How To Start A Blog In 2021
That Makes Money on Day 1

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There is no bad time to become a blogger. Simply the sooner you start, the larger a blog can grow. In this article, we’re going to show you how to start a blog in under 5 minutes, how to add your first content, how to monetize it and tips/tricks professional bloggers use to make enough money to blog full-time.

First, get excited because having your own blog is still the #1 way to make money. Everything you create is up 24/7 attracting visitors and generating passive income for you as long as the blog is live! Here is what some popular blogs are making a month:

  • ThisIsWhyImBroke.com – $50,000/month
  • PinchOfYum.com – $95,000/month
  • MelissaGriffen.com – $283,000/month

So whether you want to start a finance blog, cooking blog, travel blog or any number of 106 Epic Website Ideas. Blogging is a great way to become a better writer, learn new skills and generate extra money!

Fast Forward To:

  1. How To Start A Blog From Scratch
  2. Make Your Blog Look Good and Add Your First Post
  3. How To Make Money With Your Blog
  4. Tips Professional Bloggers Use To Get Lots of Visitors

Free Email Course On How To Start A Blog From Scratch

Personalized email course by Andrew with examples of different blogs in different niches making money, how to set up your own blog from adding your first post to inserting ads to generate money. We want you to succeed!

How To Start A WordPress Blog From Scratch

(Because Most Blogs Are WordPress)

Over 30% of the overall internet are WordPress sites, and nearly every blog you’ve ever read is set up as a WordPress blog. Simply because it’s incredibly easy and you’ll find every marketing tool integrates with WordPress like a glove.

All you need to start a WordPress blog is a hosting company. A company that houses your website on the internet. For us, we use Bluehost and partner with Bluehost to provide a referral code for anyone that signs up on our site. It automatically gets you the latest discounts and we provide one-on-one help to anyone that uses our code.

1. Sign Up For Hosting

Any hosting company out there will make it easy to start your blog. Bluehost is especially easy at around $3/mo (again what we use). However, we also like Kinsta for hosting. They offer some high-end service but come with significantly higher costs. Both are great options, and the set up is identical. You decide what’s right for you, no pressure here.

Bluehost & Kinsta both have a 30-day money back guarantee for any reason. So you should try it!

Special Wallet Squirrel Bluehost Signup Graphic3

Any plan you choose will get your blog up and running with great success. Since you can always upgrade your blog at any time, I suggest going with the cheapest option to start. Save that extra money for marketing.

2. Pick a Domain + Fill in Info

If you’re signing up with our referral code, you’ll get a free domain name. For reference, ours is WalletSquirrel.com. Choose your domain name carefully, it’s like the address of your site and not easy to change.

When I start a website, I try to think of a catchy domain name that describes my website. I normally choose a (.com) website domain because that’s the most common domain name extension and people are more likely to trust a (.com) domain extension over a (.net) or (.co). A good domain name is short, easy to remember, easy to type and reflects what you plan to write about.

An easy way to check if your domain name is available is GoDaddy or on Bluehost when you sign up. Otherwise fill in the standard information and review the extras before proceeding.

  • Domain Privacy – Every website lists who owns it, this privacy prevents spammers from contacting you. Do it.
  • Codeguard Basic – The extra piece of mind is nice because it backs up your website regularly. Do it.
  • Bluehost SEO Tools Start – It’s not necessarily worth the costs. You already have the important tools.

3. Install WordPress + Log In

At this point, you officially have your own little piece of the internet! Log into your new hosting account and set up WordPress. This is as easy as selecting “WordPress Tools” and Install.

When you set up your WordPress site, select your domain, add a title and set up a Admin Username and Password different from your Bluehost Account. Then hit “Install WordPress”.

From here on out, you will no longer need to access your hosting account. You will go directly to “YourNewDomainName.com/admin” to access your new WordPress site. That “/admin” is key and that’s where you log into your new blog from now on.

It’s super easy and that’s all it takes to set up a WordPress blog!

Customize Your New Blog!

(Here are a few navigation tips to start you off running)

Theme

Enfold Theme Photo Your WordPress is going to start off very generic. So the first step is picking a WordPress Theme or style of your website. This is the skin of your new website that will set the design aesthetic.

WordPress themes allow you to create a customized look to your website without needing to hire a website designer. It’s another one-click install option.

Here on WalletSquirrel.com, we use the Enfold Theme that can be purchased on ThemeForest, a huge marketplace of super clever themes. Most WordPress themes cost around $60, but there are many great free options as well. Take a moment to find the perfect theme for your site.

Pages, Posts + Portfolio

How To Start A Blog Wordpress Backend On WordPress, you have an option to write a Page, Post or Portfolio option. These are split to make it easier for WordPress to designate and organize each category.

Pages are your main static go-to locations on your website. These are your Homepage, About Page, Contact Page, etc. that each have their own designated purpose.

