HOW TO START A WORDPRESS BLOG THAT MAKES MONEY IN 2021
How to start a monetized blog or simply starting a blog that makes money is easily my favorite topic to write about. This is very close to my heart for so many reasons; one being the fact that I see myself in so many people who have this question. I have my fair share of struggling to get my blog together and dealing with the frustrating overwhelm of piecing things together to have my blog go from $0 to consistent income every month.
You know, you like a business.
So take this as your crash course to starting a successful blog that makes money in 2021 and beyond.
To start a monetized blog is just the same question as how to start a blog that makes money. Blogging has come a really long way, from being merely an online diary for most people back in the 90s, to scaling so tremendously that it has now become a high income online business paying 6 figure paychecks to bloggers and businesses worldwide.
I’ll go over a few *good* reasons why starting a monetized blog is one of the most rewarding decisions anyone can make:
1.You have been around the internet long enough to flip the script and get paid to put your thoughts out there
2. You want to create a Digital real estate that earns you passive income
3. Starting a blog is profitable, matter of fact; it is a highly profitable online business that can be scaled into a passive income stream. Yes you read that right, a blog is a business.
4. You have a little passion that can solve the pain points of a waiting audience. This is where you bring your niche into play and work your hands into solving a real problem writing conversational posts that speak to people.
5. You need that cha-ching notification more than your stalker ex liking a picture you completely forgot about. Maybe not like that, sometimes it is not about the money for most (some) people
6. You want to own a space on the internet where you can let your hair down and find your people, people who resonate with your story.
7. You want to take on a new project that turns around to pay you.
8. You do not need to be a writer in any shape or form to run a blog. Social media is proof that success is open to all.
9. You want to position your business/yourself as a thought leader in your niche, providing valuable content your audience are constantly searching
10. You want a life that brings you financial security, peace of mind and a great sense of fulfillment
11. You want to step away from the corporate world and create a business you can run on your own schedule
12. You want to teach, inspire, motivate and reach people of like interest. You want to share your gift in writing
Okay, I really can go on, but I hope you came all this way with me.
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An important element to a starting a blog the right way, is picking a profitable niche. The internet has come past the days when people owned blogs to update their daily lives and share with friends and family, blogs are research help to get a person from point A to B in clear terms.
Your primary goal should be to intersect between a search and a solution.
Finding A Profitable Blog Niche:
By now, you already know it is important to be intentional and to set the tone right from the get go, and even if your blog is an already published and old blog, it is not late to revamp and restructure your blog. We are talking about finding a niche!
To put things into context; you know what to expect when you walk into a pharmacy vs when you walk into a Makeup studio, two completely different markets with audiences in need of different solutions. A niche is basically your specific market, what do you want to talk about?
By picking a niche, you are positioning your blog to be known for a type of content and not a generalist.
Does every blogger have to pick a niche to be successful? The short answer is no. There is no one-size-fits-all rule of the internet, there have surely been bloggers who started out with a scattered approach and have since found great success diving into every topic they find a market for. But here’s some truth; success with blogging or flexing anywhere on the internet lies greatly with gathering a targeted audience, people who naturally rave for the topics your platform talks about. You can choose to blog about everything that comes to mind but your readers aren’t guaranteed to be interested in all the topics you personally love.
A Little note:
Even with niche blogging, a lot of topics are broad. You want to get the most of the search demographic as best as possible. The best way to do this is to niche further down.
Example; If you choose to base your blog on the topic of health, you want to niche down to mental health only, or women’s reproductive health.
You only need a small chunk of a broad niche to be on your way.
Picking A Niche
If you have not already decided on what your blog would be about or you are not sure about the profitability of your current blog niche; these brainstorm ideas would help:
- Write down a list of topics you are interested in
- Write down a list of topics that are common questions asked on the internet
- Write down a list of your favorite blogs and what they write about
- Write down the questions you need help with frequently
- Write down a list of industries and pin out the popular topics from them
Popular and most profitable niches right now (2021)- Wealth, health, relationships, personal finance, marketing.
Validate your niche idea:
Consider these questions
- How passionate are people about the topic?
- How passionate are you about the topic?
- Can you make money from the topic?
