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Have you paid attention to the sites that you end up on after clicking those Pinterest links? If you have, you’ve probably noticed that most all of these great, informative articles, recipes, and tips are from personal blogs. Did you know that some of those blogs provide a full time income for their creators? Crazy, right?
Now, not all blogs generate that kind of profit for their authors, but money can still be made. I think it comes down to how hard you are willing to work, the relevance and quality of your content, and having a little bit of luck! At the very least, it can be a fun side hustle that brings in a few dollars each month.
Starting a blog is the ULTIMATE side hustle
Which brings me to the reason I am writing this post: I love writing about different side hustles that can make you extra money on the side! Since starting Tidy&Teal, blogging has been my absolute favorite side hustle because the possibilities and opportunities are endless! Please let it be known that I do not consider myself an expert on blogging – I am happy to leave most all blogging knowledge in the hands of professionals like Melyssa Griffin.
However, I did want to write this tutorial dedicated to my favorite side hustle in hopes that it might inspire you to start your own blogging side hustle! (Because it really is awesome!)
So…are you interested in how to start blogging?! Read on!
Why You Should Start Blogging
You can share your ideas and information with limitless amounts of people!
Have some great parenting advice that you’ve discovered over the years? Are you an incredible cook with some amazing recipes? Are you super frugal and have great personal finance tips? Someone out there on the web can benefit from your knowledge – you just have to get it out there.
There are so many people you can connect with!
You will meet other bloggers that can give you helpful advice (which is awesome!) Your blog will also give you a chance to connect with people all around the world who have similar interests.
You can make money sitting on the computer in your PJs!
Once you get your feet underneath you and your blog is running smoothly – you will probably start making some money. The amount of money that you can make is endless! This is one of the most amazing things about blogging.
I love being able to create something that is all mine, where I can control all of the design elements, content, and details. Being your own boss is awesome!
Things to Understand BEFORE You Start Blogging
It takes work!
Blogging is not a get-rich-quick kind of thing. As I said earlier, you have to be willing to put in the time and effort to design your blog, develop your posts, and promote, promote, PROMOTE!
You probably won’t start making money right away.
There are multiple ways to make money with a blog (I’ll mention them later) – but they take time! You have to grow your audience, make connections, and have a solid platform that enables you to continue building your blog.
There is a lot of trial and error.
Don’t expect to do everything right the first time (but if you do, I want to meet you!!) You might have to change the direction of your blog, come up with a different format, redesign Pinterest images, and the list goes on. You just have to get in there and start trying things! Eventually, you will nail down what works best for you and your blog.
Expect to get discouraged at times.
A post might not do as well as you hoped, your page views don’t improve as fast as you wanted, or you’ll wonder WHY IS NO ONE SUBSCRIBING?! This is all part of that trial and error thing. Just don’t give up! Continue to improve your blog, try new things, and learn from other bloggers.
Alright – now that you are good and prepped to step into the blogging world – let’s start blogging!
How to Start Blogging: Step by Step
*Please note that this tutorial is for people who want to make money from their blog.*
As the headline says, I’m going to go step by step to show you how to set up your blog and start blogging. And here we go…
1. Decide what you want to write about
There are so many different types of blogs out there: travel, DIY, home, recipes, personal finance, health & fitness, fashion, beauty, and more. Think about what niche you would like to fit into. Still need some help? Consider these questions:
What are you passionate about? Do you have a lot of experience in a certain field? What are you really interested in? Is there something you want to share with the world? What are you really good at? What kind of advice do people ask you for?
Tip: When choosing your blog niche or topic, make sure that it’s not too broad a topic but not too specific either.
This is another one of those trial and error sort of things. When I first started Tidy&Teal, I was trying to write about DIY, home, helpful tips, and making or saving money. Quickly I realized that with so many broad topics it was almost impossible to nail down my audience. For example, people interested in DIY weren’t going to stick around for my 1 DIY post and then wait several weeks (while I posted on home or money tips) until I posted on DIY again.
Focus on what you really love
I realized I needed to trim my niche down to what I was really interested in: how to save money and make extra money. This became pretty apparent when most of my blog post ideas were dealing with personal finance. Once I came to terms with my new blog direction, I redesigned my site a little, created a new logo, and was on my way to a much more specific audience.
Whatever blog niche you choose, just make sure that you are targeting a specific audience and that you LOVE whatever you are blogging about. Your passion (or lack thereof) will definitely show through in your posts. That passion is what will suck your readers in!
2. Name your blog!
For me, naming my blog was one of the most fun and yet most frustrating parts of setting up my blog. I had a full page of name ideas that I would go back and forth on trying to choose the right one. Not only that, but once you decide on a name you like, you have to make sure the domain name is not taken. What I mean is that most blogs’ name and web address are the same – like my blog name is Tidy&Teal and the url is www.tidyandteal.com. If your blog name is the same as the web address, it will be easier for readers to find your blog.
Make sure that your blog name reflects you and what you are writing on. I would avoid a long name (5 words or less) and any hard to spell words. You don’t want people to have a hard time finding your blog because they can’t remember the full name or have a hard time spelling the name!
Also, make sure the name is unique and all your own. You don’t want readers to confuse you with another blogger, business, or service. If readers think that you are copying or impersonating another blog or brand, they will be completely turned off to your blog! Not to mention if you are copying things, there could be legal implications for violating copyright and things like that.
