How To Start A Blog And Make Money Online (Step-By-Step) 2018 Guide

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(Updated 30th January, 2018)

Want to know how to start a blog and make money online?

You can start one in less than 20 minutes from now.

This free step-by-step guide (with pictures) is designed for beginners with little or no computer skills, so whether you are aged 12 teens or in your 80s, you’ll learn how to create a blog that is appealing and fully-functional.

I personally launched several profitable blogs and helped hundreds of people built their first blogs. If you get stuck at any point in creating your blog, please let me know (don’t be shy) and I’m always here to help you up!

Ready to create your first blog? Skip the rest of the introductions and start now!

 

Why Blogging

Have you ever thought of why you want to start blogging?

While blogging has a lot of benefits, here are few reasons you may consider:

  • To make money online – Blogging is a profitable business with huge potential.
  • As a hobby – To share your story, thoughts, and knowledge on what you are passionate about.
  • To join the awesome blogging community – It’s helpful and fun!

You can even have all the reasons!

Best part?

Blogging is something you can do at any time and anywhere you want, you can blog and make money while traveling, all you need is a laptop and internet connection.

Also, you don’t have to be a professional writer to be start blogging as people come to your blog not just for the contents, but because they want to hear from you – your thoughts, experiences, advices, and more.

 

What to Blog About

Personally, I’ll suggest you to blog about:

  • Something you passionate about
  • Something you like
  • Something meaningful to you
  • Topic(s) you are expert in

You’ll never go wrong with the above topics, and it makes your blogging journey fun and efficient.

You can blog about few topics (eg: eat, travel, and shopping) or one specific topic (eg: gardening).

Basically, you can blog about anything you want.

Yes, anything.

Just to give you some ideas:

  • Travel
  • Food
  • Pet
  • Gardening
  • Finance
  • Self-improvement
  • Technology

  • Lifestyle
  • Home improvement
  • DIY
  • Health and Fitness
  • Nutrition
  • Business
  • Property

  • Sports
  • Fashion
  • Games
  • Relationships
  • Dating
  • Marketing
  • Education

And the good news is, you can monetize any type of blog and turn it into a profitable business – so don’t let it hold you back.

 

How to Start a Blog on WordPress

Here’re the steps on how to start a blog and make money online:

  1. Sign up a hosting service and pick a blog name.
  2. Install WordPress to your blog
  3. Customize your blog
  4. Write and publish your first post!
  5. Monetize your blog
  6. Show your blog to the world

Continue learning for your blogging journey:

  • 5 Type of Pages to be Consider For Your Blog
  • 5 Must-Have (Free) Plugins For Your WordPress Blog
  • Additional WordPress Plugins Worth Consider
  • How To Build Your Email List (Subscribers)
  • How To Optimize Your Blog for SEO
  • How To Track Your Blog Traffic

Let’s start building your awesome blog now!

 

Disclosure: Some of the links are referral links, for which we’ll receive a small compensation if you buy from the link, at no additional cost to you. These are all products that I’ve verified/personal tested and highly recommended.

 

Step 1: Sign up a hosting service and pick a blog name

Sign up for hosting and domain image

In a nutshell, domain name is your blog address (URL link) and hosting is like renting a place on the internet to host your blog’s content (posts, images, and files).

It is crucial to choose a reliable hosting service provider to host your entire business on the web.

The website speed, feature, support, user-friendliness, and pricing are the main factors to be considered.

Personally, when come to hosting, Hostgator has never let me down, and they can certainly serve you well too.

 

1. Sign up Hostgator for exclusive discount!

*This exclusive discount is only through the above link.

Click “Get Started Now!” to proceed.

Sign up Hostgator hosting image

For beginners, I’ll recommend either hatchling plan (cheapest) or baby plan (unlimited domains allow you to build multiple blogs/websites on different domains), pick one and click “Sign Up Now!”.

Hostgator Plan image

 

2. Grab your awesome blog name!

Click “Register a New Domain” and type in your domain name in the search box to check its availability.

choose domain image

Note: If possible, go for .com as it’s the most widely used domain name. Otherwise, .net is worth considering also.

It can be any name you want as long as it’s:

  • Easy to remember & spell
  • Either related to your topic or a brand name (Avoid using “travelwithalisa” but the blog is solely about gardening)

You can also use your name if you want to (and there are many bloggers did that).

 

3. Complete your details. (Use coupon: TCM60 for exclusive discount)

Pick your package and billing cycle according to your affordability, the price you see here is not final yet (as you haven’t applied the coupon yet).

choose package type and billing image

Next, fill up your billing info and uncheck all the additional services, unless you truly need it.

Hostgator additional services image

Enter the coupon code “TCM60” and click validate to enjoy the 60% discount on your total bill.

