How To Start A Blog In 2020
And Make Money With It
- Have you ever wondered how to start your own blog?
- Have you been putting it off because you think it might be too difficult or time-consuming?
- Have you ever dreamed of making money online with your blog?
This beginners guide will cut through all of the clutter and hopefully convince you that it’s easier to create a blog now than ever before. Unlike blog building platforms a decade or so ago when you needed to possess some coding knowledge, today’s blog builders are really easy to use, even if you have no experience and zero technical skills.
In fact, the reason I created this page on my own blog is to help you get started with your blog. As in right now. Today.
You’ve got this.
I will walk you through each step of starting your own blog and even make myself available to you personally to help out if you get stuck.
Table of Contents
- 1 How To Start A Blog In 2020
- 1.1 What Is A Blog?
- 1.2 How To Start A Blog In Three Simple Steps:
- 1.3 How To Choose A Domain Name
- 1.4 How To Make Money With Your Blog
Follow this tutorial and you will start a new and fun journey that can open up many new doors for you. And I’ll even show you how to you start earning a nice passive income from your blog without creating any of your own products, store inventory, perform fulfillment, ship anything or do any customer service of any kind.
In the next section I will discuss what a blog is, what it can be used for and why you should blog. If you already know all of these basics, you can skip down to the step-by-step tutorial to start building your blog.
What Is A Blog?
For starters, the word blog is a shortened version of what it really is – a weblog. A blog is a regularly updated website or web page, usually run by an individual or a small group of people, that usually displays information in reverse chronological order, meaning that newer content shows up first on the site.
The purpose of a blog is for the writer or writers to share their views, or the views of others, on an individual topic. On the internet, you can find an almost endless quantity of blogs on just about any subject you can imagine
- Why Should You Blog? Blogs provide you with a nice social outlet and tool that allows you to connect with other people who share your interest in your topic. If you have a business, a blog should be considered an essential part of your overall success strategy.
- How Much Does A Blog Cost To Start? It takes very little money up front to get started.
- Can I Start A Blog For Free? Yes, you can. But there are several reasons why you shouldn’t go the free route.
- How Long Will It Take To Make Money With My New Blog? There is no exact answer to this question, because most of it is up to you.
How To Start A Blog In Three Simple Steps:
Before you get started, you’ll need to have an idea of what the topic or subject of your blog will be about. This will help you determine a good domain name that will help visitors find you and understand what your blog is about. Oh, and if you get stuck at any point during this one page tutorial, please just contact me and I’ll personally help you out.
Start A Blog: Step #1) Get Your Own Domain And Hosting Account
Click here: Bluehost to get to the new customer discount page and then click on the big green button seen below. (This will open Bluehost in a new tab so you can click back on this tab to continue the step-by-step instructions):
After clicking on the green button, you’ll land on the next page with your plan selections. Since you’re just getting starting all you need is the Basic plan since it the cheapest. You can always upgrade your account later if you need to. Your Basic plan will include everything you need to get started:
- Domain Name
- Email Account For Your New Site
Please note the basic plan is usually billed annually but this will save you money over higher monthly payments.
Next, you’ll end up on the domain name page.
How To Choose A Domain Name
Please Note: If you are not ready to choose your domain name yet you can skip this step for now by clicking that option at the bottom of the page.
1. Include niche keywords in your domain name if possible
Search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo) like keywords in the domain name to let searchers know at a glance what the site’s content is about. There is much debate about whether its better to have keywords at the beginning of the domain name instead of at the end (i.e dogtrainingexperts.com vs. bestdogtraining.com). I have yet to see enough evidence to convince me either way. Just try to fit them in there somewhere if you can.
2. Choose a dot.com name if possible
Try to get a domain name that ends in .com instead of .net if possible. This is getting harder and it will take a little more effort to find a good .com name but they’re still out there. There is nothing wrong with having a .net domain name, but .com is always better.
3. Keep the domain name as short as possible
I know. That’s rich coming from someone using the domain name highpayingaffiliateprograms.com right? There are exceptions. In my case, my domain name tells visitors exactly what they’ll find here. But as a general rule a shorter domain name is better.
