Bluehost gives you the option to pick a free theme immediately. Unless you are familiar with one listed, I recommend you skip it by clicking “Skip this step” at the bottom of the screen. Why? Because many free themes are not kept updated. Outdated themes leave holes hackers can exploit and are not worth the risk.
Email marketing is too big a topic to cover well here, so I created a separate guide to email marketing for those who are interested (hint: every blogger who wants more readers needs to read this guide).
The “best idea” for you and the “best idea” for me are two completely different things. I would go for a product that you feel comfortable promoting and one that you can promote effectively. For example, I promote hosting packages because I genuinely know a lot about hosting and web development, so it fits in nicely with my skill sets.
Affiliate marketing works in conjunction with several other online advertising mechanisms. This is the case because affiliates will often use these platforms for marketing purposes. Some of the mechanisms include search engine optimization (SEO), e-mail marketing, paid search engine marketing (PPC-Pay Per Click), display advertising, and content marketing. At the same time, affiliates can also appropriate less traditional advertising methods. An example would be publishing reviews of services or products.
I always encourage my friends to look at WPengine for hosting, its a bit more pricey but is really stable and reliable, plus they include tons of goodies that are usually considered a premium service and they all work without a struggle. Thinks like a CDN, Backups, Offload to S3. All these things can really help the quality and consistency of your site and are definitely something to think about whether you are a beginner or an advanced blogger.
The market is saturated with blogs, but it is also saturated with opportunity. Pick a niche, become an authority, and stand out from the crowd. If you aren’t sure about a travel blog name yet, it doesn’t matter. You can still start your blog today and come up with a name later on.
Great post! An eye opener indeed. I have 2 blogs one for sales (small business) and one as a hobby posting lists of anything. I learned a lot from this single post. Thank you, Jon, for sharing your knowledge to us little guys. 🙂
I recommend a host I have personally paid for and used for over a decade. (As a longtime paying customer, the links below are my referral links. This means, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you make a purchase.)
Unlike other “make money online” articles, this is a comprehensive guide on how to make money at home legitimately, using blogging and WordPress. Many of these methods require some investment of time and/or money to get started. As long as you’re willing to put in the effort, you’ll reap the reward.
Granted, you won’t make that kind of money when your blog is small, but when you’re just starting to learn how to make money blogging, affiliate marketing is still a good way to start for several reasons:
Blog about something with plenty of room for discussion. A blog requires a lot of content to get going and remain interesting. You’ll be at this a long time so make sure you have plenty to talk about.
A lot of bloggers launch a cheap e-book as their first product, and then they get frustrated when they don’t make much money. Here’s why: the real profit is at the end of the funnel, not the beginning.
First of all the guide very easy and I started my blog using this guide only. But I have a doubt. I started blog using WordPress with a free account and now I want to upgrade my account so that I can use plugins for optimizing my site to get more traffic and after that monetize my site. So the doubt I have is what is the difference between a HostGator plan and a WordPress plan that I can buy directly on the WordPress website.
The idea that you can start a blog today and make a full-time income within a few months is, for most, not realistic. There is simply too much too learn and too much to build (your site, your content library, your social media presence, your trustworthiness, relationships with readers, etc.). If you need money right away, building a blog may not be your best option.
Also, you can input this code into your Description field. This code enables infinite scrolling, which means your older posts will keep loading as your reader scrolls down until he reaches your first post. (Your posts appear in chronological order, from most recent to earliest.)
If all this affiliate marketing stuff sound like rocket science to you then I’d suggest you take advantage of some training on how to set up your own passive income generating online affiliate business.
In addition to getting new readers to your blog, you will also want to make sure your current readers are coming back. This is where email marketing plays a big role. By collecting the email addresses of your visitors (with their permission of course), you can then notify them when you post something new on your blog. This keeps people coming back to your blog, which not only gives you more readers over time, it also allows you to build a closer relationship with your readers.
I’m not saying that you need to go out and sign up for everything else right now, but I am saying that we should learn a few things from Tumblr and Medium which are innovative, sexy and coming up with some really big wins.
