When I graduated college I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. I liked computers but wasn’t a hardcore programmer.
Building websites seemed pretty cool so I went down that path and I decided to start a blog to keep track of all of the things that I was learning.
I didn’t know anything about blogging besides the fact that you needed some software to write down your thoughts.
By sheer luck, that blog blew up and I started to make money through advertising, affiliate marketing, freelancing services and other means.
Eventually, I ended up selling the blog because I wanted to explore different things in life but that blog showed me how awesome it was to work for yourself.
For me, the most important thing that a blog can provide is freedom.
- The freedom to do what you want in life.
- The freedom to no longer worry about money.
- The freedom to get the most out of everything that you do.
I want to live the happiest life possible and through trial and error, I’ve found that to accomplish that I need to be able to work for myself and have money to do the things I want to do and blogging has helped me achieve both.
It’s not the easiest thing in the world, though. Thousands (maybe even millions) of people try to start a blog every single year that will allow them to quit their job or make money while they are a stay at home parent and thousands (maybe even millions) find it a tough road.
But I do think anybody can pull it off if they follow the right steps and don’t give up.
The purpose of this post is to help you with the basics of getting a blog up and running and what you need to do to increase your chances of success.
Who Am I?
Before we get into that let me give you a bit of background into who I am and why I’m qualified to write a post on this stuff.
My name is Paul Scrivens (hi!!!) and I run a couple of different sites. Some of them are blogs, some of them are communities, and some of them are schools.
This is what I do for a living. All of the money that I make is done online.
While this list can change as I add new sites to the mix here are some of the current sites that I do run. Some are completely by myself and some are with my family.
- Makers Cabin
- Bitch A Fit
- Keto Dash
- Billionaire Blog Club
- Survial Don
- Struggle.co (this site!!!)
As you can see I’m a pretty busy person. I definitely wouldn’t advise anybody to take on this many projects until they have a successful one under their belt.
So instead of telling you some theory about how I think you should start a blog, I’m going to show you the steps that I take to pick a blog topic, start it up, and turn it into a business.
How to Start a Blog and Make Money Quickly
I’m going to break things down step-by-step in a way that is going to give you a big picture map of everything. However, if you want to get really detailed into things then I suggest checking out the Billionaire Blog Club’s Free Guide to Blogging.
This post is simply going to provide you with a good foundation but please keep in mind there is a lot that goes into making a successful blog. The objective of this guide is to help you get up to speed quickly because nobody wants to blog for a year without seeing results.
Step 1: Pick a Niche/Topic
I’m going to go against the grain here and tell you that you shouldn’t follow your passion unless your passion is in one of the 7 blog niches that make money.
The reason why I give this advice to everyone is because blogging can be frustrating when you aren’t seeing any results. You spend hours writing posts that nobody cares about and then you go to another blog and read how a blogger is making $8,000 a month.
For me, the main goal of blogging is freedom and that freedom isn’t attached to writing about a specific passion.
For example, I love soccer. I could watch it all day. If I made money with soccer that would be great but if I started a soccer blog it would take a long time to build up and monetize.
Instead, it makes much more sense for me to start a blog in a niche that I know has a big audience (like Personal Finance) and has potential to make enough money to allow me the freedom of traveling the world and seeing soccer games wherever I want.
Don’t get too caught up in believing that your passion is the thing that is going to make you freedom money and it doesn’t have to be. Trust me, when you start making money with a blog, whatever topic you choose can quickly become your new passion.
The goal is freedom.
How to Find a Niche
The 7 blog niches that I always check out are:
- How to make money
- Personal finance
- Fashion and beauty
- Health and fitness
- Personal development
These niches can be further broken down into smaller niches so in turn the 7 niches really become 50+ niches.
What I like to do is spend a little time on Pinterest checking out different topics.
Because it’s the best marketing platform for blogs in these niches. It’s very easy to find out what niches do well on Pinterest and if they do well on Pinterest then they can do well for you.
Pinterest’s audience is all about finding solutions to problems and the way you make money blogging is by providing solutions to those problems.
So spend a little bit of time going through Pinterest and find a niche that you won’t completely be bored with 3 months from now.
Step 2: Purchase a Domain and Web Hosting
If you are serious about your blog then you want to purchase your own domain name along with your own web hosting.
You don’t want to lease your land because you never know what is going to happen. That means you don’t want to use Blogger, WordPress.com (not the same as WordPress.org), or Medium.
You want to make sure all of the power is in your hands.
As for web hosting if you are just starting off then I recommend SiteGround. A lot of other bloggers will recommend another big name host but if you read the reviews of that host you will find that the quality of service is severely lacking.
So why do they recommend it? The big host pays them more than others. SiteGroundhas been around for a while and don’t take my word for it on their quality, read some reviews if you want.
By clicking this link you can get started with your blog for just $3.95 a month. You pay for a year upfront so in total you are looking at around $50 to invest in your future.
If you aren’t willing to do that then why do you want to blog?!
You can also register a domain on SiteGround while purchasing which brins up the question on how do you choose a good domain name?
Choosing a Good Domain Name
First, would your name make for a good domain name? That’s the easiest route some people take but that also means you can’t sell your blog down the road if you want that to be an option.
You also don’t need to be specific with keywords in your domain. For example, if you run a baking blog the domain name doesn’t need to have “baking” in it.
Think about different terms or phrases in your niche and don’t be scared to get cute with things. It can also be totally out there.
With Struggle.co I thought about how much people struggle with money. Hence the domain name.
If you want to make sure that whatever domain name you pick is also available on the different social media platforms then use a service like Namevine to quickly search.
Step 3: Start Writing
You can’t make money blogging if you don’t write.
It can be a bit stressful trying to get that first post out the door but over time you’ll find that your writing skills improve and it becomes easier and easier to push things out but that only happens after you publish your first post.
I wouldn’t worry about Step 4 until you have about 5-7 posts up on your blog.
Step 4: Get Traffic
This is what it comes down to. The more traffic you can get to your blog, the better your chances are of making money.
No traffic, no money.
So how do you get traffic to your blog? Don’t worry, I wrote a whole guide to getting more traffic to your blog.
See how helpful I am?
Step 5: Make Money
You probably want to skip to Step 5 but there is a lot of stuff before that. However, if you do eventually make it to this step then it’s time to focus on making money.
And guess what? I wrote another free and awesome guide on how to make money with your blog.
I seriously can’t believe how awesome I am.
It’s a Long Journey
The concept of blogging is pretty simple, right?
You setup a WordPress blog and then you start blogging.
People come to your site, give you money, and you get to sip margaritas on the beach.
That’s unfortunately not how it works out. There is a lot of work involved and if you aren’t prepared for the journey you will quickly find that you are wasting your time.
I don’t say this to discourage you, but I also don’t want to sound like this is the dream you’ve been searching for.
With that being said, if you do start a blog let me know about it. I love checking out new blogs.