4. Avoid hyphens or numbers in your domain
Not necessarily because they don’t rank well but because people have trouble including them when they’re looking for you. Make it as easy as possible for people to find you and your website.
5. Make it easy to spell
If your chosen niche is selling xylophones then I guess you’re going to be out of luck. Other than that make sure people can spell it right the first time. When you tell someone what your domain name is they should be able to type it in right the very first time.
6. Be very careful not to violate copyrighted names or brands
Be very careful if you plan on using a brand name of an affiliate product or service. Most companies will not allow this and in fact can be illegal. When in doubt contact the company first and ask them if you can use it.
Again, if you’re not ready to choose your domain name you can skip this step for now by clicking that option at the bottom of the page.
Oh, and if you already have a domain registered elsewhere, you can have the domain transferred to Bluehost for free and receive an additional year of registration added on to the end of your current term.
After you select your domain name and hit the NEXT button you’ll go to the account info page here:
- Domain Privacy Protection
- Site Backup Pro
- Search Engine Jumpstart
- SiteLock Security
Pay for your selected package and you’ll be directed to choose your password:
Congratulations; you are all done with Step 1.
Start A Blog: Step #2) Setting Up WordPress
That’s all there is to step 2.
That’s it. Now its time for the final step and where it gets really fun. Creating your website and making it yours.
Start A Blog: Step #3) Start Building Your New Website
I have loaded a video on how to install different WordPress themes and how to start building your website below. There are 10 total videos that will load back to back without you having to do anything but watch. So have at it. Have fun. And let’s make some money together. Please make sure to bookmark this site so you can come back for more tutorials to learn how to generate traffic and start earning passive income.
Selecting Affiliate Website Themes
I’m often asked “which WordPress theme should I be using?” It’s a great question since there are many many thousands to choose from. If you’re just getting started I highly recommend you start with one of many free themes you’ll find on wordpress.org. I don’t see any reason why you need to buy a theme right out of the gate.
What makes WordPress so awesome is that you can switch themes anytime you want and all of your content remains in place. With most themes, you will not need to rearrange any formatting when making a switch.
So What’s Important In The Theme You Choose?
- Choose a WordPress theme that best fits your content and is most appealing to your target audience. Nearly all themes are customizable by color, number of columns, widgets, and other key features so you’ll have plenty of creative space to make it your own and make it stand out
- It’s vital now (in 2015-2016 and beyond) to choose a theme that is responsive. Responsive themes automatically adjust the appearance of your content to fit smaller browsers to ensure your website looks right to each visitor
- Make sure the theme you pick supports “featured images”. A featured image will give your post a nice little thumbnail of that picture (like you’ll see on the right hand side of my home page)
- All WordPress sites on wordpress.org come with user reviews, number of downloads, and theme updates. This info will appear on the right hand side of your screen. Make sure to consider all of these factors when choosing your theme. Pick one that is popular, well liked, and updated frequently
Once you’re ready to buy a paid theme I highly recommend Elegant Themes. I used the Divi Extra theme by Elegant Themes to create this site. Click Here to learn more about Elegant Themes.
How To Make Money With Your Blog
The easiest model to earn money with your new blog is through affiliate marketing. We’ll get into detail about how that works a little further down the page.
First things first.
Now that your website is alive the first thing you need to do is started creating an identity for it in a related niche market.
What Niche Market Should You Choose?
When you’re just getting started you may want to choose one of the three best evergreen markets to enter online.
These are obviously very broad topics and that’s a good thing.
You can never go wrong if you pick a market related to one of these three topics. If you think about it they’re really the most important topics on everybody’s mind every single day. And they also seem to cause people the most problems as well (which is why they’re so damn good for us!).
People spend a lot of money and time trying to improve and iron out anything related to these three topics. That will always be the case so if you need some ideas just think about what problems people are always looking to solve. People are happy to part with some money to make life easier in these three key areas.
