Domain and Hosting. The first thing we did when starting our blog was go to Bluehost and register our domain. We didn’t even need to set up a WordPress page first, which is the platform we use, since Bluehost does all that for you. Bluehost’s basic price is $2.95 a month, which works for 99% of people (go to this link to receive a 50% discount off the monthly price and a free domain). Then, we did a simple, free, “one-click” install of WordPress through Bluehost. When we had questions we were able to chat with the “live chat” folks at Bluehost for free. They pointed us in the right direction and made starting our own blog super easy.
Follow the step-by-step instructions to learn how you can begin starting a blog in less than an hour. We used this process to create our successful blog, which now has more than 4 million readers and has been featured in the New York Times, TIME magazine, and on the TODAY show.
There are thousands of articles and podcast episodes on ProBlogger about how to create content. See our latest stuff in the content category on our blog and on the podcast. Also check out some of these popular articles on different aspects of creating content.
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
Thank you SO MUCH for this helpful post. We are just starting out on our first travel blog. I truly believe in it as a business, and I appreciate your words of wisdom and encouragement! I think they are especially helpful in the early years. Thanks again!
Great post, do you have more advice on paid advertising spend for blogs? I have a blog getting decent traffic however I would like to expedite that a bit with a bit of paid advertising. I’ve ventured a bit into facebook ads but am looking for other channels to promote as well. Any advice would be appreciated so I can expand my readership.
Hmm, sounds like that might be something in your general Facebook settings. I would check your page settings as well as personal profile settings to see if geolocation is turned on. I think it’s called Facebook Places maybe?
The great thing is that it does take a while to start building traffic. This can sound bad, but the truth is that during this slow time, it gives you time to learn how to improve your SEO, get comfortable blogging and start learning as much as you can.
As your blog grows, you may want to change the look of your site and add more features for your growing audience. That means it’s important to choose a blogging platform that’s flexible, with room to grow. 
During that time, I started four different blogs, working on them at night and on the weekends. The first three failed. Despite investing hundreds of hours into each one, I made too many mistakes, and I eventually had to shut the blogs down. I didn’t earn a penny from them.
WPBeginner is a free WordPress resource site for Beginners. WPBeginner was founded in July 2009 by Syed Balkhi. The main goal of this site is to provide quality tips, tricks, hacks, and other WordPress resources that allows WordPress beginners to improve their site(s).
But having your very own website gives you complete control and ownership over your content. You get your own domain, your own brand, your own dedicated readers. You have complete control over the design and format of your site. You can monetize your blog and add any functionality you want.
After reading through this post, I’m punching the air. Makes sense! But the thing is I write short stories, reviews, articles and the like on my blog. I’ve a little more than 500 subscribers and I’ve read every available material on getting traffic and making money. I only wonder how it applies to me since subscription to my blog is trickling in at a very slow rate 🙁 Anyhow, this is another great post from you, keep it up!
Here’s my suggestion: Before you start a blog, make sure you have some ideas what to write about. If you don’t have any – think about your hobbies or things you’re passionate about. This helped me to find my niche/topic for my blog.
To get started, it’s a good idea to put together a one-page media kit that details your traffic stats, social media following, audience demographics, and any other data that will make your site more appealing to advertisers. Then, you can approach companies to negotiate a sponsorship deal.
But probably the easiest way to find professional design services is to take advantage of the services offered by your web host. If you choose a large host like Bluehost, GoDaddy, HostGator, and InMotion, you pay for a one-time use of their in-house design services.
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.
Also, I’m skipping a lot of other important topics like price testing, competition, economics, and lots of other variables that affect how to make money blogging, but in my opinion, none of those things are even worth considering until you know the answer to this one simple question:

Solid numbers about blogging incomes are hard to come by. For example, in the US, the Bureau of Labor Statistics lump bloggers in the very broad category of “Writers and Authors” which has a median income of $61,240 per year. It’s not an accurate measure since there are vastly different occupations included in that category. Information from small surveys and anecdotal evidence can also be found online, but much of it is outdated or taken from tiny sample sizes.