3. Get hosting for your blog
So there are many sites that let you blog for free using their website; WordPress even has a free version. However, with these free versions, you don’t completely own your blog. If WordPress wanted to take down your blog, they could! (Yikes!) Also your url would look something like this “yourblogname.wordpress.com”. Not to mention there are all kinds of restrictions on making money with these free blogging platforms.
Therefore, if you are wanting to really make money with your blog you will need to get set up with a hosting service. This just means that you are buying a service from a web company that provides space on their server for you to have your website. Hosting services enable you to have full control and rights to your blog/website as well as set you up with a domain address – yourblogname.com.
I recommend Bluehost for your blog hosting needs!
Bluehost is highly recommended from a ton of bloggers out there, and I have had great success with them. They offer 24/7 support and a 30-day money back guarantee. Plus, they make setting up your blog super fast and easy! Pretty awesome right?
Keep reading below for a step-by-step tutorial on setting up your blog with Bluehost!
Start Blogging with Bluehost
First, sign up with Bluehost and click “Get Started Now”.
From here, you will choose which plan you want. If you are new blogger just starting out, I would recommend starting with the basic plan. If your blogging needs change later, you can upgrade your plan then.
Next, choose your domain name. This is your url address for your blog. Remember, it’s usually best that your domain name and blog name be the same! If you haven’t chosen your blog name yet, that’s okay! You can try out potential blog names by typing them in the “New Domain” box below and clicking “next”. Bluehost will tell you if this domain name is available or not. This can help you narrow down your blog name, once you know what names are available.
After you have selected your blog domain, you will then put in all your account information.
Then you will choose your package and any additional services you would like to purchase. As you can see, the price per month decreases when you pay for a longer service period. However, as a new blogger just starting out, I would suggest going with the 12 month service period plan. You don’t want to be locked into paying for several years of web hosting, if you decide down the road that blogging isn’t for you.
As for the additional services, I recommend the Domain Privacy Protection, Site Backup Pro, and SiteLock Security. You can click “More information” under each of these services for the full details on what they provide. Basically, they keep your private information more secure from spammers, make your site more secure overall for your readers (important if you plan on selling digital products), and provide a back up for your site. Trust me they are worth it!
Once you have made your plan selections, all you have to do now is pay! Bluehost will bill you once per year, so you don’t have to keep up with monthly payments.
Once you hit submit, you will then create your Bluehost password for your account. It needs to be secure! This is your business!
You’re almost done! Almost time to start blogging!! Now to set up WordPress…
4. Set up WordPress
After logging in to your Bluehost account, you will be directed to your cPanel or “dashboard”. This is where you can get into all the intricate coding on the backend of your blog – ya know, down the road when you’ve mastered all this blogging stuff. Right now, we are just doing the basic, super easy part of setting up your blog.
Scroll down to the “Website” section of your dashboard. You should see an “Install WordPress” button. Click it!
From there, you should be directed to the Mojo Marketplace. Here you will navigate down to the “One-Click Installs” area and choose WordPress.
From here, follow the quick installation steps for WordPress:
- Click the green “Install” button
- Select your domain in the drop down box
- Before installing, click “Show Advanced Options”
- Choose a username and a password for WordPress. Note: Create a unique and very strong password – write it down somewhere!!
- Make sure to check the box “Automatically create a new database for this installation”
- Read the terms and conditions and check the box accordingly
- Click “Install Now”
WordPress will begin to install on your site. You will receive a confirmation email with your account details and link to your WordPress dashboard.
CONGRATULATIONS YOU HAVE CREATED YOUR BLOG!!!
Ready to officially start blogging?
Login in to your WordPress account to start blogging! To do this, just type in yourblogname.com/wp-admin. This will pull up your blog dashboard where you can see your stats, write new posts, and manage all your settings.
Start by choosing a theme for your blog. On the left sidebar, scroll down to “Appearance” then click “Themes”.
Here, there will be several free theme options that are available through WordPress. I recommend upgrading to a premium theme once you are more familiar with WordPress if you plan on monetizing your blog (which you are!) Check out my links below for some great theme choices!
To write your first post, simply click on “Posts” on that left sidebar menu and choose “Add New.” Here you will be able to write, format, and customize your post!
And that’s it! You’re ready to start blogging!!!
Good luck and may the odds be ever in your favor! 🙂
More Tips for Your Blogging Journey
If you want a unique, feminine, and classy theme then look no further than Restored316 Designs. Their themes are gorgeous and they offer great support as well. All of their themes are child themes which means that they operate within the Genesis Framework (which you will need to buy first.) Most themes that you will be shopping for will also need the Genesis Framework (buy it here!), so if you choose a different child theme later it will still be able to run smoothly on your site.
Monetizing with Ads
When you have several posts up on your blog and are ready to start branching out into the monetizing arena, consider putting ads on your blog. This is an easy way to get started making money with your blog. As a small blog starting out with low page views, ads won’t make you very much money. But as your blog grows, so will your income from ads. I recommend Media.net for advertising on your blog. Another big one is Google Adsense, but I have always preferred Media.net.
Resources & Tools
As a blogger, you will quickly realize that Pinterest is huge factor in getting traffic. You are going to want your Pin game to be strong! Once you have accumulated a lot of boards and are on many group boards, it can be overwhelming to manually pin your popular pins to these boards. BoardBooster is an awesome service that automates your pinning, repinning your pins to boards over time for maximum exposure, and pinning your content at the optimum times. It’s incredible!
You can see a full list of my recommendations here. I am always adding new ones so check back frequently!!
Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoyed this post.
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