How To Start A Blog And Make Money in 2020 ($2600/mo Blogging Income or More). If you’re looking for an easy, step-by-step guide to learn how to start a blog and make money from it, then you’ve come to the right place. I’ve been blogging for 10+ years and I’m here to show you the most simple way to get started. Learn how to start a blog and how to make money with a blog for beginners. Find out about the types of blogs that make money, the profitable niches and how to get traffic to your site for free.
Do people actually make money blogging? So yes, can you still make money from blogging in 2020? YES, yes, yes. That being said, here are tips that can help you make money from blogging successfully. If you want to build a money making blog, you need to know this: focus on a single niche instead of covering multiple topics. Some make 7-figure income with blogs, some make a living while spending as much time as they need with their families.
And some just start a blog and close it at the end of the first year because they didn’t even make enough to pay for the next year’s hosting. why this happens are because:
You need to be social
Consistency is the key to growth
What goes online, stays online
Blogging isn’t free
It’s easy to get new traffic, but hard to retain it
Strike while the iron is hot
Write your posts in a conversational manner
Design is marketing
If you don’t want to be one of the last type of bloggers, you need to be very strategic about blogging and making money with your website. I’m here to share my experience building a blog from 0 to over $2600 in monthly income.
If You Want to Make Money Blogging… You Need to Write (Consistently)
Nailing Your Blog SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Find (and Build) Your Engaged Community of Readers
If it’s a topic you know really well, you’ll find it much easier to write helpful blog posts. Posts that provide value to your readers. That’s what blogging is all about and that’s what makes money.
These are some of the best known profitable blog topics:
- Personal finance
- Health and Fitness
- Diet and nutrition
- Food and healthy eating
- DIY and crafting
- Home Decor
- Beauty and fashion
- Personal development
- Relationship advice
If the topic you want to blog about isn’t on this list don’t fret. It’s definitely not a complete list. You can make money blogging about anything if there’s an audience out there waiting to hear from you.
Starting is the best way of finding out what works. You can always change track later by adding a new topic. Pick two or three topics on the list and you’re ready to start!
This is the Ultimate Guide for How To Start A Blog in 2020. Just 7 steps that will make all the difference between a successful blog and a failure.
- Decide about the niche for your blog.
- Pick your Blog Name / Domain Name
- Step: Technically Start a Blog
- 4. Select a WordPress Theme That Helps You Make Money Blogging
- 5. Create Content That Converts
- Promote your Content & Get Traffic to Your Website
- Actually, make money blogging:
- Ads; Google Adsense
- Sponsored posts
- Affiliate Marketing
- Podcast Sponsorships
- Selling Products – digital products like ebooks, printables and physical products.
- Business Partnerships
- Online Courses
- Launch a Virtual Summit
- Paid subscription, membership sites
- Services (freelance writing, coaching, managing ads for people, etc.).
Pick your blog’s name and niche
First, it’s time to pick a name and niche for your new blog.
The name of your blog is what readers will see first (like yourblog.com), so it should ideally represent either the general topics you’ll be writing about—or it could be your own name, that of your business, a clever combination of words, or otherwise.
Your blog’s niche is the general topic area that you’ll be focusing your content around. Examples include topics like travel, food, fashion, lifestyle, technology, and otherwise. Incorporating a word or two that clearly signals what your content is about, within the name of your blog (like gadgetbysean.com or nikehike.com)—will be very helpful for your future blog readers.
When you start your blog with a hosting company like Bluehost, they’ll let you choose your domain name later. If the domain name you want isn’t available, don’t get hung up at this stage—just select their option to choose your name later after getting everything else set up and you can have more time to think (remember, execution is what you’re here for, not perfection).
Get your blog online (web hosting)
That’s what a web hosting company will do for you. In this step, you’ll be selecting the blogging platform and web hosting plan you’ll use to get your blog online.
A web host, or web hosting service provider, is a business that provides the technologies and services needed for the website or webpage to be viewed in the Internet. Websites are hosted, or stored, on special computers called servers.
