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Read Time: 14 mins
Starting a blog or website from scratch is easy. A blog or website can be great place to share your creative ideas with the world and finally get your name out there. You can also earn money doing it if you stick with it.
Many people use their blog to branch out of their regular 9-5 job. I know bloggers that make over $1 million a year from. Crazy, right?!
1. The internet isn’t going anywhere. It’s only becoming more popular. The opportunities are endless. If you learn online marketing, writing, and sales skills skill now, there are endless opportunities for you to pursue.
2. Setting up a blog is easy but you will need about 20-30 minutes
3. You’ll need a credit card and around $12 bucks a month. Yep, that’s it. $12.
First, you need a web host. There are a ton of hosting sites out there. They range in price and available services. This is basically where your blog will live online. Think of it as your blogs home. Your server choice is important but don’t fret. I’ve done the work upfront to find the best hosting service money can buy.
If you are wondering what my judging criteria was based on, here it is:
Available tech support
The winner? HostGator.
HostGator is one of the world's top 10 largest web hosting companies with more than 8,000,000 hosted domains. They are the perfect choice whether you are looking for business, personal, or even Fortune 500 hosting.
Plus, you get a 45-day money back guarantee, 99.9% uptime guarantee, and is fully guaranteed by the CEO himself. If you ever have a problem with the regular support, just ask that your ticket be assigned to Adam and he will personally take the time to give you the VIP attention that you deserve.
You may be thinking, “can’t I just use a free blogging host like Blogger?” The answer is that is not a good idea if you are interested in ever making money off your blog, freelancing or turning it into a business.
It's extremely cheap as well to go through HostGator AND will be ready to make money once you set everything up.
If you want to earn money self-hosting is absolutely a must. You can run any of your own advertisements, affiliate links, direct advertising on a self-hosted WordPress blog on Hostgator. Making money on Blogger or any other free blogging platform is very difficult, and in many cases never happens.
You’ll need to go to the HostGator website to get started.
Now, see the big yellow button that says, “GET STARTED NOW”? Click that.
You will see 3 choices for plan options. I recommend going with the cheapest plan on the farthest left side of the screen. It’s a perfect starter plan that will give you everything you need.
Choose your domain or enter yours if you already have one. Keep in mind that you want something simple and catchy.
This will be your URL to your website so make it something that you like. Try to stay within 2-4 words long. Any longer will be hard for people to remember.
If the first name you choose isn’t available, don’t worry. There are a ton of names out there that are waiting to be chosen. (think sad dog at pound)
I highly recommend that you stick with a .com domain even if you don’t get your top name choice. It will always be recognizable and reputable.
Next, fill out choose your plan and payment options. Choose the one month hatchling plan.
Next, enter your name and other info for step 3. Next on step 4, make sure all your settings look like the screenshot below. Basically, uncheck all the boxes. Even the Highly Recommend one. You don't need that just yet. Promise.
If you enter code PENNY in the discount code box, you will get your hosting for the first month for just 1 cent. This doesn’t include your domain name, just your hosting. You will still pay for however much your domain name costs.
Next, complete your payment on the HostGator website! You are getting so close to being a blogger I can feel it!
HostGator is awesome because it makes installing WordPress a cinch!
Don’t worry if you don’t know how to use WordPress just yet, there are tons of tutorials out there on how to use it.
Related: I mentor new bloggers on optimizing WordPress and creating a successful blog. Click here to learn more. Let's chat!
You should receive an e-mail about your account information so that you can login. You will then click on the Control Panel Link you were given. This is your “cPanel.”
• When in your control Panel on HostGator, scroll down to “Software/Services” and click on “Quick Install.” QuickInstall is where you will install WordPress. And, it's free!
• After you click on Quick Install, on the left hand side you will find “WordPress.” Click on it.
• Click “Continue.”
• Here you will click on the domain that you want to install WordPress on. You will want to enter your admin email, blog title, admin user, first name and last name.
• Then click on “Install Now.” On the next page you will see a message. Make sure you save your username, password, and link to your admin area.
This is the fun part. Now you get to choose what your blog is going to look like. Design matters because a blog that looks professional is more credible. Over time that will make a big difference as you build your audience and produce quality content.
In order to find a great theme, you’ll need to search for a super beautiful theme. Go to Themeforest (the best theme marketplace).
While there are many free WordPress themes, I strongly recommend buying a premium theme when you start your blog (since changing themes later can be really hard).
Avada is a versatile, easy to use and multi-purpose WordPress theme. This premium theme has been the #1 seller on ThemeForest for 4 years, with almost 300,000 sales.
Look for themes that have “1-click setup”. This will make things a lot easier. Then, buy and download the files.
