How To Start A Blog In 2018 And Make Your First $500 Fast
This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I may receive a commission if you use them. I only recommend product I use, love & trust.
There’s never been a better time to start a blog in 2018 than right now. Whether you’re bursting at the seams to share your story, show off your travel tips or just plain use your brain more –(I’m talking to you stay at home parents), blogging is best way to earn money from home.
- Abby from just a girl & her blog makes $41,700 per month
- Danielle from Fit life Creative Makes $1,265- $2,946.00 per month
- Lindsay from Pinch Of Yum makes $95,325.52 per month
And the truth is, it’s never been this cheap and easy to start a blog that makes you money. Even if you’re not a strong writer & just thinking about tech gives you a level 10 migraine. With blogging, you can actually get paid talking about stuff you love without having to beg your friends to host parties or join your downline. (#winnning)
Within 15 minutes of devouring this post on how to start a blog you’ll:
- Know exactly what topic you’re going to blog about even if you have a million different passions
- Confidently choose the perfect name for your blog
- Buy your web URL & hosting ( Your website is like a car, hosting is like the gas)
- Install WordPress (it’s free & must if you want to make serious greenbacks)
- Choose the right style ( theme) for your new blog
Basically, you’ll create a money generating asset in less time then it takes to order a pizza.
When you’re done check out the other posts in this special beginner’s blogging series all about creating a blog that makes you money every month without selling your soul, wasting your time or pulling your hair out.
- How to set up a profitable blog in under 10 minutes <<< You are here
- A foolproof plan for creating popular + wallet popin’ posts (without tacky ads)
- 3 Beginner blogger friendly ways to make money blogging
- How to oodles of free traffic to your brand new blog in 4 surprisingly simple steps
This post may contain affiliate links which mean I may earn a commission if you use them. I only recommend tools, I use and love.
How to start a blog that earns you $500 or more a month from scratch in 5 straightforward steps:
Step 1: Ask yourself: “Who am I disproportionately passionate about helping?”
Did that first question throw you for a loop? I know most people tell you to start listing off things you’re passionate about or have experience in..but if you really want to make money blogging. You need to think about your readers first.
[bctt tweet=”The only way you can make money blogging is if people read and share your stuff. ” username=”katedoster]So who do you want reading your blog?
Is it someone like you a 30-year-old mom with two kids who stuck at home?
Is it someone completely different like a 22 college dude?
Or are you called to serve a group people like nurses, HR reps or vegans?
After you have that person in your head…ask yourself – “How can I help make her life better writing about something I enjoy, can do, or find useful myself?” (See it’s a little about you).
Say you’re called to help other mothers. What kind of other moms? What makes this mom different from other moms out there?
- Is she a single mom? Newly web? Married forever?
- Does she have grown autistic son or middle schooler
- Does she like baking? Hates cooking? Can’t have gluten?
Once you know those details it makes figuring out the big topics & categories of your blog so much easier.
Say you’re a mom – who wants to talk to other moms.
You realized being an army wife yourself, your life is alot different than most other moms. So you decide to create a blog for other army wife moms and special problems they face like
- transferring schools & paper work you’ll need vs home schooling
- making friends yourself
- trying to earn an income
- tips talking to your husbands
- how to be a married-single parent when their spouse is away
- 5 things to never pack when you have to move
- what do if you husband makes the ultimate sacrifice for his country
The list goes on and on. See how it automatically takes the pressure off “What am I going to write about?” . But instead what does my person need to hear about this week. (More on that in post #2 of this series).
Plus knowing your readers and what you want to help them with makes step number 2 waaaay easier especially if you don’t want to name your blog after you.
Step 2: Picking the right name for your new blog
Your blog’s web address or domain name (as the cool kids call it) is the link people type in to get your blog like:
Your name vs something else:
I went with my name because at the time I launched this blog I was starting a freelance copywriting business. So it was very important I grew my personal brand (name recognition). But if my name was hard to spell or the (.com) was already taken, I might have come up with an official company name besides Kate Doster Communications and used that.
