How To Start a Money-Making Blog

  • author icon Jake Levinson
  • read time 15 Minutes
  • End Result: A Working Blog

Welcome, friend! And congratulations on taking the first step to start your blog.

This is an exciting time for you, but it can also be confusing and frustrating without the right tools and resources.

But, you’re in luck!

This single article will give you all the tools and information you need to start a blog. It includes our FREE blog name generator which will help you find the perfect blog name, instantly. You’ll also learn (1) how to register your domain, (2) how to sign up for web hosting, (3) how to set up your website, and (4) how to post your first blog.

If you find this article helpful and the information inside of it useful, you can sign up for our Pro Blogger Mailer, which delivers FREE advice from top bloggers straight to your inbox! You’ll learn things like how to optimize your blog for Google Search, which tools to use to market your blog, and so much more!

But for now, let’s talk about why you’re here.

You want to start a blog and you’re likely still in the beginning stages of your journey. You’re ready and motivated to start making money and you just want to make it happen.

You’ve come to the right place! I’m going to give you everything you need to start your blog. Be sure to subscribe to our Pro Blogger Mailer to learn how to GROW your blog after it’s out in the wild. Don’t worry, there are plenty of opportunities to sign up, including below.

Why You Need To Start A Blog

If you’re passionate about something and you want to tell others about it, you need to start a blog. If your business is struggling to get organic leads or traffic, you need to start a blog. If you love writing for a community and building value for your audience, you need to start a blog.

In fact, there are endless reasons people start blogs.

Travelers blog to share their experiences with the world. Culinary enthusiasts blog to share their recipes with hungry readers. Instagram influencers blog to connect with their fans and followers on a deeper level. Photographers blog to share their art and drive awareness of their business.

No matter what your reason is, you need to start a blog.

I say “need” because I truly believe everyone can benefit from a successful blog. And news flash: You don’t have to be in the top 10% to make a comfortable living blogging. Blogging is an extremely creative process and it requires a certain level of dedication. Starting a blog IS starting a business — and if you play your cards right, it can be a very lucrative venture for you.

When you peel back the layers, the consequence of any successful blog is increased profit. Whether it’s through advertising, affiliate networking, selling courses and products, or your services, your blog should have a goal — or action — in mind. And that goal should align with the vision you have for your future.

A fun, 60-second exercise for start-up bloggers

Before you even start your blog, you’ll need to develop the WHO and WHY.

A great blog offers value to a targeted audience.

Chances are, you’ve been thinking about starting a blog for some time. You’ve likely read a couple of other articles or showed some interest in blogging and have come to the conclusion that it’s time to start your blog.

You know what you want to blog about, but you haven’t really thought much beyond that.

That’s okay. That’s why you’re here.

To kick things off the right way, ask yourself the following questions:

Who will I be targeting? This should include information such as their age (range), gender (male, female, both), education (high school, some college, college grad), occupation (self-employed, full-time, part-time), and location (U.S., Australia, Canada). This should also include behavioral information such as their buying habits, demeanor, and pain points.

Next, you’ll need to determine the WHY.

Lots of people start blogs. Why is yours better? What is the value proposition you’re offering your readers? Are you offering 30-minute meal plans for the busy mom reader? Are you showing others how to invest in stock on a budget? What’s your niche and mission? Do you want to change the world or simply influence a small circle of readers?

Find your WHO and define your WHY and you’ll be on your way to true blogging success!

Step 1: Find A Blog Name

How To Find the Right Blog Name

After you’ve completed the short exercise above to determine your WHO and WHY, it’s time to find your blog name.

Choosing the right blog name is important.

What To Do

  • Make it easy to remember. A good blog name will be easy to remember for your readers.
  • Include relative keywords. Choose a blog name that includes topics you’ll be writing about (examples below). Your blog name is the first chance you get to win over a reader in most cases, including relative keywords is a great way to show potential readers that you’re the authority and have the information they’re looking for.
  • Keep it short and simple. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of examples of blogs with long names. But, in most cases, it’s best to choose a shorter blog name. More on this in Step 2.If you’re launching a blog about the beloved American cable comedy The Office, you might think about using the blog name The Office Fan Page. You can then check to see which domain variations are available for registration.

What NOT To Do

Your goal is to make the entire reading experience as pleasurable as possible for your readers. Some ways you may risk turning off a reader is if your blog name is hard to remember or makes them feel confused.

