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Today is the day!
We’re going to start a Blog that has the potential to make money from day one!
How are we going to do this?
We’ll start by setting up a self-hosted WordPress.org website through Siteground, who offers an incredible 99.99% uptime (I’ll explain what this means in a bit for those who are brand new to blogging)!
But why WordPress.org and why Siteground?
As I’ve had experience with various website builders, I can honestly say that self-hosting is the way to go if you want to make money from day one! This is exactly how I did it!
Before moving my WordPress.com site over to Siteground for WordPress.org hosting, I also tried Wix due its reputation for being easy to use!
Wix is a drag and drop website builder but I learned quickly that doing things the easy way wasn’t going to get me earning anytime soon.
Wordpress.com was a different story!
There were some months where I had hundreds of viewers and somehow earned less than I did during months with fewer readers. I was stumped, but later learned that WordPress.com pays far less than I would make if I made the switch to a self-hosted website (meaning I actually own my content as well!) and AdWords views are paid based on the geographic location of the user (for example, readers based in the United States earn you the highest rate per ad view).
I chose WordPress.com because I was a busy mom who didn’t have time to learn how to html, install a theme, get to know plugins, etc.
Learn from my mistakes and make the investment in yourself and your blog now!
With enough effort, it will pay off sooner than you think!
The decision to start a blog for me came from my love of creating and sharing recipes. But what I learned about myself during that experience was something completely different…
I actually love to teach more than anything! And thus, Nikki Blogs was born!
Apparently, I’ve always had a knack for Social Media; my first Instagram account grew to more than 6,000 followers before I switched over to the mommy category where I now have about 15,000 followers.
I wanted to give blogging a shot as I thought it would give me more of an opportunity to share my creative voice rather than just posting pretty pictures. I do however, love sharing the steps I’ve taken to acquire the following I have on Instagram though, and am here to be your social media coach as well should you decide you’d like to go this route!
I think with the right tools and knowledge, being a social media powerhouse is something that anyone can accomplish.
Between Instagram and Blogging, I’ve achieved my goal of earning enough income for me to stay at home full-time with my baby! A fulfilling career that I am passionate about plus the opportunity to watch my little one grow up is all I could ever ask for.
Maybe you have similar ambitions! Or maybe you’re just looking for an additional income stream. Whatever the reason, I really can’t wait to help you get started and am looking forward to sharing the exact steps I took to start a blog that made money from day one with you!
How To Start A Money Making Blog
1. Choose a Blog Niche
So, you want to start a blog. But what do you want to write about? This is a critical first step in your blogging journey!
While I personally describe my blog as a lifestyle blog, my focus is centred around Social Media and Blogging. I do occasionally talk about my little girl and motherhood but my niche is very clear.
Do you have a passion for beauty? Cooking? Twitter?
Whatever your favourite topic is, stick to it!
Look to the future a bit: imagine you’re sending out your monthly email newsletter! What is your audience expecting?
It is far easier to build a brand and following when you have focus and your readers recognize you for being exceptional at something.
Ask yourself a couple of questions:
What am I truly passionate about?
While this can be fairly easy for some, it may be more difficult to narrow down for others!
As mentioned before, when I created my first blog, I thought I had a passion was cooking.
However, when I began to struggle with creating new content, I learned very quickly that I wasn’t as enthusiastic about this topic as I once believed.
People start blogs for all sorts of reasons. Let your passion guide you and you’ll never be short of inspiration for new content. Because content is the epitome of any successful blog!
Can I make money from this?
Blogging can be super fun and an amazing outlet! In a way, it’s almost like having a journal!
But if you really want to take it seriously and work from home, you need to ask yourself the tough questions now:
How do you plan to make money from your blog?
Will you offer a service?
Will you show ads?
How about affiliate marketing?
Do the research and plan ahead to start making money from day one!
Is there a need within my niche?
While starting your new online adventure is an exciting feat, you need to separate yourself from others in your category. Finding a need within your niche is the best way to do so.
