Welcome to my comprehensive FREE guide on how to start a blog. Blogging is a popular method for people wanting to work from home. Many successful blogs were started by mothers who wanted to be able to stay home with their children, while at the same time have an income. Setting up an amazing blog is dead easy these days and you do not need ANY skills. What is more, it will only take you about 15 minutes.
To ensure Monethalia remains free of charge, this post contains affiliate links. I am an affiliate of Bluehost and receive commission at no extra cost to you.
What else can I get out of blogging?
Blogging is not only a good way to boost your income. You can also:
- Improve your communication and marketing skills
- Learn how to network efficiently
- Deepen your knowledge about a subject you are passionate about
- Find people who are passionate about the same topic as you
- Add all these new skills to your CV
Do I need to be a good writer or have coding skills?
The answer to this is “no”. For blogging, it is far more important that you can convey your ideas and give value to your readers. Your writing skills will improve over time. There are also countless tools available to help you. For example, I am not a native English speaker so I rely on Grammarly to help me out with spelling and grammar.
If you use my Bluehost/Wordpress guide below, you will not need any computer skills beyond being able to operate a mouse. A blog is super easy to set up and takes about 10 minutes to be online.
Why should I pay for hosting when there are free alternatives?
With a free blog such as Blogger.com or the free WordPress, you will not be able to make any profit. Furthermore, you will have a hard time gaining traffic. Setting up a professional blog requires a small initial investment for hosting, but you will easily gain that money back later.
How can I profit from a blog?
There are multiple ways to make money from blogging. You can:
- post affiliate links (referral links)
- write sponsored posts
- run ads
- offer services e.g. courses
Read more here: 5 Brilliant Ways You Can Make Money With Blogging
Start a blog guide
Below I will guide you through the process of setting up your blog. If anything is unclear, you can comment below or shoot me a message. I also offer free support to those who sign-up to Bluehost through my links. Simply message me!
Prepare before you start a blog
To start a blog, you first need to find a topic you would like to write about. Look at your hobbies or your real-life situation for ideas. For example, popular blogs revolve around the challenges of being a stay-at-home mum, cooking recipes and earning money. Make sure it is something you WANT to write about.
Next, you need a name for your blog that is available. Your blog name could be your real name, a combination of words or a short sentence. There are websites available to help you such as WordCombiner, NameMesh, NameBoy, and others. Make sure your name is not too long and easy to remember.
Buy a domain and hosting with WordPress and Bluehost
To start a blog, you need a domain (your website name) and a host (the server on which your website is running).
It is possible to blog using a free domain; however, you cannot run ads and will have a hard time gaining traffic. Hence, I recommend buying your domain and hosting through Bluehost. Bluehost will refund you should you decide that blogging is not for you within the first month. You will have plenty of time to decide whether blogging is for you! See below for my step-by-step guide to set up your blog.
How to start a blog
Choose a plan
You will then be asked to choose a plan. For beginners, “basic” is totally sufficient, if not you can always upgrade later. Click on “select”.
Enter your domain name under “new domain” and click on “next”. Should you also have a domain name, use “I have a domain name” and click on “next”. If you have not bought a domain previously through another website, choose the first option.
In this step, you need to put in your name, contact details and address.
Extras and payment
Choose your extras. As you are only just starting, you will probably want to keep the costs as low as possible. “Domain Privacy Protection” is the only extra I would recommend at this stage. This will hide your private address from your website and replace it with Bluehost’s. However, do not tick this box right now. Once you complete the sign-up, you get one month of domain privacy protection for free.
Below you need to enter your payment information. Note that you will need to pay your hosting costs upfront. Initially, this may seem like a lot of money but remember, you are paying for your domain name plus hosting for 3 years.
You can now pick a theme for your blog. Scroll to the bottom if you wish to skip this step for now. Monethalia uses Themify, a highly customisable and free theme. Premium themes generally offer more options and are optimised for speed and search engines. However, in the beginning, I recommend using a free theme so you can get a feel for your needs.
Click “Launch” to publish your blog. You can now call yourself a blogger! To the left, you find your admin menu. Click on the house symbol at the top to go to your blog or use any of the options in the menu to customise your blog. You may wish to start by choosing a theme if you have not already.
Get started as a blogger
Once your blog is set up, the first step is to choose a theme if you have not already. Under “Appearance” you can customise the theme to fit with your brand. Aim for a clean, consistent design and refrain from going overboard with colours. A solid white background is completely fine.
Next, you may wish to add some essential plugins. WordPress already comes with Optin Monster and Jetpack; however, you will need to keep them. I recommend uninstalling them and using free plugins instead. Monethalia currently uses Yoast SEO, Mailchimp for WP, Monster Insights and SUMO. You can install these (and others) by searching for them under the Plugin option in your admin menu.
With Mailchimp and SUMO you can start building your email lists. I recommend offering a free email course, consultation or ebook to get people to subscribe. Once you have done this and added a few post to your blog, it is time to go hunting for subscribers.
A blog is not complete until it has at least a few readers. Subscribers are people who are interested in your content and follow you through email or social media. You already offer people to subscribe to your emails via Mailchimp (or a comparable plugin). Now it is time to cover the social media aspect. Establish a FaceBook or Twitter profile for your blog and set up your Pinterest account. In the beginning, it is impossible to be present everywhere so you may choose one or two social media platforms.
Increase your traffic with Pinterest
I recommend Pinterest as it is comparatively easier to drive traffic to your blog. Pinterest is a social search engine and people do not necessarily need to follow you to see your pins. However, using Pinterest is still a learning curve. The plugins I recommend are all free to use and everything I recommend is as low cost as possible, but I really think it is worth spending to learn how to use Pinterest.
I learned how t maximise my traffic from Pinterest with Elize’s Paid by Pinterest course. The cost will quickly pay off as you can gain a substantial number of visitors from Pinterest.
If you have any questions or feedback on this tutorial, let me know below! You can also choose from 99 other ways to make money if you decide that blogging is not for you.
How to start a blog summary
As you have seen, starting a blog is super easy and has numerous benefits. I highly recommend giving blogging a go as I greatly enjoy it. Monethalia feels like my baby and it makes me proud to see it grow. To get started, head over to Bluehost and simply follow my step-by-step guide.
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