  • Watch out for misspellings. Try not to use portmanteaus and incorrectly spelled words. While these types of blog names may fare well in the real world, many times, these types of names are confusing and hard to remember for your readers.

Free Blog Name Generator

To find the perfect blog name and start your blog the right way, use our FREE Blog Name Generator tool below.

It’s the fastest and easiest way to find a blog name for free.

Simply enter a key phrase and choose a topic to find thousands of unique blog names, instantly.

Get A FREE Blog Name. Start Your Blog Today.

Use our FREE Blog Name Generator to find the perfect blog name and start your blog today!

Domains registered with

Step 2: Register Your Web Domain

What Is A Web Domain & How Does It Work?

To explain what a domain is, consider your phone’s contacts list. You’ve probably got a long list of contacts saved to your mobile device. Each of those contacts have a unique phone number. But, when you call someone, you probably click on the contact’s name rather than typing in the full phone number.

Just as every Contact Name in your phone is tied to a phone number, every domain name is tied to a unique IP address.

But IP addresses are long and complicated sequences of numbers (example below).

01.25.91.822:1095

So, instead of having to remember the entire IP address every time someone wants to access your blog, a web domain allows users to simply type the domain (myblogname.com). Easy-peasy.

How To Register Your Domain Name

When you use our FREE Blog Name Generator, you can click on any name in the results table to view available domain names.

Here are a few tips to make sure you register a domain that not only reps your blog well but is also easy to remember and simple to type into a mobile browser.

  • Think about your mobile users. Over 50% of your blog’s traffic will come from mobile readers. This number increases if you use social media to advertise your blog. Think about your mobile readers when registering your domain name. Longer web domains are more difficult and annoying to type into a mobile web browser. Also, the autocorrect feature changes misspelled words, so avoid portmanteaus and incorrect spellings.
  • Avoid domain names longer than 15 characters. Google Search favors shorter domains and, again, so will your readers.
  • Register a .com domain if possible. Other domain name extensions like .co and .org are becoming more popular, but .com is still the clear frontrunner — which means users are more likely to type it in when searching online for your blog.

What Is A Domain Registrar?

Your domain name will be registered through a Domain Registrar. This is a service that you will pay a nominal fee to (i.e. monthly or annually), to maintain ownership rights of your domain.

Domain Registrars are the only places on the Internet that you can buy and manage your web domains. Any combination of letters and numbers you can think of can be registered as a web domain through a domain registrar. But, you’ll need to check to make sure it’s available! Many of the top domain names are already registered and may not be available for purchase.

Your best bet is to use our FREE Blog Name Generator to find blog names that are also available as domain names.

For How Long Should I Register My Domain?

Domain names are typically registered for one year (12 months) at a time, but if you want to make sure you own your domain for the foreseeable future, you can choose to register your domain in two, three, or even five-year increments.

You should also set up auto-renew to protect against thrifty domain buyers who will scoop up your recently expired domains quickly and sell them back to you (or the highest bidder) at a premium. It’s a sleazy game they play, but it’s one that can be avoided by choosing the auto-renew option when registering your domain. If an auto-renew option isn’t available, make sure to set a reminder to renew your domain a few weeks before it’s scheduled to be renewed so there’s no latency or downtime.

Step 3: Set Up Web Hosting

What Is Web Hosting?

Web hosting refers to the web servers your domain name and website files are stored on.

Just as every home has both a physical location and a street address, every website has a physical location (a server or server cluster) and a virtual address (domain name).

While your domain name is the assigned address associated with your website, web hosting is the virtual (and physical) location.

You cannot have a publicly accessible website without both a physical location (server) and an address (domain).

Recommended Web Hosts

Some web hosting companies are better than others. Take a look below at some of the most popular web hosting companies for bloggers, based on ratings, reviews, and recommendations.

Bluehost
Powering over 2 million websites, Bluehost offers the “ultimate WordPress platform” for bloggers. This world-renowned web host offers easy-to-use dashboards and tools along with 1-click installation for WordPress. You’ll also get a FREE domain name, custom email addresses, and access to FTP. BlueHost is scalable and backed by 24/7 support by in-house WordPress experts.

Dreamhost
DreamHost has been a committed WordPress web for over 10 years. Their hosting platform is optimized for WordPress blogging and their team actively contributes to the WordPress community. DreamHost gives you total control over your server. Or, let their team of experts handle everything for you. DreamHost offers choice, performance, and value for new users and experts alike.