Enter coupon code Hostgator image

Note: If you are really tight on budget, you may use coupon code: TCM1C for first month $0.01 with Hatchling & Baby plan.

Do your last review for the order and click “Checkout Now” to proceed.

Next, check your mailbox and open the email from Hostgator for your hosting details.

Email from hostgator image

Note: If you are having trouble installing your blog, feel free to contact me here. I’ll take over and help you to install the blog (for free). 😉 

 

Step 2: Install WordPress to your blog

WordPress image

To install WordPress on your website, click the login URL in the email received from Hostgator and login to your cPanel account.

 

1. Login to Hostgator cPanel

Login to your cPanel according to the details from Hostgator’s email. If you yet to create any password, just click “Forgot Password” to set your new password.

Login cPanel image

 

2. Install WordPress

Click “WordPress Installer” to proceed.

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Next, select your domain name and click “NEXT”.

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Fill up your blog details and click “Install”.

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Copy or write down the Installation Details.

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Let me tell you a good news…

You blog… is LIVE!!

Simple right?

It’s your website, you can customize the layout, choose your own theme, install the plugin you want, and much more (which you will do in the next step).

 

Step 3: Customize your blog

setup wordpress image

Your WordPress blog is now ready on the web, but not ready for your audience yet.

There are few things you need to set up first before you let people know about your blog.

 

1. Login to your WordPress website.

Enter your username and password to log in.

Login wordpress image

The login URL is either:

http://yourdomain.com/wp-login.php or

http://www.yourdomain.com/wp-login.php

(Replace yourdomain to your registered domain with Hostgator)

 

2. Change your WordPress theme.

Go to “Appearance” -> “Theme” to change.

Add new theme image

Use the filter feature narrow down the choices based on your preferences and preview the theme…

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…once found, click Install – wait about 5 seconds (Installing) – and click “Activate”.

#newtheme

 

3. To customize your site, just click “Customise”.

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Here you can set your blog name, tagline, background image, menu, and etc. – click “Save & Publish” once done.

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4. Install WordPress Plugins

A plugin is just like a software for your laptop, or an app for your smartphone.

To install a WordPress plugin, go to “Plugins” -> “Add New”.

Then, search for the plugin you want and install it by clicking the “Install Now” button – and activate it.

Install plugins image

To view all your installed plugins, go to “Plugins” -> “Installed Plugins”.

Installed Plugins image

Congratulation!

Now you are officially own a blog!

 

Step 4: Write and publish your first post!

Create blog post image

Ready to write content on your blog?

Here’re the steps…

 

1. Create a post

Go to “Posts” and click “Add New”.

2. Create post image

 

2. Write content

Type in your post title, content, and permalink.

write contents image

You may write anything you want – like your passion, create a guide, share some tips in your niche, and much more.

For instance:

Today you learned about how to start a blog on WordPress, so you can write about it and share to others.

 

3. Publish your hard work

Click “Publish” on the top-right corner once you’re done.

Publish image

Tadaa! Now go ahead and see how your first post looks like!

 

Step 5: Monetize your blog

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There are many ways you can monetize your blog to make money online.

For examples:

  • Sell your own product (eg: eBook, apps, software, course, and apparel)
  • Sell your service (eg: writing services, graphic design, sponsored post, and consulting)
  • Sell leads to local companies (eg: insurance agency, bank, printing services, and more)
  • Sell advertising (eg: Google Adsense, banner ads, 3rd party ads)
  • Sell affiliate product (eg: Amazon’s product, ShareASale’s product, and CJ’s product)
  • And much more.

I’ll highly recommend you to start with affiliate marketing because it’s fast, simple, and scalable in long term.

Join WA (#1 affiliate community) to learn more about making money with affiliate marketing, it’s free!

 

Step 6: Show your blog to the world

 

Boost website traffic image

Once your blog is ready with awesome contents, it’s time to show it to the world.

To increase your blog readership, you may proactively drive traffic to your blog…

…while waiting for search engines to discover your blog (in few months time).

Check out my guide here on how to increase blog traffic fast and effective.

 

All right! You have finished all the steps!

Well done!

You may start your own discovery journey from now onward! 😉

Or continue to learn more about:

  • 5 Type Of Pages To Be Consider For Your Blog
  • 5 Must-Have (Free) Plugins For Your WordPress Blog
  • Additional WordPress Plugins Worth Consider
  • How To Build Your Email List (Subscribers)
  • How To Optimize Your Blog for SEO
  • How To Track Your Blog Traffic
Enjoy so far? Follow us on social media:

 

5 Type Of Pages To Be Consider For Your Blog

5 pages image

These are not compulsory, but good to have to make your website more complete.

Here’s the list:

1. About

  • Let people know more about you (or your business).
  • Increase your blog credibility.

2. Contact

  • Let people know how to contact you.
  • Increase your blog trustworthiness.

