Blogging has opened so many doors for me including some that I never thought possible. It has allowed me to stay home with my daughter, to homeschool her when we realized we needed to and earn an income far better than I could earn working for someone else. Most people don’t know that I’ve actually been blogging for almost 10 years at this point, but I didn’t buckle down and “get serious” about things until 2011 when I created Adventures in Coupons. Even then, I played around with it. Sure, I earned better than I ever expected. I still do. Both blogs, first AIC and now, the grown up version of that, Six Dollar Family, provides a way to earn an income for my family that not only takes care of our day to day expenses, but provides a fairly comfortable life as well. Not to mention the freedom that comes with working at home and the ability to be there for my family when I am needed.
I don’t publish income reports here on the blog and I don’t talk blog numbers. I don’t feel that it’s really anyone’s business, but I’m also not going to say “hey, my blog earns an income” and not tell you how much. That wouldn’t exactly get the point across would it?
This blog earns an average of $9,000 per month after expenses. It currently receives around 700,000 views on average each month.
There. Don’t we all feel better? No, I don’t earn as much as some, but you know what? I earn enough. If I never make $100,000 a month, I’m perfectly fine with that, but man! Wouldn’t that be nice!
I also know your next question: “Why do you run a blog that talks about living frugally if you make $9,000 per month?” That answer is easy.
I work hard to make that much each month. I would like to keep as much of it as possible.
With all of that said, one of the most common questions that I get asked by people is how to start a blog. Blogging as a whole is a fantastic way to make money from home. Whether you’re looking to make a few hundred extra each month or you’re looking to earn a full time income from blogging, it’s almost perfect for anyone. There seems to be a big misconception though that it’s hard to get started. Actually, starting the blog and getting it set up is actually the easy part. In fact, it’s probably the easiest thing in your blogging career that you will ever do. It really only takes 3 steps and about ten minutes to get things rolling.
When you first go to start your blog, you’ll have to choose from WordPress or Blogger. Because I don’t recommend that anyone start on Blogger (for various reasons), this tutorial will focus solely on how to create a self-hosted WordPress blog. If I need to, I can explain why I prefer WordPress, but that is an entirely different post. You’ll also need to understand that WordPress.com and WordPress.org are two entirely different things and that for the purposes of this post, whenever I speak of WordPress, I mean the .org or self-hosted version. If you intend to make ANY money at all with your blog, you MUST use WordPress.org. It is against the WordPress terms of service to monetize in any way, shape or form if they are hosting your blog.
How to Start a Money Making Blog
Before you even get started, you’ll need to name your blog and once you’ve chosen your new blogs name, you’ll need to buy a new domain. For domains, you have two options. Buy it from some place like GoDaddy or find a host that includes it with your hosting package. For brand spanking new bloggers, BlueHost is a great option to start with for a couple of reasons.
First, they’re incredibly budget friendly. BlueHost hosting will only run you $3.95 per month. To put that into perspective for you? I pay $230.00/mo to host Six Dollar Family. Why am I not on BlueHost? I used to be. In fact, this blog was hosted on Blue Host for a couple of years when we first started. In June of 2013, we outgrew what they could provide at the time and moved to Liquid Web which is where we are currently hosted through. I adore Liquid Web but I wouldn’t hesitate to move back to Blue Host if I needed to.
Secondly, Blue Host is great for new bloggers because they give you a free domain name. Free? I like free.
Finally, I like them for new bloggers because they make it super easy to get started and super easy to set up your new WordPress blog.
When you first open your account with BlueHost, you’ll be shown the screen above. For new bloggers, just choose new domain that matches what you want to name your blog and type it in where it says new domain name. Try to keep your domain name short and sweet since the easier a url is to remember, the more people will do just that. If the domain name you want is taken, you’ll need to find another name. Do yourself a favor and do not tag onto a blog that is already in existence. That can only lead to bad juju and heartbreak for you.
Next, you’ll be taken to fill out your contact info and then to choose your hosting package. There are some other options that I’ve circled above and they are entirely up to you whether you take them or not. I do highly recommend that you take the domain whois privacy. This will keep your personal information hidden on your domain. Once you make your decisions, you’ll be taken to enter your billing info and charged. Two steps down and one to go! Yay!
Once you’ve got the account and payment part taken care of, you’ll be taken to a screen like the one above. This is called your Cpanel and it is where the things that make your blog tick live. Once your blog is created, you really won’t want to spend a lot of time messing in here until you learn what you are doing. You can really mess things up if you do. For right now though, you’re safe.
Your goal for now is to install WordPress on your new blog. Scroll to where you see “website builder” and click the “Install WordPress” button.
Now click the “Start a New Install” button.
Choose your domain from the drop down menu. If you only have one, it should be your only option. If you have others, select the one you’re installing on and click “check domain.”
Asleep yet? Well sit up and pay attention. On the next screen, input your new blogs name, your username and your password and email. DO NOT USE “admin” for the username. Doing so is a fantastic way to get yourself hacked! Take that from someone who was hacked in 2012.
Once you’ve set your username and things, accept the terms and conditions then click the green “install now” button. Your Cpanel will do it’s thing and install itself. Once it’s done, you’ll be given the log in page with your log in url (make sure to bookmark this) and a reminder of your username and password. Log into your new blog and do what bloggers do! Start blogging!
There. I told you it wasn’t complicated, didn’t I? All you really need to start a money making blog is:
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