Understand that you do not have to be passionate about a profitable topic as you can always outsource the blogpost writing for cheap on places like Fiverr, it is always a bonus when you enjoy the topic because it means you would enjoy constantly updating your blog.
Plug your brainstormed niches in Google Trends to have an insight on the number of searches it has each month. This would reveal if there is a huge audience for topics or not.
- Go to Google Trends
- Type in your terms/topics
Pick A Blog Name:
How many times have you had an idea for a project and ran off to create a username on Instagram only to see that it is taken? Then the next five names also gone? A lot of the names you choose for your blog might very well be taken, even though the sites are not live on the internet. I say this to say that you should not dwell too much on the perfect name and then get stuck on this one thing.
But of course, a few important things to note:
- Go for the.com extention
- Keep your domain name short
- Use keywords relating to your niche in your domain (Only if you can, this is not absolutely necessary but always a plus)
- Avoid tackiness like hyphens and numbers in your domain (You can be unique and throw in whatever answers your intuition, but from one blogger to another; keep it clean)
- Avoid doubled letters, it ultimately confuses people searching for you. Eg; Freeebook.com (Free and an “e” coming right after
- Decided on a name and checked the availability? Get it quickly because domain investors don’t sleep.
- Get one-year free domain from Bluehost, a WordPress recommended hosting platform fit for beginer bloggers. Check for your blog name availablity here
- Check domain availability on Godaddy or Namechip
Get a self-hosted blog
Owning a blog is a lot like owning your own piece of land, a property that appreciates and accumulates potential to serve the best returns with maintenance and proper care. But this is only the case when you make an investment to transfer ownership of that piece of property. That’s what web hosting is to blogging.
Maybe none of that made sense, so here’s another try:
Anyone can decide to start a blog right now and get set up for free, no up-front cost, no money spent and that is okay, but to start a blog with the intention of being profitable and scaling into monetization, you would need more than just a free blog hosted on a third party site.
A free blog site is what blogger.com and wordpress.com gives you, when you launch your blog with a url that looks like this: yourbloghere.blogspot.com or yourownblog.wordpress.com, this is still your blog as you own 100% of the content you publish to this site, but your blog is being operated on a borrowed site (where hosting is handed to you for free by Blogger or WordPress) and not completely your own property.
To further put this into perspective; see the internet as a whole country, a vast area of land with various land owners, some parts of this space owned by the government, owned by property investors and families. You have now found that Nigeria (the internet) is a place flowing with milk and you want a share of it. You can get into Nigeria and secure a space in two ways; either as a tenant (you host your blog on a free platform) or a property owner where you part with one of the sole owners of your choice of property and you purchase the space to transfer ownership to your name.
If Nigeria is the entire internet, the various web hosting platforms are the property owners with unlimited space to let out for a fee. Make sense?
(I go over this more intensely in the Blog Launch Ebook. This PDF course is an intense and descriptive guide with pictures at every step, to hold your hands all the way to setting up your WordPress blog without the tech overwhelm. I struggled to get my first blog off the ground and I am ensuring no beginner has to go through that! Take your blog from ideation, to seamless WordPress blog set-up, to monetization strategies in easy-to-comprehend and interactive pages
Reasons to avoid Using A Free Blog Platform:
- It is a bad set-up for the monetization of your blog in the long run. This means that it is almost impossible to make real money from a free blog
- The url gives you away as free and unprofessional. (e.g- yourbloghere.wordpress.com or yourbloghere.blogspot.com)
- You do not own your blog and sometimes, the content you upload onto it. (Think about waking up to find that your free website is shut down for no reason)
- No support and limited customization/design options
Getting A Self Hosted WordPress Blog
There has never been a better time to share on a topic you are keen and passionate about and blogging is by far one of the best ways to do this while scaling your passion to profit. WordPress is the blogger’s best bet for a lot of worthy reasons; aside from having a market share of 39% of all websites on the internet, it is a favorite for the ease of use and simple set-up process.
STEP 2: CHOOSE THE RIGHT WEB HOSTING/SELF-HOSTED BLOG PLATFORM
It is totally normal to want to put your money away when starting out something new, but to truly take a chance on yourself, you have to look past the investment that would open you up to what is possible, especially when you can host your entire blog for less than $200 for the first three years! That’s insane and for such a reasonable price, it is worth the plunge and you’ll see.