3. Privacy Policy

  • To fulfill a legal requirement to protect a customer or client’s privacy.
  • You may copy the policy from a similar site and modify it to your own version.
  • Or, just use a policy generator plugin.

4. Term Of Service

  • Rules by which one must agree to abide for your service.
  • You may copy the terms from a similar site and modify it to your own version.
  • Or, just use a policy generator plugin (same with privacy policy).

5. Earnings Disclaimer

  • If you are monetizing your blog to make money.
  • Inform your audience how your blog generates income.
  • Manage your audience expectation when showing income related data.

 

5 Must-Have (Free) Plugins For Your WordPress Blog

wordpress-plugins image

When you bought a smartphone (or PC), did you install any additional apps on it?

Yes right..?

You installed those apps for additional features and functions to perform some works.

It’s the same for your WordPress blog,

To make your blog perform better, there are some useful plugins you need to install.

Here’s the list of 5 must-have free WordPress plugins (In no particular order):

1. Yoast SEO – Who doesn’t like their blog to be discovered by Search Engines organically?

2. Contact Form 7 – Let people send you a message straight from your blog.

3. Sassy Social Share – Let people share your posts on social media.

4. Akismet – Block most of the spam comments for you.

5.W3 Total Cache – Improve and speed up your blog performance.

 

Additional WordPress Plugins Worth Consider

Additional plugin image

Here’s the list of plugins you may use (depends on your need):

1. ShortPixel – Optimize your images (if your blog use a lot of images)

2. Wordfence Security – To protect your blog from hackers.

3. Pretty Link – To make your affiliate link clean and tidy.

4. Shortcodes Ultimate – More shortcode functions for your blog post.

 

How To Build Your Email List (Subscribers)

Build email list image

Your email list is one of your biggest assets for your blog business…

…and you should start on day 1.

I’m using ConvertKit now and happy with it.

But for beginners, I’ll recommend Getresponse, it’s more affordable and have all you need to build your email list (I am their happy customer before switched to ConvertKit as I need more automation features).

Follow these steps to get your Getresponse setup in 10 minutes.

 

Step 1: Get your 30 days free trial here (No credit card is required)

Enter your email address and password to sign up.

Sign up for Getresponse image

Step 2: Check your mailbox for the activation email from Getresponse

Open the email and click “ACTIVATE YOUR ACCOUNT”.

Activate getresponse email image

 

Step 3: Complete your account details to activate your free account

Fill up your details and click “Activate free trial”.

Sign up for Getresponse form image

Next, enter your mobile number to receive the verification code.

Getresponse SMS activation image

Check your phone and enter the 6 digit verification code received and click “Verify”.

Getresponse SMS activation 2 image

Done! Click “Go To Dashboard” to access your Getresponse account now.

Go to dashboard image

 

Step 4: Create a Web form

Select “Create Form” in your dashboard.

create form image

Click “List Builder Wizard” and select any template you want.

create form 2 image

Click “Setting” to edit your form details.

create form 3 image

Hit “Save” once finished.

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Next, adjust the form size (depending on where you want to put your form).

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Click “Save & Publish” once done.

create form 5 image

Copy the code and paste it on your blog to display the form.

For instance:

To display on your blog sidebar, just go to “Appearance” -> “Widgets”.

widgets image

Next – drag a “Text” widget to the sidebar select “Text” tab” – paste your form code – hit “Save”.

widgets 2 image

Then, go to the “Home” icon on your top-left corner -> “Visit site”.

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Done!

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So when visitors come to your blog and want to receive email from you…

…they can enter their contact details and subscribe to your newsletter.

 

How To Optimize Your Blog for SEO

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If you want your blog article to rank on search engines like Google…

…you have to improve your blog SEO (search engine optimization).

Yoast SEO plugin can help you in setting the title tag and meta description, but there are more you need to do to fully optimize your blog for Google.

Learn how to improve SEO ranking on Google here.

Note: SEO takes time to rank your blog content, so don’t just rely on search engines traffic.

 

 

How To Track Your Blog Traffic

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If you want to track your blog traffic, add your blog to Google Analytics (free service)…

…and paste the unique tracking code to your blog.

Read here for the detail instruction.

You can also install Google Analytics Dashboard for WP plugin to view your blog traffic stats in your WordPress back office.

 

Conclusion

I hope this guide has given you clear instructions on how to create a blog and make money online.

If any parts of this guide are not clear for you, please contact me and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

It’s my pleasure to help in your journey of blogging.

 

 

Let’s do it!

 

What kind of blog are you running?

Is it a personal development blog? Or Fitness blog? Or…?

Let me know in the comment below.

 

May you do me a favor in helping more people to learn how to start a blog and make money online?

Share this post to your Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and readers. Thanks!

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