The truth is most bloggers don’t actually use their names for their domains.
Instead, they use a combination of things like:
- Who they write for – Nerd Fitness
- A situation their ideal read would “get”: Living For Naptime or Heart Soul Hustle
- Phrases like – My New Zen Life, Single Mom Life
- A combination of your name / ideal reads and a hobby – Emily Paints , Moms Making Sense
- What you do – Minimalist Baker
- Things related to what you blog about – Macaronsandlavender.com (Food/lifestyle blog), Jar Fill of Lemons
Do you really need a .com for your blog?
While some people do make a great living with non-.coms like
I still STRONGLY recommend you finding a .com domain.
But what if pick a domain name you hate 3 months later?
Honestly, don’t let yourself to get too caught up in the naming process. If you do pick a domain name and hate it later as long as you go with the Siteground for your hosting, they’ll help you switch everything over for you. (And they might even do it for free).
Step 3: Buy rock-solid hosting from a company who treats you with respect that doesn’t break the (piggy bank) aka Siteground
Now you might have heard of companies like a Blue host or Go Daddy those are all hosting companies…and they stink. Seriously. From rude customer support people who only try to sell you things, to you’re website always being down to slow load times, they’re a nightmare.
Which is why I only host my website, membership site & courses with the friendly, affordable and uber-secure people over at Siteground.
Here are 5 major reasons why I love Siteground
1.With Siteground is my website up 99.99% of the time so I’m always making sales and my students are always happy. (Seriously when your blog is down, its feel like someone punched you in the stomach)
2.With Siteground my blog can handle a HUGE influx of traffic thanks to the free SuperCatcher plug (available on the Growbig plan – that’s less than $6 a month). – One my pins go vital which meant my site got a massive spike in yummy readers which could have crashed my site, but didn’t because I had Siteground.
3.With Siteground I got a free SSL + Security certified which makes my site waaaay safer and ranks higher on Google because I have https:// . Plus I can collect safely collect payment for my digital products on my site instead of using Teachable or Thinkific.
4. With Siteground THE 24/7 SUPPORT TEAM IS NICE, SMART AND THEY NEVER TRY TO SELL YOU ANYTHING! – . I use the 24/7 chat support all time. Like last week I updated something on my site and it crashed my website!!! Like super error don’t pass-go – die forever. I got on the chat with Siteground with in 15 minutes they got into my site, fixed the problem and I was going to go without costing me dime #superwinning
5. With Siteground If you started your blog on another host in 90% of cases, Siteground can move it over to Siteground for FREE with no downtime, and without messing up your site. It’s like nothing every happened. Just hop the online chat first and ask if your site can be moved over for free.
How To Set Up Your New Blog With Siteground:
Learn better by video? Hit the play button. Or keep scrolling for a complete written tech walkthrough with images
Step 1: Choose A Siteground Plan That Fits Your Needs
SiteGround has three plans to choose from; StartUp, GrowBig, and GoGeek.
Recommended for most bloggers===>>>GrowBig – If you’re serious about making money blogging, or think you might have more then one website (which happens to like every blogger ever because it’s so easy to create)with the GrowBig because includes SuperCacher (which makes your site even faster), free https:// (again you’ll rank higher in Google) plus you’ll get boosted to the front of the line is you have questions for their live chat people and being a new blogger, you’re going to have alots of tech question and little “oopies”.
This plan is truly budget-friendly while giving you the biggest bang for your buck – starting at just $5.95 a month. (So good)
Startup Plan – If your planning on blogging as a hobby, blogging as more of a public journal or you’re super nervous about spending money on yourself the Startup Plan starts at only $3.95/month which is totally better then nothing.