Web hosting comes at a low cost (around $5/mo) with a high quality hosting provider like Bluehost. Having a proper hosting company to power your blog is one of the most important investments you can make when getting started
There are several great web hosting providers you can use to host your blog (on a budget). The company I’ve found that best checks all of the key boxes (and more) for new bloggers is Bluehost. Regardless of who you choose, you should be looking for a web hosting company that prioritizes speed, features, security, support and a reliable track record.
The combination of blogging platform & web hosting I personally use (and that most other bloggers use) is a WordPress blog, hosted by Bluehost. WordPress is a free publishing platform that’s been around since 2003 and now powers more than 60% of all blogs on the Internet. Bluehost is one of the most established, reliable companies in the blog hosting industry. This combination is what we’ll be using to start your blog. Now, let’s get your hosting set up.
—> Click here to head over to Bluehost and hit the green “Get Started Now” button
Choose your plan
First, you’ll select a hosting plan (inputting your blog name comes next). Personally, I recommend choosing the Choice Plus plan 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.
Choosing your plan will look like this right here. Just click the green “Select” button on your plan of choice:
As I said above, I recommend choosing the Choice Plus plan, so that you’re getting the Domain Privacy feature that’ll protect your personal information online, but any of these plans will do as you’re starting your blog—and you can add the domain privacy in later during the checkout process for around $1/mo.
Pick your blog’s domain name
Next, you’ll get to the page where it’s time to choose your blog’s domain name:
After either choosing your domain name or opting to select it later, you’ll be taken to the final step in the sign up process—creating your account.
Create your Bluehost account
Start by filling in your account details like your name, email address (it’s super important to use an up-to-date email address because this is where your login details and account information will be sent) and address. If you don’t want to enter your information manually, you can connect your Bluehost account with your Google account. Either works!
Select the right hosting package
This is where you’ll choose an account plan based on the price you want to lock in and how far in advance you’ll pay.
Note that Bluehost only offers options for you to pay 1, 2, 3 or 5 years upfront. They don’t offer a monthly payment option (because most hosting companies that do offer monthly payments tend to charge a bit more). 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 to start a blog with?
Personally, I recommend choosing the “Prime 36 Month Price” if you want to lock in the lowest possible price for your hosting. That’s what I use. 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.
That’s why if you choose the 36-month plan, your pricing will be locked in at this rate for 3 years. 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 recommend keeping the Domain Privacy Protection extra, but you can get away with skipping the rest. Later on in this guide, I’ll show you the many free and cheap plugins & tools you can use for things like SEO optimization, additional security and site back-ups, rendering most of the other package extras not necessary.
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. Now, if you chose the Choice Plus Plan on the previous screen, then your Domain Privacy Protection will be listed as “Free” just like this screenshot above shows—it’s included in that plan.
If you chose a Basic or Plus Plan, then you’ll want to check the box to add Domain Privacy Protection to your order for around $1/mo.
The total you’ll now see is the amount you’re going to pay today. Remember though, you won’t have to pay again for 1, 2, 3 or 5 years depending on the package you chose. Plus, there’s a 30-day money back guarantee in case things don’t go as planned with your blog.
Enter your billing information
Now you’ll input your billing information, check the box that you agree to Bluehost’s Terms of Service and then hit the green “Submit” button.
Woo! It’s time for a mini celebration ?
You’ve officially completed the first major step in starting a blog.
With the initial signup process complete, it’s time to move into the next stage of getting your blog fully setup and optimized.
On the next page, you’ll be guided step-by-step through the process of getting WordPress installed on your blog through Bluehost—and later on in this guide, I’ve got a ton of helpful tips for optimizing your blog, free and cheap plugins you can install to help get your blog looking great, and more.
—> Click here to head over to Bluehost and register your domain if you haven’t already.
Pick a theme
You’re almost done! I recommend two themes: Astra or GeneratePress. Don’t worry, they are both highly customizable so they don’t have to look like they do here.
Many themes (especially free ones) are sloppily built or not kept updated, leaving holes in your site’s security. I’m personally familiar with Astra and GeneratePress and trust both.
Congratulations, you have a self-hosted WordPress blog!
This section is for tying up a few loose ends. Be sure to complete all of these next steps to get off on the right foot. Here’s a summary list. See below for the details.
Log into WordPress
Click the WordPress button from the last step above. (Don’t see it? Click Account Login in your Bluehost confirmation email.)
