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I remember brewing my coffee and watching it spiral and steam. I took a sip, sat down, and typed into Google search, ‘how do I start a profitable blog for free?’ I thought I could start a blog, make money, and be done with it.
I never did find a satisfying solution, but the last sip of coffee was still delicious.
If you’re looking to start a blog for free, then making money from your blog in 2019 probably isn’t in your future.
If you’ve been wondering, ‘how do I start a blog that makes money?’
Now we’re talking.
I’ll let you know from experience, if you don’t put money into your blog, you can’t expect much out of it.
That doesn’t mean a blog has to be expensive.
It just means that you have to invest something.
And that something can be as much or as little as you like.
If you’ve created a blog for free and have successfully monetized it, please let me know in the comments! I’d love to see how you did it!
If you consider yourself a beginner, but you’re ready to make money from a blog before 2019, this post is for you.
You can read my full disclosure here.
Here are four actionable and easy steps to get started!
Action 1: Name Your Blog
What exactly are you going to be writing about?
Is it your dog’s extensive fashion wardrobe?
Are you obsessed with Nerf guns?
Do you travel and want to share your experiences?
Your blog needs focus, what’s yours?
When you know what your focus is, you can start thinking of a name for it.
Key things to remember when selecting a name:
- Is it easy to remember?
- Is it relevant to your blog?
- Is it SEO optimized? (will people type the words you’re using into a search engine?)
- You can always change it later if you don’t like it.
Use this domain name search engine to see if someone else already has it:
Once you have a name for your blog, it’s time to claim it.
Action 2: Claim Your Name with BlueHost
This is where the process starts getting a bit more technical, so I’m going to walk you through how to get your first blog post up step-by-step.
Bluehostis the perfect, easy-start hosting service to getting your first blog up.
Most importantly, it includes a money-back guarantee if you don’t like it!
But I still use it to this day because their Q&A section quickly solves any problems I run into when working the backend of blogging.
I’m no tech whiz, but Bluehost is pretty easy in my opinion.
The reason Bluehost is a great tool for your first blog is because it includes your domain name, SSL certificate (important to keep your site safe in this internet-era), and 1-click install of WordPress.
To get started with Bluehost, click this link nowthen return back here for in-depth instructions and help.
Step 1: Once you’ve arrived, click ‘Get Started Now’
Step 2: You need a plan with BlueHost, select the ‘Basic Plan’
Step 3; Input your Blog’s name as your ‘New Domain’ name.
If you haven’t decided, you can choose later, just click the option below where the red arrow is.
Step 4: Sign Up with Your Google Account
The next page will ask you for your account information.
I suggest signing up using your Google account just to make it easier on yourself.
Step 5: Customize Your Account Settings
Scroll Down to ‘Package Information’
View the ‘Account Plan’ tab. (This is for my pretend website: babyburgerpizzajoint.com)
It should indicate that you’ve already selected the ‘Basic Plan’
You can choose between the 12, 24, 36, and 60-month month options.
The 36 and 60-month options give you the best value, while the 12-month plan gives you the lowest upfront cost.
Scroll down to ‘Package Extras’
I recommend only adding on the ‘Domain Privacy Protection’
The Domain Privacy Protection keeps people from being able to see who owns the site and where they live (your address).
The other add-ons are superfluous–in my opinion.
Scroll down to ‘Payment Information’
Enter your card info, click the checkbox indicating you read the T&C’s, then click submit.
There you have it!
You own your first blog!
After submitting, you will be asked to create password for your account (if you haven’t logged in with your Google account) and you’ll need to select your theme.
Action 3: Customize Your Platform with a Template
Don’t be overwhelmed by the number of themes available for your blog.
You can pick one now and change it later if you want to.
This isn’t a full commitment right now.
There are plenty of great options for free themesalready on WordPress.
But people who are serious about their blog generally upgrade to something more visually appealing.
I’m using Boldgrid on this website right now, and I’m waiting for my subscription to run out so I can upgrade myself.
I will be upgrading to Elegant’s Divi theme.
I recommend getting a theme from Elegant Themesbecause they have beautiful drag-and-drop themes that are perfect for beginners.
After owning several versions of this website and another, I can tell you from experience that not making a template investment is a bad choice.
If you want what’s widely considered the best theme for beginners on Elegant, go for Divi by clicking the image:
Again, you can try it out for free to see if you like its drag-and-drop features for building an awesome website!
Action 4: Get Your First Post Live (and set a schedule for yourself)
The most important part of building your blog after your first post is remaining consistent.
So, once your blog is set up, set a schedule for yourself.
Are you going to post Every Tuesday and Friday?
Will you post on the 1st and 15th of each month?
Or will you post every single day at 6:00 pm?
It’s up to you, just remember that consistency is important.
Your readers want to rely on you being there on a regular basis.
Starting out, it may take you 3 hours or more to get a blog post up.
Why? Because you’re new to this and you’re learning.
After some practice, you’ll be able to post 1,000-word posts within an hour–depending on how fast you can type.
Remember this is a learning process and you will get better at it.
Here’s how to set up your first blog post.
Step 1: Head to the Admin
Go to your browser and type in ‘yourblogname.com/wp-admin’
For my pretend website this would be ‘babyburgerpizzajoint.com/wp-admin’
Step 2: Click on ‘Blog Posts’ in the Dashboard.
Then, click ‘Add New’ either in the sidebar or near the top left-center of the screen.
Then you’ll be greeted with your first view of a blank blog post page!
Step 3: Create Your First Post
From here it’s slightly more intuitive.
Add your title here:
Add your content here:
You can easily decide between seeing your post in visual or text format.
I recommend you click ‘Visual’ so you can see your post without the code.
In the visual field, you’ll see all your content.
Click ‘Add Media’ to add photos and videos either from your computer or from a URL.
Step 4: Optimize Your Post
In the sidebar on the right, you can add tags, create categories, add a featured image, and fiddle with your publication times.
Categories are the topics in your blog. If you’re a dog fashion blogger, your categories might be ‘New Dog Fashion’ ‘Fashionable Dogs from Around the World’ and ‘Dog Styling Tips’, for example.
The categories below are from this blog.
It’s up to you.
Tags are indicators of what your post is about.
You want search engines to know the foci of your content.
Let them know in the tags.
For a post about the newest dog boots, your tags might include ‘dog fashion’ ‘dog boots’ ‘dog style’ ‘dog winter boots’ and ‘stylish dogs’ for example.
This lets search engines know exactly what your content is about so they can find it when people are looking for it.
The Featured Image is the photo that is the face of your post. When you link to it in social media, people will see the featured image along with a blurb.
If you’re out of time for the day and want to continue creating or editing later on, click ‘Save Draft’
If you are done with your post, I recommend you see how it looks live before you publish.
Step 3: Publish Your First Post
Click ‘Preview’ to see what it will look like when it goes live.
Read it through one last time to check for any errors.
The switch from the ‘editing page’ to the ‘live page’ gives you fresh light on your content.
You’ll catch things you would’ve overlooked.
Click ‘Edit’ next to ‘Publish: Immediately’ if you want to schedule your post to publish for another time.
When you use the Publish feature, your post will go live, or publish at your scheduled time.
That’s it, your first post is up!
Now off to social media to promote it!
If you want to keep learning how to make money from your blog, check out this post:
If you found this article helpful, please Pin it and share it with your friends on Facebook who want to start a blog!