Is there a question to be answered that you have a new take on?
Is there a problem to be solved that you’ve developed a creative solution for?
Both of these thoughts are wonderful starting points!
2. Create a Brand
How do you want your blog to be perceived?
How do you want to make people feel when they experience your content?
Like a beautiful, cohesive Instagram feed (check out How To Maintain a White & Bright Instagram Feed for more great branding ideas), a blog with clear branding not only makes you look more professional, it builds trust in your audience.
You know who you are and therefore your readers know that they can count on you to deliver consistent content.
Start with something as simple as your colour palette:
How many colours will you use?
What are you main colours? What are you accent colours?
What font will you use?
Are you more modern or traditional?
How do you want your logo to look?
Do you want to have it designed for you or use an app to generate it? Will you have a slogan?
What will you name your blog?
This is one of, if not your most essential key branding element!
You want your blog name to be memorable! So, ideally, try to stick with two or three words (and name your domain accordingly).
Make it memorable and make it relevant to your niche. Also, choose “.com” when available! This not only makes you look more reputable which, of course, builds trust,it’s also much easier for blog readers to remember and could result in an email subscription!
You can check to see if your ideal domain name is available using this link.
Will you take your own photos or use stock photos?
Between managing my personal and home life, Instagram account, and blog, I hardly get time to create content for both platforms, so I’ve opted to go with a ton of professional stock photos for my blog (Check out The 23 Best Places for FREE Bright & Feminine Stock Photos to see where I’ve found many of my blog photos).
3. Platform & Hosting with Siteground
Trust me when I say that this part is not as hard as it may seem! And I avoided making the switch to self-hosting for as long as possible because I was afraid of the technical stuff!
To get started in creating your self-hosted blog, you require two things:
A Blogging Platform
Your blogging platform is the service or application you will use to actually create your blog. You will use it to design your website, choose your theme, add pages, and create posts. It allows you to manage your blog and to reply to comments on your posts. In this case, we’re setting your blog up with WordPress.
Your host provides the servers where the data that makes up your website resides; in English, it’s a little space on the internet where your website lives, like renting an apartment!
After experimenting with different platforms and seeing what other successful bloggers were using, I finally made the choice to switch over to WordPress, and then to a self-hosted WordPress.org website through Siteground.
I cannot tell you enough how happy I’ve been with this combination!
As someone with no background in website building, html, etc., I was intimidated to make the change at first but the learning curve was not that bad.
The worst part of all was transferring my domain! And the worst WORST part of that was that my previously written blog posts were stuck in limbo during the one week duration between the transfer having completed (meaning, my readers could not see my content some of the time; with WordPress.com, it’s all a waiting game and there was no option for me to have it done sooner than that).
Once the transfer was completed, I also had to go to Pinterest and change all of the links for my articles since NOT ONE of them retained the same former URL! A very ugly process when you have hundreds of pins circulating the internet! I’m certain that I was unable to save all of them as well!
Do NOT make this mistake and choose the self-hosted option first! You will be SO glad you did!
Why Should You Choose Siteground?
They have an amazing 99.99% uptime
Blog down time is the worst thing EVER! You could be losing potential readers, subscribers, and followers while your website is not up and running!
Your readers are who keep you in business and the ones who count on you for guidance. Don’t leave them hanging by making sure you have the best in hosting and always have your blog up and running!
They Have 24/7 Support for All of Your Questions
This was definitely my favourite feature when I switched over from WordPress.com to a self-hosted WordPress.org site!
I had a little trouble transferring my domain and simply called Siteground’s 24/7 support team for help with the final steps. They literally just did the work for me! It was AMAZING!
If you prefer to chat online though, simply visit their site for on-demand support.
No matter your experience level, Siteground‘s incredible tech support will be able to help you resolve your issue!
Siteground Comes Equipped with SuperCacher
Your website will be able to handle “up to 100 more hits” and be 4x faster!
Meaning, if one of your pins or blog posts goes viral, your viewers won’t experience a delay due to an increase in your blog traffic.