SiteGround (Recommended)
SiteGround has tools that make blogging easy. Enjoy one-click WordPress installation, managed updates, STAGING websites, and more advanced options for developers. SiteGround has a very fast support team with advanced WordPress expertise available 24/7. Their servers use the latest speed technologies so your site loads faster and they proactively protect your sites from hacks.

WP Engine
If you’re looking for a fully-managed, hands-off approach to web hosting, WP Engine may be a good option. They offer some of the best-managed web hosting solutions around. Their servers are reliable, fast, scalable, and secure. Their hosting options cost a bit more than the others on this list, but they offer more options built-in, whereas others consider them “add-ons”.

How To Choose A Web Host

Choosing a web host shouldn’t be too difficult. If you choose a web host from this list, you’ll be sure to get a great product and service, along with great support! Most of them (except WP Engine) offer web hosting options below $15/mo. If you choose SiteGround as your web host, be sure to sign up using our Affiliate Link.

Step 4: Install WordPress

WordPress is the world’s most popular content management system (CMS). It powers over 31% of the world’s websites. That’s a staggering number, but when you peel back the layers, there’s no question that WordPress is the clear leader in the blogging software space. If you’re serious about growing your blog, WordPress is probably the best choice. If you need further convincing, here are some important stats on WordPress you may find helpful.

  • Easy-to-Install
    WordPress is installed directly on your server. Most web hosts offer one-click WordPress installation tools, which makes it super easy for anyone to install WordPress. Ask your web host for more details. They may even offer managed installation services, where a website expert will install WordPress for you.
  • Scalable & Flexible
    WordPress is an extremely scalable blogging platform that offers a global community of support, a seemingly endless library of free and premium plugins, and the most user-friendly Admin Dashboard on the market. It’s a PHP-based web technology that utilizes the most current protocols and practices for your security.
  • Beginner-Friendly
    Unlike some other content management systems, WordPress was built for beginners from the day it launched in 2003. In fact, Matt Mullenweg, the co-founder of WordPress, began working on his passion project, WordPress because other blogging solutions on the market at the time weren’t free- or easy-to-use.

How To Install WordPress

Each web host will have a different approach to installing WordPress.

Below are links to free tutorials from our “recommended web hosts” listed under Step 3 of this article. In the tutorials, you’ll find instructions on how to install WordPress and get started blogging!

Click one of the links below to view the tutorial from that web host.

Leave this browser window open and come back once you’re finished setting up WordPress on your new web hosting account!

Step 5: Install Your Theme & Plugins

After you’ve purchased your domain, set up your web hosting, and installed WordPress on your server — the next step is to install your WordPress theme and recommended plugins.

How To Find A WordPress Theme

There are tons of great FREE WordPress themes available for download on WordPress.org. For a list of their FREE and Featured themes, click here.

If you’re looking for a little more flexibility and customization without knowing how to code, there are thousands of premium WordPress themes available. One great resource for premium WordPress themes is ThemeForest.net.

How To Install Your WordPress Theme

Installing a WordPress theme can be done in just a few clicks. Some WordPress themes, especially premium themes, offer tons of configuration and customization options. But, for now, I’m just going to tell you how to install your theme even if you’re a complete beginner.

  • Step 1: Log into your WP Admin dashboard using the username and password you created when installing WordPress on your server in Step 4: How To Set Up Web Hosting.
  • Step 2: Upload the .zip file of the WordPress theme you downloaded. Or, download a FREE theme on the WP Admin Theme Library Page. To upload a .zip file of your theme, go to Appearance >> Themes >> Add Theme >> Upload Theme. To download a new FREE theme, use the search box or browse through the hundreds of themes available to use in the WP Admin Theme Library.

    SIDE NOTE: If you don’t have a .zip file of your theme, you can find it by login into your WordPress.org or ThemeForest.net account and downloading a copy.

  • Step 3: Once you’ve uploaded the .zip file, you’ll need to activate it. Click WordPress Activate Theme Button to activate your freshly installed WordPress theme.

Congrats! You’ve just gotten to a point that most people don’t get to. You’ve not only registered your domain, you’ve set up your web hosting AND installed your WordPress theme. Pat yourself on the back! You’re more than half-way to launching your new blog!

