Something big has been happening in the world of work. How is it possible that so many people, from all walks of life and all ages, are creating blogs and entire businesses online?
Can blobs of text, blended with a series of images really possess superpowers?
And, honestly, how many people want to read the scattered thoughts of an average person like you or me?
This blog you’re reading gets over 2,436,112 unique visitors a year and generates well over a million dollars a year in revenue. Just look at my revenue stats from the last 30 days below:
Today I’d like to give you every single step that you need to follow to go from zero to having your own blog, growing it AND learning how to monetize it in just 47 minutes.
Step 1. Unleash ideas within you
When it comes to creating a money-making blog, you don’t need a revolutionary idea. But, your blog should be focused on something specific.
Remember that no idea, no matter how good, is truly unique.
But, you have unique experiences. You have a distinct voice. And, you probably have a vibrant personality that will attract others like your family and friends.
When it comes to choosing your blog’s niche, there are 2 key questions to ask yourself.
1. Do I enjoy learning about this topic?
If you don’t love the topic, it’ll show in your writing. You need to be naturally curious about it. If not, you’ll run out of ideas quickly. Most importantly, you won’t be able to consistently create content that will build your audience.
If you are still lost, think about what your family and friends come to you for when seeking advice? It might be fitness, recipes or relationship advice. You know best.
2. Are there others who are interested in the same things?
You might feel like the only 23-year-old who’s obsessed with knitting. But, there are others out there.
Do a quick Google search and you’ll find 539,000 results aimed at people just like you.
You might be wondering if your idea is too quirky. Or, maybe it’s too broad?
If you want to start a travel blog, stay away from generic words like “travel.” Choose a more specific topic, like “backpacking.”
I can give you a million examples, but it’s better if I show you.
Enter a keyword below and you’ll have a data-backed answer right away.
Step 2: Name your blog and get web hosting
This is a fun and important step, because your blog name is your brand. It’s how you’ll be remembered. But, don’t overthink it. The key is to take action and gain momentum.
When you’re starting a blog from scratch, you need two things.
The first is a domain name. This is your blog’s name. For example, mine is neilpatel.com. Domain names will run you roughly $10/year.
The second is web hosting. Web hosting is a service that allows your blog to be accessed through the internet.
Without web hosting, your blog can’t be seen online. Without a domain, your blog won’t have an address. The two are inseparable.
There are plenty of web hosting companies to choose from. Prices generally range from $3 – $1000/month.
If you’re just starting a new blog, I highly recommend Bluehost. They are the biggest and most well-known hosting company and offer packages for as low as $3.99/month (that’s low).
To be honest, you really don’t need anything fancy at this stage. Once you hit over 25,000 unique visitors a month, you can consider upgrading, but Bluehost can scale with you.
I’m a big fan, so I recently partnered with them and asked if I could offer you (my readers) an even better deal. Even if they said no, I would still tell you to choose them.
If you want to get started now and save on web hosting, you can get it for $2.95 through my partner link. The general public won’t this. You’ll also get a free domain and $200 in free advertising dollars.
When naming your blog, you may want to take these tips into consideration.
- Choose a .com over others. They’re easier to remember.
- Aim for 2-3 words. Unfortunately, most, if not all single word domains are taken.
- Try to use a keyword that represents what your blog is about. This helps people quickly identify your blog’s niche and helps search engines distinguish what your blog is about.
- Avoid using numbers and hyphens. They are difficult to remember.
- Go for something memorable or catchy.
- For personal brands, use your name or a variation of it.
Try the tool below and see if your domain name is available. If it’s unavailable, you’ll get some relevant suggestions.
It might take some effort to find the perfect name for your blog, but it’s worth the thought and effort when starting a new brand.
Step 3. Install WordPress – your blogging software
You need to have a blogging software to start writing. I run all of my blogs on WordPress because it’s user-friendly, free and powerful.
Even without a technical bone in your body, you can install WordPress in exactly 5 clicks.
After you get your free domain and hosting account, you can log in and use your first click on the “Install WordPress” icon.
Choose the “do it yourself” version and click the “Install” button.
Use your third click on the “Check Domain” button.
Your last two clicks will be for acknowledging their terms of service and finalizing your install.
Within a minute, you’ll have a fully functional WordPress blog up and running.
Step 4. Design your blog with a WordPress theme
In the blogging world, WordPress designs are called themes.
Out of the box, your blog will look something like this:
It isn’t the fanciest design out there, but it’s workable.
There are thousands of themes to choose from. But, it can be easy to get trapped in “Shiny Object Syndrome” and not walk away with anything.
You can swap out your theme any time, so don’t get too caught up with the bells and whistles.
First, you need to log into your WordPress admin. You can access this by going to yourdomain.com/wp-admin.
Here, you’ll need to enter your user credentials to log in.
If you’re new to WordPress, the dashboard might look a little daunting at first, but you’ll be an expert with a little practice.
To install a new theme, hover over the “Appearance” menu in the sidebar and click “Themes.”
WordPress comes with a few themes – their “Twenty-[Year]” themes.
Instead, we’ll search for flashier themes that will instantly make your eyes twinkle. Click the “Add New” button at the top to get access to thousands of WordPress themes.
Your taste and mine might be different. Fortunately, WordPress has a “Feature Filter” that lets you search for something that will fit your style.
The 3 categories are “layout,” “features” and “subject.” Here’s what your filter requests might look like.
After applying the filters, you’ll see amazing themes that would otherwise cost thousands of dollars in design fees. Since I like you, it’s free 😉
If you click on the theme’s thumbnail, you can get an instant preview of what your blog will look like. Evaluate if it fits both your personal style and the topic that you’ll be covering.
Once you’re satisfied with the sneak peek, click the “Install” button.
Once the installation is complete, click the “Activate” button and you’re all set.
If you can’t find a theme that you like, there are premium themes that you can purchase from sites like:
- Elegant Themes.
- Thrive Themes.
By now, your theme should be activated and ready to go. Let’s move on to customizing your theme.
Step 5. Customize and optimize your WordPress blog
There are endless customizations that you can make on a WordPress blog. We’ll stick with the essentials.
Themes are the foundation of your design and include the core functionalities. WordPress also has plugins that can add to or extend the functionality of your blog.
For example, you can use plugins to add forums, contact forms or sliders. While they might seem like basic features, they aren’t always available by default.
The first step is to click the “Customize” button on your active theme.
Menu options in the sidebar will vary, depending on the theme you choose. The main category to edit is “Site Identity.”
Here, you can add the name of your blog and a tagline if you wish. When you’re done, click the “Save and Publish” button.
Optimize for Search Engine Traffic
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a multi-billion dollar industry.
SEO is the process of optimizing your website to be found in search engines for particular keywords and phrases.
I attribute a good portion of my success to being easily discoverable for relevant search terms, which has helped me build my networks and net worth.
If you’re new to SEO, then this new feat may seem daunting.
But, WordPress makes it insanely simple to optimize the technical aspects of your blog.
The majority of your SEO efforts will be to create engaging content for real people. Whether that’s through text, videos or images, your job as a blogger is to spark a relationship with your readers.
And, what better way is there than through relatable and informative conversation?
You can get started by downloading a plugin called Yoast SEO.
Hover over the plugins menu on the side and click “Add New.”
Search for “Yoast SEO” in the search bar and it will be the first result that comes up.
Click the “Install Now” button. Then, hit the “Activate” button once the installation is complete.
You can access the plugin’s settings from the new SEO menu in the sidebar or by clicking the icon at the top.
From the dashboard, go to “Your Info” and set the foundations for your blog.