The downside is your domain will look a little different: You’ll have janicerunsfast.wordpress.com rather than janicerunsfast.com. (You can upgrade through WordPress.com to eliminate “wordpress” in your domain, but it will cost you a few dollars.)
Affiliate marketing is one of my favorite and most profitable income streams. You can highlight products or services you use and love without having to do the work of creating or maintaining that product yourself. I talk about affiliate marketing in much more depth in What is Affiliate Marketing? and My Top Affiliate Marketing Tips.
Jamie, Thanks you for this wonderful post. Blogging is the best making money business if someone treat it like a business. Your good content cannot make you money if you don’t know how to monetize your blog.
This is very helpful. I have a question.. I’ve had a family blog on Blogger for years.. if I switch to WordPress..is there any way to convert the data? Or is there any other idea to capture the original data. I’m worried now since it’s not a custom self-hosted blog. Thanks!!
Michael’s numbers are solid. Another way that you can multiply the revenue per visitor or revenue per pageview is to work with multiple advertising partners in what pro-bloggers call an “ad stack”. If you are only using Adsense for display, you can start by adding just one more partner with a higher CPM.
if you are good at illustration or design then there are lots of opportunities to offer your services to businesses or other bloggers. Whether that is creating infographics, logos or photo-editing you can use your blog to demonstrate your skills and pick up new clients.
However, you have to balance placing the ads prominently with the prospect of possibly annoying your readers. We have all visited blogs where it’s difficult to see the content due to the number and size of the ads. This is a delicate balance to achieve and it’s something you will have to experiment with to get the most out of your blog.
Blogs can be short story collections, recipe hubs, role-playing games, or records of UFO sightings. They can help businesses advertise, educate customers, inform shareholders, or inspire community interactions.
I will quibble on one point though, your comment about BBT getting 13,000 subscribers before launching even though you “had nothing but a coming soon page and an invitation to join our email list.” As I recall, you also had a freakin’ awesome video on that page as well that just made people yearn to give you their email address, even without knowing a thing about BBT. So that didn’t hurt, either. ; )
First, start a blog if you haven’t already. Next, focus on building up a solid library of at least 10-20 blog posts. Make sure they are helpful and meaty. Figure out which income streams are natural extensions of your posts. In the meantime, build relationships on social media, in Facebook Groups and wherever your potential readers hang out. Don’t just promote your own stuff, but be a helpful part of the conversation. People will eventually check out what you have to offer.
You can manage a WordPress blog from mobile browser. However, this will be difficult as many features on your screen would appear different or may not be visible. Plugins will be unable to adjust their settings page to your device size. In short, it is not practical in the long run.

In 2002 I began to blog one day on impulse after seeing another blog and being fascinated by the medium. I had no idea at the time that what I was doing would ultimately lead to a complete change in my career path and end up being something I’d make a full time income from in several years later.
While you’re more than welcome to write about your every whim and opinion, blogs that focus on a particular niche often perform better in terms of traffic and money-making potential. So think about your passions, your business, your experience or your goals.
As an affiliate marketer, you promote someone else’s product or service to your readers. You link to that product or service using your unique affiliate link. When, someone clicks through that link and makes a purchase (or completes a desired action set by the company), you earn a commission. There are thousands of affiliate programs to join. Some I participate in:
A truly informative guide. I have logged into Cpanel but there is no “install WordPress button to click on the left side panel. There is a small icon “get started with WordPress today” in the special offers section. Do I click on that and choose the free install or I should I be paying for a premier package?
Did you do your 301 redirects so that googs knows it’s really the same domain, just with a different name? I also changed domains—twice. yuck. Nobody was reading me back then, but it’s not fun while you’re going through just the same.
Most free services have only basic features. This might not be a problem at first, but as you grow, you will almost certainly feel the pinch. Expandability and flexibility are key, both of which are limited with free blogging services.
Some bloggers publish their own income reports, but again, it’s difficult to draw general conclusions since each blogger’s circumstance is unique. Many bloggers have stopped sharing income reports, such as Pinch of Yum, but one of the more well-known bloggers who continues to share his is Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income.
