When I started my blog, Crafty Coin, I knew I wanted it to be more than just a hobby; I wanted to earn money from it! In order for this to happen, I realized my blog needed to look professional from the get go. In order for this to happen, I had to invest some money upfront, which I knew would help hold me accountable to posting regularly and keeping up with it.
I did lots of research before jumping in which made me stand out from many other beginner bloggers. When people would visit my site, they were amazed that I had only been blogging for a few months.
The best part? In less than a year, I was earning income from my blog. There were a lot of things I learned along the way (and am still learning!), but I am so grateful I started Crafty Coin on the right foot to success.
Below are the exact steps I took to start my blog. If you follow these steps to start your own blog, I’m confident you can make money blogging, too!
1. Find Your Niche
What do you want to write about? “Niche” is the buzzword these days. A blog that has a specific area of interest is more appealing to both readers and companies that you’ll be trying to attract than a blog that’s all over the place. For me, mine is “frugal living”. In the beginning of blogging, I was focusing on healthy eating on a budget, but later expanded to include all aspects of my frugal life. Popular niches:
- Personal Finance
The more specific your blog’s focus, the more likely you are to find a community that will follow you.
2. Choose a Blog Name
As I mentioned, I started out blogging mostly about healthy eating on a budget, but later expanded to include my entire frugal lifestyle. When I chose the name “Crafty Coin”, I knew I wanted something that related to money, but wasn’t too specific. Had I chosen a name like “Real Food on a Budget”, it would have been hard for me to expand to frugal topics outside of food. I knew from the get-go that I would want to write about more than just my grocery hauls, so I chose a more general name.
3. Claim Your Name
But before you get too attached to your name, make sure it’s available! namecheckr.com is a great site that will let you know if your blog name is available or not (.com is best – it looks most professional), including all your social media handles. Ideally, you want the exact same name for your blog and all social media handles, especially:
4. Signup for Hosting
This is where the website making starts happening. If you want to start a blog that makes money, you need to be self-hosted. I recommend you sign up with Bluehost and choose their basic package. As you grow, you can easily upgrade your hosting package. If you use my affiliate link, you can get Bluehost for only $3.95/month.
Here is my step-by-step guide for signing up for Bluehost.
– Follow my discount link here to get Bluehost for $3.95/month. You should see the same image below on your screen. Click the green “get started now” button.
– Select the basic plan. You can upgrade at any time, but the basic plan is perfect for beginner bloggers. I didn’t need to upgrade until after one year of blogging!
– Enter your domain name. If you haven’t purchased your domain name yet, enter it under “new domain”. If you have already purchased your domain name (through GoDaddy or another source), enter it under “i have a domain name”.
– Enter your account information.
– Select your package information. This is where things get a little less straight forward.
- Account Plan: To get the best deal, you’ll want to select “basic 36 month price”. This means that you’ll lock in the $3.95/month for 36 months. You can also select 12 month or 24 month packages for a slightly higher monthly price.
- Domain Privacy: I highly recommend checking this box. This means that the personal information you entered under your account will be kept private.
- Site Backup Pro: I recommend not checking this box. There are other free options available for backing up your website.
- Search Engine Jumpstart: I recommend not checking this box. It’s Once you get your blog setup, download the Yoast SEO plugin and you’ll be well on your way to being found by search engines like Google.
- SiteLock Security: I recommend not checking this box. Bluehost has other security measures already in place.
– Submit your payment information. You will be charged in full the amount that was shown under “Total” above. If you followed my suggestions above, you will be charged $3.96 X 36 months for the account plan + $.99 x 12 months for the domain privacy protection.
That’s it! You’re done registering with Bluehost! Now you’ll need to…
5. Install WordPress
WordPress is where it’s at for money-making blogs. It’s much more customizable than blogs that use other platforms such as Blogger or Wix. It comes with plugins which makes it easy to make a professional looking site.
Here’s how to install WordPress.
- Once you’ve signed up with Bluehost, go to my.bluehost.com and sign in to your new account. This will direct you to your cPanel.
- Under the section “Website”, click “Install WordPress”.
- Follow the setup instructions step-by-step. They are pretty easy to understand, but here is one tip:
- When you get to the “Admin Information” page, enter an Admin Username that will be easy for you to remember. Once you choose this, it can’t be changed. I suggest using your blog name as your admin username (mycoolnewblog) or real name (youfirstname.yourlastname).
You’re all set up with WordPress! To access your blog, go to mycoolnewblog.com/wp-admin. (Replace “mycoolnewblog.com” with your actual blog URL.)
6. Choose a Theme
There are many free theme options, but I highly recommend Genesis Framework with Studio Press. It costs some money upfront, but your website will look very professional. My blog, Crafty Coin, uses the Parallax Pro theme.
If you do decide to purchase a Studio Press theme, they have great tutorials to help you install it.
7. Get to Blogging!
Here’s the fun part – start blogging!
I recommend having at least 5 blog posts ready on your site before going public and sharing your blog with the world. This way, your new readers will have places to click around.
I also suggest that you engage with other new bloggers to start building a community. When I first started, I connected with tons of people who had also just started blogs through the WordPress Reader tool. You can access that at wordpress.com/reader. I also found Instagram to be a great way to interact with others!
Did you create your own blog? What niche did you choose? Share your brand new blog with me in the comments below! I’d love to help you start building a community.
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