For this, I wholeheartedly recommend Bluehost. I’m not alone, WordPress recommends Bluehost as the best web hosting platform for the beginner bloggers. Bluehost is the #1 recommended by WordPress, comes with responsive customer support throughout your use and allows easy migration in the future if you ever need to move your blog to a different hosting platform.
As a beginner blogger, you might get stuck by the thought of the tech and web design overwhelm, but Bluehost makes this process ridiculously easy. On getting a plan with Bluehost, you are automatically signed into the WordPress dashboard as WordPress is integrated with Bluehost. The next few steps to launching your blog is just as easy as a few clicks and installations.
Further reasons why you should use Bluehost:
- It is ridiculously easy to use- I might have known my way around WordPress when i signed up with Bluehost and launched my first blog, but it honestly wouldn’t have made a difference otherwise because there was a button for every step.
- You get free domain name for a year- It saves you the cost of acquiring a domain. You get to check the availability of your blog name and will be given the domain free for one year.
- Bluehost is the #1 recommended hosting platform by wordpress.org
- FREE WordPress.org installation- Literally anyone can DIY this
- They offer 24/7 support via live chat, email or phone. When you’re just starting out, you would need all the help you can get so you are not frustrated by the tech before you even launch. Bluehost is help care is responsive and immensely helpful
- Bluehost is the best affordable paid hosting for beginners. You can start your own blog with as low as 3.95 per month. You get a 60% discount when you use my exclusive link here
- Bluehost as many other hosting companies, offers a 30-day money back guarantee.
Start your own self-hosted blog for as low as $2.95 per month, you will get a free domain name if you do not already have one. Sign up through this link
PRO TIP: Starting is the limiting factor that keeps a lot of people from changing their lives completely. By starting today, you’ll already be ahead of the crowd.
Final note for getting a self-hosted blog/website:
For the various monetization methods to blogging, setting up your blog as self-hosted makes it easy and gives you a thicker edge to scale with ads, affiliate marketing, sponsorships and so much more.
Most professional bloggers use and recommend and use Bluehost for their websites, this is mainly because it creates the right technical foundation for a successful blog while being simple and easy to use. I run two blogs and a website; all of which are hosted on Bluehost.
CHOOSE YOUR WEB-HOSTING PACKAGE
Click on the Get Started Now at the Bluehost homepage to get started
There’s four plans offered by Bluehost but i recommend choosing the Basic starter package as that’s all you need to host a blog, especially when just starting out. It is $2.95 per month USD or $3.92 per month Canadian dollars
STEP 3:REGISTER YOUR DOMAIN NAME
Scroll back up to chapter 3 to see some key points to choosing your domain name. Whatever your choice of name, know that at the end of the day, it is the quality of content on your blog that matters.
One of the pros to signing up with Bluehost is that you also get FREE domain when you sign up for at least 12 months of worth of web hosting. This saves you a lot of money and doubles in on your commitment. Personally, i recommend going for the 3-year hosting plan as it saves you a lot more and goes for less than $150
Pinterest is a search engine and unlike Instagram, you do not have to nurture people who discover you, you do not have to convibnce people to buy because they alreadty want to buy and that’s why they got on Pinterest in the first place.
Get people to click
Your words, message, design, call to action.
One year is the magic number! If you can stick to blogging consistently for one year, you would have built yourself a solid online business that is worth something unimaginable. I work with bloggers to scale their blogs to monetization in a stupidly short time, so you should bear in mind that you do not have to wait a year for your blog to be profitable.
Back to your domain name: Once you have chosen a name, the next step is to simply fill out your contact details and payment information
Go ahead to uncheck any extra of the add-ons provided to keep the cost low, however i recommend choosing Codeguard Basic as it offers daily backups of your website
If you already have a domain, you will need to connect it from the domain registrar you got it from; say Godaddty or Namecheap, to your web hosting account.