Hi Ramsay, Happy New Year! Another great post from which established bloggers can also benefit. I’ve been getting bogged down with SEO recently so I’m glad of the tips in the comments thread about keeping it, mostly, simple and concentrating on good, long form content. I have a couple of questions. 1. in 2018 do you think narrowing down to a specific niche is super important or is multipotentialite blogging still going to be effective? Yikes – I know I need to work on my strategy 😉 2. I notice when I click on a link in your posts the new post doesn’t open up in a new window – evidently this isn’t an important back-end consideration for you, and perhaps something you do intentionally? 3. For selling a blog would you recommend Flippa or Empire and any chance of a new updated blog post on this (or is your previous one updated already?)
So one thing I wanted to tell you about blogging this year is that you really want to start thinking about blogging in the next year. That means planning, researching and developing ideas now instead of later.
Bluehost claims that their shared hosting plans provide a load time of 372ms (milliseconds). Their cloud hosting will give you 151ms. Our experience with Bluehost’s shared plans has shown that they consistently provide load speeds of less than 3 seconds. Great!
Congratulations! A very interesting post. I am agree with almost everything you say. Only could add, that more beauty shall be required in internet. Most of the blogs are without design, and maybe it could be the Play for artists. Thanks
Modify Your Blog. Once we had our domain, hosting, WordPress, and theme, we spent a lot of time tweaking the theme to get the look and feel we wanted (i.e., making our vision a reality). Then we spent even more time tinkering with the theme and arguing about it and tweaking it some more. Once we had created our blog, we set up a free Feedburner account so people could subscribe to our site via email and RSS subscriptions. And then we established a free Google Analytics account to track our stats. Feedburner and Google Analytics were both easy to sign up for, and we still use both today.
Great post Jamie! There’s so many posts about how to make a money blog and your one is by far the best. One thing I want to comment on is initially all people who start a new blog don’t know where to start. They just sign up to different affiliate money making programs thinking that they will become rich quickly. You and me both know that this is not the case. What they don’t know and need to understand is that blogging needs hard work and dedication. To keep on going when after 6 months they are still earning zero. Only after that one can think to be successful online.
And that’s it! I’m more than confident that your initial blog set up should now be finished and ready to go, and all that should have been really damn easy (unlike my first time, lucky you!). If you are having any problems installing WordPress on iPage then this guide may help.
Be Yourself. Part of being interesting is telling your story. Every person is unique, and your story is an important one. The important part of storytelling, however, is removing the superfluous details that make the story uninteresting. A great storyteller removes 99% of what really happens—the absorptive details—and leaves the interesting 1% for the reader.
On the posts screen, you will notice several other sections such as Categories and Tags. You can use these to organize your blog posts. We have a great writeup on the difference between categories vs tags, which we highly recommend that you read.
I have already got a blog set up and I have just got it how I want it on blogger. However, I would like to take it further and maybe gain a higher following. I would like to get my own domain but I don’t want to loose my posts and content. Suggestions? Thankyou so much X
I am not ashamed to admit that when I was first learning how to build a blog I made a ton of mistakes. You can benefit from more than a decade of my experience so that you don’t repeat these same mistakes. I created this free guide so that anyone can learn how to blog quickly and easily. And if you get stuck at any point, please send me a message and I will do my best to help you!
If you want to blog anonymously or don’t want people to contact you, you can leave this out, but otherwise you’ll want to include some information about how people can contact you — especially if you’re hoping to make money blogging.
Where is my target audience consuming content already? Research into your competitors i.e. the existing sites or YouTube channels that already produce the kind of content you are looking to do. Work out why a vlog is so popular and try to use such techniques in your own videos
Note: This option is only available once your domain registration is fully completed and you are no longer on your temporary domain (see Step 5 above). You’ll know this is the case when you type your chosen domain into any browser (Chrome, Safari, Firefox, etc.) and your domain works, without forwarding to a weird looking domain in the address bar. If your site is still using a temporary domain, put a reminder on your calendar to come back in 2-24 hours to finish this step.