SuperCacher is also multi-application optimized and users can “enable multiple caching levels”!
So, are you ready to start your money-making blog now?
Click this link to head over to Siteground now and let’s setup your blog together!
Create Your New Blog With Siteground
Step (1) Choose A Plan
Siteground offers three different plans to choose from: in order of most basic to most advanced, your options are StartUp, Grow Big, or GoGeek.
I highly recommend the Grow Big plan as it is a reasonable price and offers the best bang for your buck including both Essential and Premium Features (like SuperCacher!), 20GB of Web Space, and up to 25,000 Monthly Visits!
This is more enough if you’re just starting out and will allow your blog to grow exponentially if you have the means and are willing to put the work in!
However, if you’re trying to save your pennies and need to stick to a more budget friendly option, the StartUp plan is only $3.95 a month and is the perfect option to get you into the blog game.
If you’ve already built somewhat of a following though, or expect massive amounts of traffic from the start, the GoGeek Plan is $11.95, includes Advanced Features and can handle up to 100,000 monthly visits! Holy Cow!
While Siteground is known for their amazing support system, do keep in mind that users of the Grow Big and GoGeek plans do receive priority support though!
When I called in about my domain transfer issue, it took less than 10 minutes to get me connected to someone at tech support! It takes me longer to pay a bill online, haha!
Also, keep in mind that you will receive HUGE SAVINGS if you purchase hosting for a term of 2 or 3 years. If you are serious about building your blog, this is absolutely the way to go!
Step (2) Choose A Domain Name
Have you been thinking about your blog name while you’re reading? Did you narrow it down to two or three words? Does it represent the brand you are going to create for your blog? Yes? Awesome!
Let’s plug your domain name into the Please Enter Your Domain field.
If you didn’t already plug your potential domain name into the availability checker earlier, you’ll find out if it’s available now 🙂 Again, I really recommend choosing a “.com” for its professional appearance and memorability.
If your ideal domain name is available and/or you are happy with your choice, let’s wrap up the final details and move onto step 3 next.
Step (3) Fill In Your Account Info
Now for the easy part!
Fill in your Account and Client Information.
Now, fill in your Payment Information.
Next, confirm your Purchase Information and be sure to choose at least a 12 month term to unlock a 70% off discount for your first year!
Now, choose whether or not to include a couple of Extra Services in the form of Domain Privacy and/or SG Site Scanner (I personally like the added security that these additional features offer but if you don’t need them, you can save a couple of bucks).
Check the box to confirm that you agree to Siteground’s Terms of Service and click Pay Now to complete your purchase.
Congratulations! You’ve officially got hosting for your blog and are ready to rock!
4. Build Your Site
You’re now ready to start customizing your blog.
First things first, let’s install WordPress!
Want to make this as easy and as quick as possible? Let’s hit Live Chat and contact a Siteground Tech to set it up for us! Sweet!
Simply ask the Siteground Team Member to setup your WordPress site and send you the login details for your account. Presto!
In the 15 minutes it takes for a Siteground team member to do this, you can be checking out beautiful themes for your blog at Creative Market. Life is good, right?
However, if you are feeling adventurous or simply want to setup WordPress on your own, you can do so by hitting the tab labelled My Accounts and then the Go to cPanel tab.
Once you’re here, move down to the Autoinstallers section and click on the WordPress icon near the centre.
Click on the Install button.
And after installing, enter your information on the next screen.
Choose Protocol: Keep it simple using http://
Choose Domain: Select your domain name from the drop down menu
In Directory: Leave this blank unless you know you want it
Site Name: This is your website’s name
Site Description: Enter a brief description for your site; or return to fill it in at a later time!
Admin Username: This is the name you use to log into your WordPress Blog
Admin Password: This is the password to log into your WordPress Blog (there is a separate login entity from your Siteground login)
Admin Email: This is the email address that will be attached to your WordPress Blog
Limit Login Attempts (Loginizer): A security precaution that limits the number of attempts there is available to try entering your WordPress password before the account is frozen.