You can do the same thing, even if your list is much smaller. If you have 100 subscribers, chances are two of them might be willing to buy premium products or services from you, and those two will often pay you more money than the other 98 combined.
Alrighty. Just started a new blog this week and this post is SO valuable. My first goal is growing my list to 1,000, but you’ve got me thinking about viable products and a webinar. Thanks for sharing your expertise and experience!
I have closed my first blog (frankly I’m failed in blogging) and started new blog two years back, its going fine now but my income depends on ads, I just want to skip from this and planning to implement affiliate and building my own product. This post gives a clear idea about I’m travelling on right path.
So….why would someone accept me as a guest blogger? I have no blog where I’ve written similar content on my own platform, and because we’re not focusing on Twitter, Facebook and Google+, I have no social proof of any kind.
Hi Jess, I already own a free hosted blog on wordpress because as a student I don’t really have enough money to get self hosting due to the yearly payment. right now I can’t activate Adsense and it’s being restrictive. please do you think ipage is cheaper and is it monthly payment.
I need some help, I see that you said that building a site that is based on a niche is much more profitable. I have one question, how about a site that isn’t based on a niche. I often blog about many things. Sometimes, they’re not related to each other at all. In terms of SEO, will it have any massive negative impact? Thanks in advance.
A domain name for a carpentry blog of “ibuildthingsoutofwood.com” may sound detailed and specific, but it’s actually too long and hard to remember. “Learncarpentry.com” is much shorter, specific, descriptive, and uses valuable keywords.
I am so very glad I found your website and read this post. I am so inexperienced in all this, but I do see that you take a totally different approach to the many others I have read. It is so refreshing. I will go back reread, study and apply.
In short, a blog is a type of website that focuses mainly on written content, also known as blog posts. In popular culture we most often hear about news blogs or celebrity blog sites, but as you’ll see in this guide, you can start a successful blog on just about any topic imaginable.
Now I know a ton about them, and my blog’s doing pretty well – I receive more than 300,000 unique visitors per month which makes me consider myself someone you could listen to and learn from when it comes to building your own blog. I’m not some sort of Guru, but I certainly do know the basics.
Thanks Ramsay, for the detailed guide to become successful in blogging. Writing unique content with relevant images,videos would be an best way to succeed & to drive organic traffic. Infographics is another way to get peoples link to your website.
When you have found the theme that you like, simply bring your mouse on it, and it will show the Install button. Click on it and wait for the theme to be installed. After that, the install button will be replaced with an Activate button. You need to click on it to Activate the theme.
Companies don’t offer free blogs out of the goodness of their hearts. They still want to make money somehow. If you’re only using their free service, they’re not making money from you. Therefore, they don’t have a lot of incentive to keep you happy. Sometimes this means you’ll have little to no support. Other times it means you’ll be badgered with offers for their paid-for products.
Several years ago I realized bloggers were making money. In some cases, they were making good money! And many of them seemed like regular people, just like me. How exactly were they doing it? And could I make money blogging too?
Can you teach an old dog new tricks? I hope so. I have 78 years of knowledge to share on food, music, and other topics. Your instructions are amazing, wonderful, and hopefully easy enough for even an old tech-idiot like me to understand. I’ll sign up for your course, but I want to express my admiration and appreciation for such a fine product as you have created.
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?
If you have previously registered a domain and want to use it for this new site, enter it on the right. (Don’t worry, it won’t mess things up to enter it here. It only identifies your Bluehost account for now.) If you don’t already have one, enter your desired domain on the left.
Just thinking aloud here – but maybe you could put a guide together to help people choose the best art for their homes? Maybe in time offer a consultancy service – I bet there are some people who would pay someone to choose the art for them? I’ve seen that you are a self-taught artist – able to offer courses/consultancy on helping others learn art?
I agree with all of your points. I especially need to focus on visual art sides of my blogging. I use images here and there but I need to integrate them better into the blog. I also need to start taking them myself as I have a several thousand dollar Nikon SLR sitting around not being used. Thanks for writing this for us.