GoGeek Plan – If your blog is already getting a buttload of high traffic, you’re running an e-commerce site or you want to start a web design business where you charge customers to host and update their sites monthly GoGeek is for you. Go-Geek starts at 11.95/mo
HOW TO SAVE THE MOST THE MONEY WITH HOSTING:
If you have the fund available, don’t mind selling a couple of things at a yard sale or ebay (Or a birthday/anniversary coming up) try to do everything in your power to choose the 2 or 3-year hosting term for the biggest savings up front. I know I can seem scary to commit to blogging for 3 years but remember…you can always have more than one domain, start building blogs for other people and hit the ground running with affiliate sales to cover the cost quickly.
2. Buying Your Domain Name (if you already have a domain they will transfer your site for free in most cases)
If you want to save some money you can always buy your domain name from name.com or namecheap.com and transfer it over. It’s kind of the pain in the neck if you’re not comfortable with tech but the support team over at Siteground will try to walk you through it as best they can.
3. Enter Your Account & Payment Information
4. Consider the Extras (Optional)
Here’s a breakdown of the additional services you can add explain them….
Domain Privacy ($12.00/per year) – this keeps your personal info – name, phone number address, email address out of public record. (Your credit card info will never be shared) Investing in Domain Privacy will dramatically cut down the number of telemarketers calls to your house, spammy emails your sent and junk mail to your house. I’ve never heard of someone physically showing up your house but it I guess it could happen.
SG Site Scanner – $19.80/per year – Is kind of like Life-Lock for your blog. If they notice anything sketchy is happening to your blog they alert you right away. There some free and low-cost plug ins that will do the same but for only $20 a year – it’s nice to have the piece of mind but honestly you can get free plugins that do that so skip it.
5. Smack that PayNow Button – Kazamm! You’re The Proud Owner Of New Blog!
But before we start showering the world with your awesome blog posts, readers will gobble up like candy. We’ve got to install WordPress and get your new blog pretty with a nice design.
4. Install WordPress On Your New Blog
Now if you “can’t even” when it comes to anything tech – smack the “Live Chat” button on the top right-hand corner of the Siteground’s top navigation menu and they’ll do it for you with in 60 minutes.
But if you’re like me and can’t wait a single second — here’s how to do install WordPress on your new blog in just a couple of clicks.
Step 1: Go to the My Accounts tab and click on Go to cPanel.
Step 2: Click on the “WordPress” Icon (Under the Autoinstall Selection)
Step 3: Slap the blue Install Button
Step 4: Set up your Software Setup, Site Settings & Admin Account
You do all three of these steps on the same page hint why I grouped them together.
Software Setup – Here pick “http://” from the 1st drop down main, then your domain name from the second drop down
Site Settings: Here type in your site name then for the site description put in who you help and with what.
Admin Account – This is where you pick your user name and password for your site. You might be tempted to change this to something more memorable like your name or admin DON’T! Keep them all funky and just write them down. Having such a hard to guess user name and password is a great first step in keeping your blog safe from hackers.
Step 5 – Hit the Install button and dance because you just put WordPress on your blog all by yourself!
5. Invest In High-Quality Responsive Theme For Your New Blog
Look I got that you might have just shelled out, which seems like a lot of money on your hosting & your domain name, the last thing you want to do is spend more money. Believe me, totally get it. That was soooo me…
But after wasting 3 weeks of my life starting up late and getting up early to sifting through crappy YouTube videos, getting ignored by theme creators and being told that if I wanted my website to look anything like picture in the theme marketplace I was, not only buy the premium version but hire a designer because I’d need custom coding--I was over it.
So after reading a galizion blog posts and posting in at least 10 Facebook groups asking for suggestions I decided on Divi by Elegant themes. (the one recommended most) And boy am I glad I listened.
But divi also has is really cool plug-in where you can drag and drop things on your website. Plus since divi is soooo popular I can easily get support with tweaking my theme exactly the way I want it.
Some other great places to get feminine, fun and classic themes include:
But if you have the patience to go with free route here’s a couple nice ones.