Posts are your daily, weekly, monthly articles you write regularly. WordPress identifies these as part of your blog and blog roll.

Portfolio is usually for photographers or graphic designers. These are similar to Posts, but typically more graphic based.

Plugins

Bluehost Plugins 2020.9.18 One of the best parts about WordPress is the number of Plugins you can add to your website to add custom functionality.

In our screenshots, if you see any extra tabs on the left side. That’s all from the extra functionality of the additional plugins we have.

We typically limit the number of Plugins we have installed. The more you have, the more potential that they’ll not work well with each other. We have 19 plugins and they all work well. The trick is making sure you have your WordPress backed up regularly just in case.

Make Money Blogging

(Ads + Affiliate Links + Courses Make The Most Money)

Blogs are great for personal development, but also a great way to earn money. Here are 8 of the most common ways to make money blogging. Our personal advice is to start with ads to make money on Day 1 and build affiliate links/courses as you grow. See our Income Reports for all the ways we earn money blogging.

Website Ads

For beginners, start with a Google AdSense account. Here’s how it works and sign up. You add a small piece of “code” on your site that allows Google to populate and pay you for advertisements on your website. It’s the easiest and fastest way to make money blogging.

Affiliate Marketing

Many of the products/services you personally use offer affiliate programs. Meaning you can earn a commission if people purchase something from a link on your website. This is the primary revenue source for most blogs. Here are some of the best affiliate programs.

Sponsored Content

Companies will pay you to review a product, share an article on your website, or give a shout-out to their product/service. You decide how much you want to charge. Check out our Income Reports for how we’ve charged for sponsored content in the past.

Create Courses

Turn your expertise and/or past blog posts into online courses you can sell. Websites like Udemy and Teachable will allow you to upload video courses that you can sell an infinite amount of times for regular passive income.

Write a Book

Many bloggers take advantage of all those exceptional blog posts they’ve written and convert those old posts into an eBook. A book adds additional authority to their website, creates additional money, and super easy to do since you already did all the writing.

One-On-One Coach

Having a blog emphasizes you as an expert in your field and people will pay for one-on-one coaching services. For example, if you write about home organization tips, people could pay you an hourly rate to review their own organization plans.

Speaking Opportunities

Since your blog helps establish you as an expert in your field, you use that expert status to take paid speaking opportunities! You set the rates and speak on the topics you’re most well known for at various conferences and events.

Subscription Content

Maybe your content is so good that people are willing to pay for it. Make special blog posts only available for your paying blog subscribers. Charge a monthly subscriber rate like a magazine, or one-off payments at your leisure.

Have Additional Questions? Join Our Private Facebook Community

We want to tell you everything we know about blogging, but there isn’t enough space. Join our private Facebook Group for one-on-one Q&A’s as well as community support from other bloggers starting off. We’re here to help!

Professional Tips To Get Lots of Visitors

(Tricks Professional Bloggers Use to Increase Website Traffic + Earn More Money)

When you first start your blog, people won’t magically flock to it. You need to start sharing it with your friends and family, and ask them to share your content. Then focus on “keywords” that Google will find in your articles to match what people are searching for. All while building an email list so people can be reminded of new content on your site. All of these will help grow your new blog!

Find Keywords Google Likes

SEMrush Review Table Toppers Search

If you’ve ever been curious about how many times a month someone Google’s “How To Boil An Egg”, there are tools that tell you (300,000 times a month).

Professional bloggers use these tools like SEMrush to identify popular keywords to write articles about. These tools tell you how popular a keyword is, how difficult it is to rank for and other similar keywords to make your article even more popular on Google.

While these tools give you an enormous advantage at blogging, they do come at an average $99/mo price tag. Luckily, SEMrush gave us a special referral code to give you an expanded free trial and test it out. We suggest using the trial to find lots of great keywords and only paying for it if you find it helpful.

Build An Email List Day 1

ConvertKit Homepage 2020.9.18

The most common mistake nearly every blogger makes is not having an email signup form on their website Day 1. The larger your email list, the more people you can connect with directly to revisit your website, buy your future courses, and stay engaged with as you grow.

I recommend starting with ConvertKit. It’s a popular blogger email service that allows you to send out unlimited emails, gives you some amazing sign-up tools on your blog and it’s completely free until you reach 1,000 subscribers. It’s perfect for new bloggers and our referral code for the free plan will give you step-by-step instructions on setting up!

Awesome Graphics + Marketing

Rent Your Stuff For Additional Money

You’re going to write some incredible articles however most new bloggers have terrible images. Graphics are a quick way people judge your blog, so start off with awesome images.

  • Free Images – We like Pexels and Upsplash for free stock photography.
  • Professional Images – We like ShutterStock or Photo Dune. It’s a huge selection and the photos give your blog extra “wow”, but cost money.
  • Infographics – We make these ourselves or hire freelancers on Fiverr or Upwork.

Here are some additional marketing ideas.