Simple steps process to connect your domain to Bluehost
(This is a transfer from Godaddy to Bluehost, it also applies to other domain registrars)
- Log into your Godaddy account manager
- Click domain name, from the drop-down menu or the Manage Your Account list, select Manage Domains
- Click the checkbox to select the domain name you want to modify (If you have more than one), the select Set Name Servers
- Go back to Bluehost and copy the name server information in the spaces provided under the blue Name Servers heading on the right side of your page and click Save Changes at the bottom.
Your entries should now look something like this: ns1.bluehost.com; ns2.bluehost.com
Move on to select the domain name you already have as an Add On Domain through your Bluehost cpanel. Click on Domain Manager, select “Assign a domain to your cpanel Account”.
Easy steps to follow.
Set Up WordPress:
Install WordPress.org! So proud of you, you have reached the last step to launching your blog to the world wide web! How does it feel to see that you are well on track to starting a monetized blog in 2021?
HOW TO INSTALL WORDPRESS
Once you are signed up to Bluehost and create a password, you get moved to the dashboard of your Bluehost account which has WordPress sitting right at the top of it for you to install. You will be directed clearly on the next visual steps to take while on your dashboard.
Bluehost will ask you to pick a theme right next, but you can always come back to this step if you are having a hard time making a decision between the many themes. There are lots of free themes to go for, WordPress offers some pretty clean and sleek themes for free but when you head on to the premium themes, it is exactly what they say; the merrier, the better”
Or however that saying goes!
- Click on start building
- The step on your screen will show: What kind of site can we help you with: Business or Personal?” Whatever you choose here is really up to you and doesn’t matter much, or you can just click on “I don’t need help”
Look who’s got a new blog? That’s right, you!
Now is the time to log into your full-on WordPress dashboard and start blogging. To access your dashbaord, the url should be yourblogname.com/wp-admin/
Learn the inside of your WordPress dashboard and understand how to easily navigate, change your blog theme, add a new blog post, install plug-ins and really, everything. Get the Full-On Blog Launch
Finding marketable blogposts that sell
Right before you move on to launch your blog, I will give you a little commitment test. Write your first 10 blogpost before you hit launch.
Sound like something you can do? I’ll tell you why this will help
There’s two major reasons you are starting a blog
- To share your thoughts with a part of the world on a specific topic (niche) and help people with real researched solutions
- To make money!
The short answer to exactly how you make money blogging is the traffic! That’s the term that converts into pay days. But that’s only the first thing to know, there are millions of blogs with great traffic that are hardly making any money and this is because they are less informed or mis-informed about the effective monetization strategies tailored to various blog niches.
In the blog monetization power list, I break it down in clear and concise terms, the various ways that a blog makes money and additional ways/steps you can make money as a new blogger to scale your first realistic $500 in your first month. Get the Ebook here. What you need when starting out as a blogger or with any startup, is an experienced hand and a working system, so you don’t try to re-invent the wheel and leave money on the table.
You want to have blogposts published to your blog by the time of your launch so that you can spend the next one-two weeks promoting your blog content to start to drive in your initial traffic. The best way to reach an insane amount of traffic as a new blogger is through Pinterest.
Pinterest is a search engine just as much as Google is (this is contrary to what is popularly believed of Pinterest being just a social network), people flood there daily with an active user rate of 320 million people searching for things in specific niches. Best believe your target audience are swimming the streets of Pinterest searching the exact words you have blogged about. With Pinterest traffic (mostly organic) you can reach your first 10k monthly blog views in a stupidly short time.
Along with being a blog monetization coach, I am a Pinterest Marketing Consultant with results from clients from different parts of the world now leveraging the power of Pinterest to drive targeted traffic, increase their reach and revenue! I talk about using Pinterest as a beginner blogger, navigating the platform and optimizing your account for success. Book a call with me here
Start right, scale right!
Launch Your Blog!
You’ve come all this way: You chose a niche, picked a domain name, self-hosted your blog and installed WordPress. You’ve done all the things, now it’s time to go live girl! Launch your brain child.
Now start promoting your blog content, I recommend Pinterest as that is the best traffic source for bloggers all over the world. It is a widely overlooked platform that drives more click results than Instagram and Facebook combined. Learn more about using Pinterest effectively here
Affiliate Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you use my link, at no extra cost to you. Please read full disclosure here.