Classic Editor: Choose classic editor if your prefer a more simplistic approach to formatting your blog posts (personally, I favour the Classic Editor over the new Block Editor).
WordPress Starter: Provides easy setup in selecting themes and/or plugins.
If you will use a custom theme like the beautiful ones offered through Creative Market, you’ll also need to take additional steps when installing your themes (like downloading the necessary plugins, etc.). I will post a link to this guide here once I’ve published it!
Now, let’s checkout our Dashboard!
Log in to WordPress
Let’s log in to to your new WordPress Account by heading back to the My Accounts tab in your Siteground User Area.
Click on the Installations tab below and then click on Go to Admin Panel.
Enter the details from your WordPress account setup earlier.
Welcome to your Dashboard!
This is where you’ll spend most of your time navigating in and out of your Blog Posts as well as setting up your Theme and downloading cool plugins for your site.
To add a New Page, move your cursor over to the menu on the lefthand side of your screen and highlight the Pages link where a tab that reads Add New will appear on the righthand side. Click this button.
In the next screen, add a title to your new page.
The first pages you should create are an About Me page and a Contact page.
Write Your First Blog Post
To write your first blog post, move your cursor to the lefthand menu once again and highlight the the Posts link until the tab that reads Add New appears to the right. Click this link.
And there you have it, you can start working on your first blog post!
If you’re like me and prefer to keep it simple though, move your cursor to bottom the right hand side of your screen and highlight the text that reads Switch to Classic Editor to use the basic editor.
Pro Tip: Plan out and write your first ten blog posts before you launch your blog (at the least)!
This will help you maintain readership by having enough articles for your readers to browse and enough internal links for you to use within your posts.
As bloggers, we want to ensure low bounce rates and many well written articles is your best arsenal in making this happen!
5. Marketing & Monetization Strategies
How will you promote your blog? And how will you make a profit?
Will you apply for Google Adsense? Do you want to try Affiliate Marketing? Or will you strictly provide a service? These are all crucial things to consider when it comes to how you will make money blogging.
Your monetization plan needs to be clear from the start. If you are looking to learn more about methods of monetizing your blog, signup for my email list to receive a notification immediately once I release this post. It’s going to be a good one!
If you plan to sell a product, make sure you’ve created a listing for it on your blog before your launch. If you will do affiliate marketing, decide what programs you will apply for and start referencing links to those products in your posts while you are writing them from the start.
Pro Tip: Get to know the rules of the Affiliate Programs you have signed onto before you start including these links in your posts. Amazon, for instance, has very strict guidelines! Know your rules, don’t get banned before you’ve even gotten your feet wet!
6. Launch It
Before you start promoting your blog posts to Pinterest, Instagram, and other Social Media platforms, go over some details. Do a couple of final edits on your articles to make sure you’re happy with all of the visual and written components!
For a list of 60 Awesome Ideas for Blog Posts Your Audience Actually Wants to Read, click here!
And once you’ve done the above, congratulations! You’re now ready to launch your blog!
For my favourite way to promote my blog posts, check out Tailwind! I used this incredible app to take me from 5 to 44,000 monthly viewers on Pinterest and increased my blog traffic by more than 858%!
This is your year and it’s going to be amazing!
Once you’ve setup your blog, leave a comment below or come find me on Facebook or Instagram to learn more about using Social Media for your blog 🙂
You may also find some of these posts useful since you’ve started your blog:
- How To Setup A Pinterest Business Account
- How To Get Approved For Google AdSense The First Time You Apply
- 5 Golden Rules Of Blogging
- Why You Need To Use IGTV For Your Blog
- The 23 Best Places For FREE Bright & Feminine Stock Photos
- How To Get Organized Like A Mom Boss
- How To Edit Photos For Your Blog Or Instagram With Lightroom CC From Your Phone
Please also don’t hesitate to shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org should you have any additional questions about setting up your blog.
Congratulations and happy blogging!