Great post guys! I’ve been travel blogging for years, but on a hosted travel blog site. Last June I set up my own blog, but then life happened, I posted infrequently and I didn’t run with it. Now this year, I’ve been actually putting effort into my travel blog since May and I have started getting emails from media companies for sponsored content. I am also doing some freelance travel writing that is proving pretty lucrative. I have another 9 months working in Jamaica, so I’m seeing how far I can get by that time and if I’m able to take the plunge!
To start writing on the internet, you need a blogging platform for your site to sit on. There are many platforms to choose from that will give you everything you need for a strong blogging foundation.
Why not experiment by selling your services as a freelancer or consultant in your area of expertise? A food blogger could create meal plans for busy families, a photographer could take headshots and portraits, and pretty much any blogger can offer to write paid blog posts.
Make money from home. Blogging can be quite lucrative if done correctly. The top bloggers in the world obviously earn quite a bit, but even a part-time blogger can expect to make a nice profit if things are done correctly. The best part about it is that blogging is a form of passive income, since you can spend just a few hours a week writing a blog post and then continue to make money from it long after the blog post is written. I go into much more detail on how to blog for money later in this guide.
I recommend Bluehost for all new bloggers (get a Blog Tyrant special discount rate of $2.75 per month). It’s where I first got started as a blogger and is the chosen host for millions of bloggers around the world.
Great post, thank you! I found this to be very useful. I have just got into the Pay Per Click method and it is a great way of building a passive income. Due to my niche, I have found it difficult to source good affiliate networks, but just today I have revisited the accounts I set up on Link Share and CJ, to my surprise they offer a good range of affiliate programs, many of which cater to my niche blog topic 🙂
One of two behind The SITS Girls and Bloggy Boot Camp. Believer that this community is a movement, and not just a website. Currently on a quest for unending free WiFi & stronger caffeine. I’d love to get to know you better: Find me on Twitter @FranBanducci and on Google+.
At the very top of this blog post on the things you need to know to start a blog I mentioned that I still think a self-hosted WordPress blog is the best bet for serious, professional bloggers. Well, that doesn’t mean that we should totally ignore the other platforms.

Linking to other websites is a great way to make friends and provide value to your readers. It shows that you know your stuff and are not afraid to mention the “competition”. However, every time I want to include a link, Yoast says: “you’re about to link to a website that’s ranking for the same keyword you want to, are you sure you want to do that?”
This post is exactly what I was looking for as I start the new year. Back in my college years I would write for several different college lifestyle blogs and I vowed when I graduated I would keep it up…fast forward 3 years…still no blog. I’m not big on resolutions, but I really really really am going to make it happen this year. This weekend is dedicated to getting my blog set up and running! Thanks for this post!
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.
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.
Social networks can drastically expand your blog’s audience. If you have a presence on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn, you have a better chance of getting found, so you should be thinking about them as part of your blogging strategy.
Thanks for this really easy-to-follow guide, it was a great help installing my blog. However, I have the same problem as Ellen above. I set up my domain name successfully and installed WordPress. Got an e-mail saying that the WordPress install was successful (as shown in your guide). But when I want to log in to my admin URL it says that the website is not available! and it’s been like that for the last 2 days. Do you know what to do?
Hi thanks for all your help! So I have a question. I want to make a blog but I want it be self hosted. Do I make it on WordPress first then get into iPage or do I sign up with iPage and then connect it to WordPress? I was a little confused when you was talking about that. Thanks
I found your tips really helpful but I have one question I live in the UK I would love to start blogging but is it possible to open blog in the UK and able to convert the language and menus in to polish ? Or do I have to open it the polish language? 😄
Given how cheap it is to get most domains, you could even buy a few iterations. So if your name is Janice M. Schmidt and you want to start a running blog called Janice Runs Fast, try to buy both janicerunsfast.com and janicemschmidt.com. 
Wow really great list of tips, even for non beginners! I agree Ahrefs is probably the best SEO tool for bloggers, but honestly Google Webmaster Tools is the first place to start to monitor your search traffic. Ahref is really expensive, and for new comers, probably overkill. I recently started a new blog, and am more than happy with the data provided by Webmaster Tools.
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.
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.
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.
Hi, just wanted to comment that I agree with the straight-forward approach. It’s the best way to learn information quickly, without digging through ingratiated, sugar-coated words to get to the point. I can’t yet afford any of the training, so I find many blogs and pieces of information like this every day. I have to read fast and get through it, otherwise I’ll sit there all day reading through feel-good mush.
Wow, this is a great post with tons of data-driven insights that would take me years to figure out on my own. You can earn a good income from blogging, but I’m not sure I want to do it this way myself. I’m more interested in becoming a ghostblogger for businesses.
Readers don’t love being hit with ads over and over again, so start by including just one or two in your sidebar. Be sure to monitor the ads that show up on your blog — you don’t want scammy “make $35,000 in 20 minutes from home!” ads to distract readers from your great content.