You’ll be taken to your WordPress Dashboard:
The WordPress Dashboard is the nerve center of your site. It’s where you’ll publish your posts, customize your design and manage all aspects of your blog.
The black column on the left is a good indicator you are in the WordPress Dashboard. (The rest of the screen might look different. Not to worry.)
Type yourdomain.com/wp-login.php into your browser address bar.
Or, log into your Bluehost account. From the My Sites tab in the left column, hover over your site and click Log into WordPress.
Secure your site with SSL
Once your permanent domain is working, secure it. A secure site gives visitors peace of mind. It also keeps your site on Google’s good side.
You can tell if a site is secure or not by the way it looks in the address bar. An unsecure site begins with http:// but a secure site begins with https:// like so:
If you entered a new domain or opted to choose one later in Step 5, log into your Bluehost account > My Sites. Locate the site you wish to activate the free SSL for. Click Manage. Open the Security tab. Under Security Certificate toggle the Free SSL ON.
Wait a few hours for the changes to take effect.
If you’re using an existing domain, contact the company where your domain is registered. Tell them you want to secure your site with an SSL certificate.
Your WordPress Dashboard
Return to your WordPress dashboard by clicking on the name of your site (top left) and selecting dashboard.
There’s a lot to take in! Don’t worry. You’ll soon get used to it.
The dashboard seems super complicated but in reality it’s been laid out really well and you’ll soon find it easy to use (honestly)!
Key to your dashboard
#1 At A Glance
This area tells you what your theme is. You’ll also get information on numbers of posts and pages plus any updates.
Here you add and edit your posts. Your posts are your articles and will be the main content of your blog.
Your posts are organised into categories so people can search for the topics they are interested in. Normally it’s best to create just two or three categories but you may need more if you’re setting up a broad topic blog.
For example my Tech blog has as many as 5 categories:
- How To
- Tech Tips
- Contact Us
- About US
You can use tags to divide your posts into more specific sub topics.
This is where you upload images. It also contains your library of images.
Here you can add and edit pages. Pages are used for your “static content”. This is the content you don’t update or change frequently.
- About Page (who you are and what your blog is about).
- Privacy Page (this is a legal requirement). You will also need a Disclamer Page as soon as you start selling.
- Contact Page (this is a good idea if you want your readers to be able to contact you).
The area where you moderate comments left by your followers.
This is the part that changes everything about how your blog looks from applying a new theme to creating menus and adding widgets. Widgets are drag-and-drop content areas that can be added to a WordPress site when its plugin is installed and activated
This is where you install new plugins. Plugins are software add-ons that enhance your WordPress blog by adding extra features.
Here you can manage users for your site.
This section needs to be set up correctly from the beginning– the key details for how your site is set up. The steps are explained in the next section.
#10 Your recent activity
Any recent changes you make to your blog will be listed in this area.
Your WordPress Settings
Go to Settings > General on your dashboard.
The default settings here are generally okay. You might want to remove the tagline. You can change your time zone to match your local zone which is useful if you ever schedule posts.
For most people your WordPress address and Site address will be the same and will start with HTTPS. If not make sure your SSL certificate is installed.
Remember to Save Changes.
Publish your first pages in WordPress
This is a good time to publish some basic pages like your About page and Contact page. Doing so will bulk things up so design customizations are easier to make. It’s sort of like how it’s easier to see the print on a balloon when it’s inflated.
The 7 Best Display Ad Networks for Bloggers
If you want to make money blogging by leveraging display ad networks, here are my picks for the best ones to evaluate for your blog:
- Mediavine (All topics)
- Carbon Ads (Business, Design, Development topics)
- PropellerAds (All topics)
- Google AdSense (All topics)
- Taboola (All topics)
- BlogAds (All topics)
- Media.net (All topics)
What Are the Best Affiliate Programs for Bloggers?
The best way to make money blogging with affiliates certainly depends largely upon the niche you’re writing in. Here are a few of my picks for the best blogging affiliate programs:
There are a lot of affiliate program options out there to make money blogging from, I know.
Disclosure: I am are an affiliate for Bluehost, which means that I will receive a commission if you sign up through my link. But there is NO additional cost to you! Actually, Bluehost provided a special discount for my subscribers (limited time offer!).