WordPress was built to be a blogging platform and will always be a blogging platform. It does it well and perfect for blog only sites. However, once you start incorporating other functionality into your site such as membership based concepts, e-commerce, basically more complex website structure and content, my choice would go to Joomla! hands down. I’ve got over 10 years of Joomla experience and 7 for WP, so it’s a bit easier for me to make that statement.
I can honestly say that without the support and mentoring of the bloggers in my niche, I would never have been able to hit any milestones along the way. It has all been thanks to their kindness and influence.
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.)
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 always, a fantastic post Jon. Have just shared on G+ with the comment that you are simply the best at what you do. I love your style, and the practical advice is invaluable. I was particularly interested in your downplay of using twitter, FB etc to hope to grow your blog, but what you said makes total sense. As someone who is building an author’s platform prior to publication, I’d been hesitant to sell products, but no more. Thanks so much for your inspiration.
Very useful, applicable and dare I say inspiring post, Jon! I feel I’m ready to systematically implement all of your solutions (and similar ones offered by others) but I often wonder if I would have more success starting a new blog from scratch, than trying to up the ante with my existing blog. It would be nice to have time for both! Great post though, I will be bookmarking (and sharing, cuz you asked) this one.
Stay within the Visual editor if you are new to blogging and are not familiar with code. This will give you a more “visual” look at what you are drafting when it comes to header sizes, font styles, and formats.
You may have heard of site builders Weebly, Wix, or Squarespace. Website builders can be an attractive solution for people who only need a one-page home on the internet. It usually takes just a few clicks (and a bit of typing) to set up a site.
hey i actaully have 2 questions about starting a blog..1. is that if i just have a free blog on WordPress, and my blog is owned by them, will i still get money for it?? 2. i already made a free WordPress blog, but in case of any mind changes can i switch to a hosting company (iPage) while still keeping the page i have already made? or would i have to start all over again?
Bloggers come to blogging arena with varying degrees of online and social media experience, but we’ve all made more than a few newbie mistakes – there’s always room for more learning and improvement, whether you’re a beginner or you’ve been blogging for years.
Here’s a breakdown of my blogging activity for a typical recent month. Without breaking any confidences by telling you what any specific client pays, here is the amount of blogging I do for paid clients in a month:
Invest in Linking. Internally link to other content on your blog to organize it better for web crawlers. In addition, aim to have other websites link back to your website (through guest posting, blog comments, or just by publishing quality content others want to mention on their own site) so Google and other search engines can reward you for being authoritative and rank your blog posts higher.
Sharing your blog content on social media is an art. There is no right way to do it. People have success sharing blog content in their own unique ways. Some will share only their blog links on social media. Others will share a high percentage of unique content on social media.
Excellent article and very true points! I love spending some time on blog and making sure it is organized, as this will make it easier for visitors to follow. Mine is about creative stories and thoughts of mine and includes a store and chat people can spend some time on as well.
A: Blogs are frequently updated with articles while a website is generally “set it and forget it”. Blogs might have fewer features than a website and just focus on creating really good content. For this reason, a blog is more socially active, with shares and comments.
Thanks for the great guide! I really like your posts! The one question that I have, is what does it mean to install WP? Is it actually installing a system on your computer? Or is it just integrating Hostgator in to WP?
In WordPress, blog layouts are known as “Themes”. What is a blog theme? Themes control the entire design of your blog. To change your theme you are going to click on the “Appearance” tab on the left menu.
Theme. A good theme gives you the look and feel you want for your blog, allowing you to make a blog that looks exactly how you want it to look. If you’re not a coder (we certainly weren’t), then a theme makes the design work a million times easier. Plus, once you purchase a theme, which are inexpensive for the time they save you, you own it for life. A theme has two halves: the framework (the bones) and the Child Theme (the beauty):
Seriously can’t believe I’m trying to do this after midnight. I must be crazy. Well it’s up for what it’s worth. Gonna go ahead and invite my RL friends from my FB page tomorrow. Somebody send me a shamrock for luck.
A sponsored post is one way in which to make money from advertisers. With this type of arrangement you may be asked to publish a post that is provided by the advertiser or they may ask you to write a post that mentions them or their product – depending on your following you can expect to receive between $50 and $500 for a sponsored article.
Ghost is a minimalist blogging platform with limited features focused on writing blog posts. It’s available as a hosted platform, and also as a software that you can install and host yourself. We’ll take a look at both options.
If for some odd reason you don’t want to use HostGator, you can always choose another hosting provider. I can’t promise they’ll be that good, but the registration and the setup process should be somewhat similar. Some hosting companies do not have one-click install for WordPress. If that’s the case, see this guide for installing WordPress manually (not recommended for beginners, though).