In WordPress, click on Appearance, then Themes and upload your new theme.
Of course you can. Like any worthwhile skill, it will take time to learn.
Related: I mentor new bloggers on optimizing WordPress and creating a successful blog. Click here to contact us. Let's chat!
Having a blog or website can be a great side hustle. This does not mean it’s going to be easy though. You are going to have to work hard to build an audience.
1. SIGN UP FOR AMAZON ASSOCIATES. This is Amazon’s affiliate program. In a nutshell, once you sign up, you can grab your unique referral link for any product sold on Amazon. (And Amazon sells almost everything!) You then receive a commission when someone purchases something. It's that easy.
This is a very easy way to start earning money by promoting products you already use and love. So even if you’re a beginner, this is something you can implement easily and quickly to start bringing in revenue.
2. PROMOTE COMPANIES YOU LOVE! Did you know that a LOT of companies have a liate programs set up for bloggers like you? Think about the products and/or companies you use and love, then do a quick search of their website to see if they o er an a liate program. Some programs will call them “Referral Programs” or “A liate Programs.” Simply Googling the company’s name and “a liate” will usually pop up results. Hint: Most companies put a link to their a liate program in the footer of their website.
3. ADD GOOGLE ADSENSE TO YOUR SIDEBAR. Google Adsense is a simple way to earn a little money showing ads on your sidebar.
Typically, you’ll earn around $1 to $2 per CPM with
Google Adsense. CPM = cost per 1,000 pageviews.
So if you have 10,000 pageviews per month, you’ll earn around $20 per month with Google Adsense.
That might not seem like a lot, but as you continue to grow your readership, you can see those numbers steadily climb. And you do nothing other than set up the ad at the beginning and add the code for it to your sidebar, header, footer, or even at the bottom of your posts. Easy, right?!
Once you sign up with a company to become an a liate, they’ll provide you with a unique a liate link that you can use to promote their products. Simply place that link in your posts, sidebars, or on social media, and whenever someone clicks through and makes a purchase, you earn a commission!
4. ACCEPT SPONSORED POST GIGS. Sponsored posts are a great way to earn good income for your blog once your site has grown a bit! A sponsored post is a post you are paid to write for another company to promote their product. This is de nitely one of the most lucrative ways to earn income with your blog.
When deciding to take on a sponsored post, the most important thing to remember is to only take on posts that you believe in and feel would be a good fit for your niche and your audience.
5. OFFER CONSULTING SERVICES. Many companies are taking notice of bloggers and realizing that we are much more adept at online marketing and social media than they are. They want to know how they can grow their business through blogging and social media. As a result, there are numerous companies who are more than willing to pay bloggers to give them tips and pointers.
1. STAY THE COURSE. You will need to spend this time focusing on building your audience and getting your name out there. Its very rare that people make money during this phase.
2. DRIVE TRAFFIC. To make money blogging, you need to find ways to drive traffic to your website. You can do this by utilizing social media effectively. Learning how to market you blog is a real skill that you need to begin learning now if you want to make money blogging.
3. FIND YOUR TOPIC. Finding your community is important. You don’t want to be someone that blogs about 15 different topics. If you really want to be successful, pick a niche and become an expert in that topic. If you do this, you will be able to build a brand around your name over time.
4. GET THE TOOLS. Blogging is a skill but there are tools that will make your life easier. Luckily, there are many of them available for free. Free is good but some tools do cost money. Sometimes you get what you pay for, so check out our recommended tools for bloggers page. These tools will get you up and running.
5. CONNECT WITH OTHER BLOGGERS. When you are first starting out, it’s important to get your name out there. Make a list of all the bloggers in your niche and email them to tell them you are starting a new blog. If they are nice, they will email you back. Find a way to partner with them by offering them value to their blog for free. Maybe write a few posts for their site and try to build a relationship with them.
6. STICK IT OUT. Blogging is not a get rich quick business. You can make a lot of money blogging if you build your audience and you offer a lot of value. The reality is that anyone can blog. The barriers to entry are relatively low, this just means you need to work harder and smarter than other bloggers to stand out. This comes down to sticking it out implementing all the above strategies to create a successful blog.
If you want ton’s more information on how to set up your blog, find your niche, create a brand, and grow your community you can sign up for our blog coaching.
Now get out there and build your brand! Contact us if you want help. We'd love to mentor you in creating your own blog. We started this blog from scratch with no designers, coders, or any outside marketing help and we'd love to help you do the same.
Zack is one of the co-founders of FreeUp and is in charge of setting the strategy for the blog and managing the day-to-day operations. When he isn't plotting new ways to create awesome blog content, he likes to geek out about global affairs, ride motorcycles and can probably be found hiking somewhere during his days off.