Let’s keep moving…

Install Any Recommended Plugins

When you’ve installed and activated your WordPress theme, you may see a message at the top of your screen that says something like, “This theme recommends installing the following plugins”, followed by a list of “recommended” plugins.

Not all blogs will need all of these plugins, but for now, it’s best to install and activate each of these recommended plugins and eliminate the ones you don’t use.

To install the plugins, click the “Install now” link in the notification box. You’ll be redirected to a new page.

Follow the instructions below to continue installing your theme’s recommended plugin.
checkbox
Step 1: Check the top checkbox to select all the plugins listed on this page.
dropdown
Step 2: Click the dropdown box at the top of the list and select Activate.
apply button
Step 3: Click the Apply button.

Step 6: Configure Theme Settings

Every new WordPress website needs to be configured. Your Site Title, Tagline, permalinks, and other important details still need to be set up before you can move onto the next step, the one you’ve been waiting patiently to get to: Publishing Your First Blog!

To get started, follow the instructions below.

Step 6.1: General Settings

Step 1: Log in to the WordPress Admin dashboard using the username and password you created in Step 2 of this article.

Step 2: Hover over Settings and click General.

WordPress General Settings Screen

Image of the General Settings screen in the WordPress Administrator Dashboard.

Step 3: Add your Site Title, Tagline, and make sure your Administration Email Address is set to your email. You won’t need to change the values in the WordPress Address or Site Address fields (for now).

Step 4: Click WP Save Button.

Step 6.2: Reading Settings

Step 1: Hover over Settings and click Reading.

WordPress Reading Settings

Image of the Reading Settings screen in the WordPress Administrator Dashboard.

Step 2: Choose which Page or Post you’d like dissplayed as homepage under Your homepage displays. If you want this to be your blog listing page, check Your latest posts. If you’d prefer to set this as a custom Page or Post, check A static page and select the Page or Post you’d like it set as.

Step 3: If you’d like to change the maximum number of posts displayed on your blog listing page, you can change that under Blog pages show at most. Keep the rest of the settings intact for now.

Step 4: Click WP Save Button.

Step 7: Publish Your First Blog Post

Congratulations!

You’ve made it to the finish line! Or, should I say, “the beginning of the rest of your life”.

Finally, you can post your first blog. You can reap the reward of your hard work and start sharing your thoughts with the world!

Let’s waste no time…

This should be much easier now that you’re more familiar with WordPress Pages and Posts.

Follow the instructions below to publish your first blog post with WordPress.

Step 1: Log into the WP Admin Dashboard and click Posts in the left menu.

Step 2: Add a title and make it enticing! Be concise but be sure to include keywords that are relative to the subject you’re writing about. Include these keywords in your post, too.

Step 3: Click More tools in the top, right corner of the Post editor.

Step 4: Click Visual Editor. Unless you’re a developer, you won’t be posting your blogs in pure HTML. It’s more efficient to use the Visual Editor.

Step 5: Write your heart out. It’s best to write your post directly in the Post Editor. Copying and pasting your text from a program like Microsoft Word or Google Docs may cause formatting errors in your post.

BONUS: Grow Your Blog

Sign up for our Pro Blogger Mailer to get expert advice and insider knowledge on how to grow your blog. We’ll deliver the best pro blogger material straight to your inbox and won’t bother you with any useless offers or shoddy clickbait tactics — just raw, unfettered tips and tricks you can use to get more traffic, get more subscribers, and find new monetization opportunities.

Sign up now to get two months of FREE Managed Web Hosting through Site Assembly ($70 value).

*Commit to 1 year and get 2 months free web hosting.

What Others Say About Us

Don't just trust us! Trust everyone else, too.

HERE'S WHAT THEY'VE GOT TO SAY
Client 5

Free Blog Name is the best blog name generator ever! I’ve used it already to start two blogs.

Client 4

Free Blog Name is the best blog name generator ever! I’ve used it already to start two blogs.

Client 3

Free Blog Name is the best blog name generator ever! I’ve used it already to start two blogs.

Client 2

Free Blog Name is the best blog name generator ever! I’ve used it already to start two blogs.

Client 1

Free Blog Name is the best blog name generator ever! I’ve used it already to start two blogs.

Genoveve S.

Freea Blog Name is the best blog name generator ever! I’ve used it already to start two blogs.

Get A FREE Blog Name. Start Your Blog Today.

Use our FREE Blog Name Generator to find the perfect blog name and start your blog today!

Domains registered with