I have a lot of great ideas, but most of them are just thoughts and theories, and it seems that no one would want to read about, even pay for, ideas in which I am not a complete expert on. My greatest talent, perhaps, is being a prolific writer. Otherwise, I’m more of a Cliff Craven I know a lot about some things, and some about a lot of things. How does THIS make MONEY??
Be Honest. Your blog needs to be authentic—it needs to feel real—if you want people to read it. You can be your blog, or your blog can be you. That is, do you really embody the stuff you write about? If not, people will see through you. “Be the change you want to see in the world,” is the famous Gandhi quote. Perhaps bloggers should build the blog they want to write for the world.
I think now that I have finally started to have a better understanding of how to provide value. My new challenge is learning how to differentiate when I’m giving “too much” value, in the case where I should have just packaged up the content and created a product.
Share your story. A blog allows you to have a voice and be heard. You can share your story with the entire world if you so choose. One of the most common ways blogs are used are as a diary where the blogger writes about their daily experiences so that friends, family, and others can all be a part of their lives.
Instead of a job board, you could create an event calendar where you charge people to advertise their events. This also works well if you already have an established audience, because businesses will be willing to pay to reach your audience.
Great information and all in one place too! Nowadays I see people are getting very creative in ways to make some extra money from home. I must say, you certainly help to solve this problem very beautifully. Nice guide for making money.
We hope this article helped you choose the best blogging platform for your next blog. If you’re ready to get started blogging with WordPress, then head over to our step by step guide on how to start a WordPress blog.
This is great information. I’m wondering if you can help me – I created a fan page (category: website/blog) separate from my personal Facebook profile page. Now I want to link the two, but the only instructions I can find are for linking business/work fan pages to personal profiles. How can I link my website/blog fan page to my personal Facebook page?
Similar to the way you connect with fellow bloggers on your blog, connect with fellow vloggers.  You can do this by commenting on vlogs that address similar topics to yours, subscribing to YouTube channels, and inviting vloggers to watch your content.
If people immediately think you’re full of shit upon hearing your promise, then you’re in trouble. In my opinion, this is what marketing is really about: getting people to trust you when you say you can help them. The better you are at it, the more money you’ll make.
If you’re a little more technically inclined or up for getting your hands dirty, you could try these more advanced themes: Genesis, Thesis and X Theme are considered the top WordPress themes out there, and you can get any of them for less than $100.
Pique the reader’s interest: Create a “curiosity gap” so your reader wants to click through and read the full post. Instead of writing a post called “My Day at the Zoo,” write “How My Visit to the Zoo Changed My Life.”
Hi Gemma, Having 10 visitors per day to a new site is great. The numbers will grow as you start building more pages. If you are concerned about visitors and want to attract more, check out the post I wrote on promoting your blog: https://startbloggingonline.com/how-to-promote-your-blog-and-get-visitors/
Jon, thanks for this awesome post. My question is, what do you think of blogs who ask for donations or claim to sustain themselves by them? (Also books and products). But what do you think about the donation itself and if you´re pro-donation, when is a good time to start asking for it in a blog? Thanks a lot for your time. Hope some day I can meet you Im from and live in Mexico
Jon, this is a great article. Thank you. As usual, you are full of useful information. I am new to blogging (just launched in March) and I initially started with the small e-mail list from my business website, which does not have a blog. I started a completely new website after realizing I was on the wrong platform altogether to grow an audience. I learned this thanks to the information you and other professional bloggers provide. You recommend affiliate marketing to monetize a small new blog, which are my exact thoughts for my blog. Do you have an affiliate program? If so I would love to promote your info on my site. Thanks again!
Categories and tags help organize your website into groups that are easily found by site visitors looking for something specific. To add categories and tags to your blog post, look to the right hand side of your editor and notice the two boxes, Categories and Tags.
You also need to have the software to build your blog. In this guide I will be showing you how to build a blog using the WordPress blogging software, because it is the most popular, customizable, and easiest to use.
It’s the best way to get your blog off the ground as quickly, easily and cheaply as possible — using WordPress.com means you don’t actually have to worry about buying a domain or hosting — they’ll take care of it for you.
WordPress essentials aren’t often needed, but I’d recommend whois privacy (that will keep all your personal details private) and definitely automated backups (this’ll save your website just in case anything fails or disappears, so you won’t lose any or very little of your blog).
Something I’ve been noticing is that blogging SEO is changing, but only in some ways. It’s almost like a car in that the design, colors and minor features change each year but the core remains the same. In this case the core is back links and the features are things like freshness, authorship, mobile-friendliness and so on.

If the name you want isn’t available, HostGator will show you some alternatives that are similar – or you can punch in a new name and try again. I’d suggest you use something that ends with .com, .net or .org