How to Start a Profitable Blog in 2023
Last Updated on December 16, 2022 by Dana Berez
How to Start a Profitable Blog
Table of Contents
If you want to know how to start a profitable blog in 2021, you are in the right place! I am going to show you the step-by-step guide on how to set up a blog correctly. And within 30 minutes, you can have your very own blog up and running so you can start to make money. Let’s get into the list.
“This post contains some affiliate links”
Here are the basic steps that I will be going over in this post on How to Start a Profitable Blog :
- Picking a Niche
- Why WordPress.org
- Selecting Hosting Plan
- Picking your Domain & Blog Name
- Picking out a Theme (the fun design part)
- Start Blogging
- Tips for success
- How blogs make money
Why you should start a blog:
You may be asking yourself “do people even read blogs anymore in 2021?” And the answer is YES! But I think people get confused about what a “blog” is. In the early days of the internet, a blog was a place where you wrote about your day just like an online diary…
But that is NOT how you will make money blogging.
Quite frankly, no one has time to read about personal entries. Think about why people search for something on Google. They are seeking information and want to learn. And your blog can be the place where people can get the information they need.
No wonder all of your favorite print magazines are directing their focus on digital. Online is how we consume our information, so blogs are more important than ever.
Benefits of Having a Blog:
- Managing your time in your own schedule
- Can make money –> even enough to become a full-time blogger!
- Learning new skills & connecting with a community
- Having FUN!!
1. Picking a Niche
What are you going to blog about?
Is it travel, fashion, lifestyle, parenting? The best way to gain an audience is to stick to one niche, but even better a targeted niche.
For instance, my blog is a travel & lifestyle blog, but I focus mainly on NYC content. I have detailed posts from Instagram Spots to NYC travel guides in different categories like a budget guide, a first-timer, a local guide, ETC.
Blogging in a specific niche helps Google determine what your blog is about and will eventually give you a better Domain Authority on that topic. Obviously, when you start out, it will be a bit overwhelming on what exactly to blog about, but I promise once you start you will build your content as you go!
Can you blog about other things outside of your niche?
Of course! After all, this is a blogging guide on a travel blog. However, in the beginning, it is best to focus on building your core content.
2. Why WordPress.org
Why I Choose WordPress: This is where the debate of WordPress vs Squarespace comes into play. Squarespace might be easier to navigate as a beginner, but as your blogging needs grow, you’ll eventually grow out of the Squarespace templates.
Plus, switching platforms after you have started is a headache waiting to happen.
If blogging is something you want to do in a more professional manner I recommend starting right with WordPress. 75 million websites use WordPress to run their sites, so I promise it will grow with you and you won’t have to switch later.
3. Select Your Host
What is a Web Host? Basically, a website host makes your website available to the online world. You will need to select a host when using a WordPress site. I use Bluehost as my hosting platform and I couldn’t recommend them enough.
There are different hosting plans you can choose from when using Bluehost, however, the Basic Plan lowest tier is really all that you need, and it’s only $3.95/ month. It includes your domain name and SSL security certificate, which are extra cots on other platforms.
Bluehost is great for starting out a blog. With the low price, you don’t have to worry about spending too much money up-front to get your blog going.
However, let me be honest with you guys- once your blog picks up traffic, you might have to switch your hosting to accommodate for higher traffic.
Google, which ranks your site does NOT like slow websites. Once you get more traffic, your hosting plan just might not handle the traffic, which slows down your website.
I started with Bluehost and now switched to Siteground. If you want to avoid having to switch in the future, Siteground might be a better option for you, but the start-up cost is more expensive.
4. Pick Your Domain Name
Once you select the Basic Bluehost plan, you will be prompted to create your domain name. This has to be a unique name that is not already a taken website. This might take some trial and error, but once you found a name that is not taken you can proceed to the next step.
TIP: After entering your credit card information in Bluehost, scroll down the package extras. They will try to upsell you on some things you don’t need. Automatically they will check off Domain Privacy, Codeguard Basic, and Site Lock Security. You only need Domain Privacy. So you can uncheck Codeguard Basic & Site Lock Security.
