a great host.
So which host should you use?
I recommend WP Engine to my own friends and family, and I currently host my own blog with them. I have a discount code below for 20% OFF.
The reason I’m such a big supporter of WP Engine is because they’re a specialist WordPress host which means they offer the fastest, most advanced and secure blog hosting on the planet. And it shows.
DISCOUNT CODE: WPE20OFF
You be using their startup package. You won’t need a bigger plan.
Here’s what you get with WP Engine hosting:
- 25,000 visits a month
- FREE SSL Certificates (HTTPS)
- FREE Migrations (if needed)
- Backups every night to protect your data
- Lightning fast loading speeds
- 24/7/365 support
4. Register a Domain Name
Now that you have your new blog set up, you need a domain name.
You need to decide if you want to go by your own name like I do with my domain (martyrogers.co.uk) or create a brand, like Dolly’s Ramblings.
I recommend using 123 Reg for registering your domain name. It doesn’t cost much, and you pay yearly. I also recommend getting either .com or .co.uk where possible as they’re easier to remember and prettier.
TIP: Buy your domain with WHOIS privacy. This will protect your home address from being seen by others online. I always use that.
5. Find a Premium WordPress Theme
One of the great things about WordPress, as mentioned earlier, is that there are thousands of free themes available for it. But, as with all things free, they’re just not as good as the ones you can buy. And it shows.
You now have lightning fast blog hosting and a sexy domain name so it’s only right that you have a professional look to go with them. Right?
ThemeForest is the largest online marketplace for premium WordPress themes in the world, and it’s actually where I bought my own theme for this blog. Have a look through all of their themes and see if there are any that you like the look of. I’ll show you how to set it up below.
6. Make Money from Your Blog
So that’s it, you just learnt how to start a blog. You’re now a blogger!
But now you obviously want to know how to make money blogging, right? Not to worry, I have all the info you need below.
Here are the main ways to make money from your blog:
A sponsored post or sponsored review will likely be the source of your very first bit of revenue from your blog. You will be paid to promote a brand on your blog and/or write a review about their product or service.
There are a few ways to find paid blogger opportunities:
- Bloggers Required is a great blogging community where you can browse blogging opportunities and apply for them for free.
- Fat Joe is a blogger outreach company who will pay you a set fee per post you host for them. The fee you get will depend on your DA.
- UK Blogging Opportunities is a great Facebook Group where you can find a lot of great opportunities for paid posts and reviews.
Be aware that brands are always looking at DA as
You can make great money by using affiliate links within the posts on your blog. Just link to advertisers related to your posts and when one of your readers clicks the link and makes a purchase you earn commission.
Here are the best affiliate networks that you should join:
- Awin is the biggest affiliate network in the UK, and one of the largest in the world, with most of the big brands on there to promote. Awin pay 2 times a month by bank transfer, which is very handy.
- Skimlinks is an alternative to Awin that is great for people who don’t want to manually insert affiliate links into every post. Skimlinks automatically links to relevant advertisers in all of your posts.
- Monetise is another major UK affiliate network. Their focus is mainly on casino, finance and similar ‘risky’ advertisers.
- ShareASale is an affiliate network with lots of the major global players on it as well as lots of digital products like web hosting, etc.
Displaying ads on your blog is a another great way to make money from your blog. You can earn money in a variety ways, including PPC (pay per click) and CPM (cost per thousand impressions) on your ads.
Here are the best display networks that you should join:
- Google Adsense is the largest, most respected ad network in the world and will pay you mostly for the clicks your blog delivers on their ads.
- Mediavine is the premier ad network for bloggers. They pay on a CPM basis and will pay you a lot more than Google Adsense.
So there you go, I hope I have successfully shown you how to start a blog and make money from it in 2018. Good luck with your new blog!