5. Picking out a Theme
Okay, we made it through the boring stuff. Now it’s time for some fun: picking your theme! There are plenty of free themes included in WordPress, however, they aren’t the best. I know, another cost but I promise you will find a beautiful theme that you hardly have to tweak.
The best themes are made by these sites:
- Pipdig: You can find cute blog themes on Pipdig that cost an average of $50.
- Creative Market: However there are a ton more themes on Creative Market that are more custom than Pipdig. Be sure to read the download instructions before purchasing as some extra add-ons may need to be purchased to work correctly. Some examples are below and prices start from $30.
Powered by Creative Market
Powered by Creative Market
Looking for more themes? I created a list of 10 stylish WordPress themes under $60 that will transform your blog!
Once you have found the perfect theme, you will then upload it to your WordPress website. When you purchase a theme, most likely they will provide detailed instructions on how to install it. But for the basic rundown, you will need to go to your WordPress Dashboard –> Appearance –> Themes –> Upload Theme.
6. Start Blogging
Now it is time to start blogging. It will take some time to get used to the WordPress interface. But at the beginning, your site is not live so you can play around with the tabs. There will be a learning curve to this, but to start writing your first post click Posts –> Add New.
What to blog about: Focus on that core content in your niche. It is best to blog about related things so you can start back-linking your own content within your site. An example of a back-link: if you are enjoying this post, you have to check out how I grew 50K followers on Instagram in one year.
7. Blogging Tips
Pinterest accounts for half of my blog traffic, and it is imperative that you use it when blogging. I have a beginner’s guide to Pinterest that will help you set up your account for success and some of my top tips.
Search Engine Optimization is exactly what it sounds like: how you get to optimize your posts for search. Always think about what problem you are trying to solve. Think like a google search bar and use those types of keywords.
Keyword research plays a huge role in finding the best SEO.
And my secret… don’t avoid learning SEO!
SEO is the reason my blog grew tremendously. The sooner you learn and understand and implement, the sooner your website is set up for monetization- which means MONEY!
Work on your Email List
Don’t forget to try to get an email list going once you start blogging. It’s the of the best ways you can connect to your reader.
In fact, why not sign up for my email list!
I send emails that alert you to what’s new on the blog and exclusive deals!
Join Groups Online
There are incredible groups on Facebook that connect bloggers throughout the world. I am a part of a few travel blog groups like Female Travel Bloggers. It is a great way to ask questions and share your posts. After all, being behind a screen can be a bit lonely.
8. How to Make Money Blogging
You might be wondering, how do blogs actually make money. Here are the ways you can make money blogging:
Once you get some traffic to your blog, you can start monetizing by placing Ads on your website.
There are a few Ad networks you can join, but each has its own thresholds to apply. Popular Ad networks for bloggers are:
- Ad Thrive: Minimum of 100K monthly page views to apply.
- Mediavine: Minimum of 50K monthly sessions to apply.
- She Media: Around 20K pageviews per Month to apply.
- Google Adsense: Blog has to have unique content, but the payout is low.
While Ads aren’t the most aesthetic, you will be able to earn an income dependent on your traffic. Blogs can earn hundreds to thousands of dollars a month depending on traffic and RPM.
Another way to make money blogging is by using affiliate links. Pretty much every major brand had its own affiliate program any blogger can join.
By using affiliate links in your blog posts, you can earn a small commission if someone clicks and purchases an item.
Depending on the affiliate network, your earnings may differ. But here are some popular affiliate networks to join:
Plus, some of your favorite small brands might have their own affiliate network you can join. Take a look on their website, and see if there is an affiliate platform they work with.
Sponsored Blog Posts
You can also earn money by writing a sponsored blog post on your blog. A sponsored blog post is when a brand or service pays you a rate for writing a blog post about their brand.
Check out an example of a sponsored blog post on my blog.
Own Product or Service
Finally, you can make money on your blog by selling your own product or service. I have my own lightroom preset packs that help you edit photos on the go or on your desktop.
By having your own product or service, you can easily monetize your blog.
Whew, we made it to the end!
I can’t wait to see what blogs you create! Leave a comment below and I would love to check them out. Feel free to ask any questions below. Happy Blogging.
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