There is a ton of competition in these three niches but there’s also a ton of money being made as well. Competition in your niche is good since it proves that money is already being made in that niche. And you’re not going to be competing with all of them. Only a segment.
Should You Be A Big Fish In A Little Pond? Or A Little Fish In A Big Pond?
It’s your choice. Here are the two different schools of thought on niche selection.
Big Pond, Little Fish: Many marketers prefer to get into a huge online marketplace and carve out their little piece of the pie. Examples of these markets include the making more money niche or mental health solutions market
Little Pond, Big Fish: Others marketers like the idea of choosing a small segment of a large market and becoming the top dog in that segment. Examples of these markets (as smaller segments of the above examples) would be smart money management for seniors niche or the social anxiety in children market
See the difference?
Neither strategy is wrong. You just have to pick which one make the most sense to you. I happen to prefer the little pond, big fish strategy since I always enter a new market with the intent of being in it for the long haul so I know that if I start small I can always add other elements of that niche as I expand my reach and influence.
My Methodology For Niche Selection
I believe that once you choose a market you should look for untapped opportunities within the niche you’re exploring. Drill down into sub-niches of your target market to find aspects of it that are unexplored or barely touched. Think specialization and focus on becoming the expert on a particular issue or topic. Your goal should be to become the go-to marketer in a particular segment within that niche.
That’s what I did with the site you’re on now. While researching the affiliate marketing niche I noticed that nobody had really focused exclusively on the high-end of the market so that’s where I made my start. I learned as much as I could about this particular segment of the market until I could comfortably write and enlighten people about it. Before I knew it I was ranking high in the search engines on my keywords and had people coming to me for advice on high end affiliate programs and selling to the affluent.
Drill down into your chosen topic like this example:
mental health > anxiety disorders > social anxiety > panic attacks > panic attacks in children
If your chosen niche is extremely competitive you may need to drill down so far that the market segment may be too small for you to make decent money. That’s OK since you can start branching upward again once you start making your mark in your niche. Eventually through expansion you’ll have the market share you need.
Tips For Finding Lucrative Niches:
- As I stated earlier, start with your own passions, interests, hobbies, or any area you have expertise or interest in. It’s smart to make a short list of these to see which one has the most potential
- Look for competitors. Competition is good since it means others are already making money in that niche
- The three most evergreen niche categories in affiliate marketing include money, health, and relationships. These are things that are on everyone’s mind thus people will spend money on improving each of them. These hot categories will always provide good money-making opportunities for you
- Listen to other people. Have you ever spoken to someone at work or in a social atmosphere and been blown away by their passion for a particular topic? Genuine passion is unmistakable and it is often a great indicator of a potential niche market for you to explore
- Go and find the nearest magazine rack or stand. If you really think about it, magazines exist to cater to specific niche markets. If that niche market isn’t lucrative enough to pull in profitable advertising dollars, it will fail. So your research has been done for you! If there is a magazine for sale on a topic, there is money being made in it
- Search Google. Are people paying for ads for keywords on your topic or niche? If so, there is money being made in that space
- Check Google Keyword Planner to see how many searches per month are happening for keywords in your niche. This is a valuable free tool that will help you understand market size and actual search terms
- Go visit the bookstores before they’re all gone. Barnes and Noble is still around (I think). Take a look at the number of books on a specific topic. Also take note of the labels on the shelves and the categorization of broad topics. There is a ton of data looking right back at you. Plus, you can find plenty of magazines here too
- If you’re targeting the affluent market look for unique, exclusive, and hard-to-find products and services. Like the 1000+ affiliate programs you’ll find here on my site
- If you’re targeting the low end of the market look for solutions to problems instead of vanity products. The key is to look for things that people have to buy rather than want to buy. (i.e. anti-anxiety, weight loss, diabetes control, phobias, fears, etc). Look for a topic that gets people emotionally charged with either a pain, a passion, or a frustration
- Pay attention to TV commercials. Television is a trend-driven medium. Notice not only what they’re selling to you but the angle their taking to get your attention and act on your impulses. There is a lot to be learned here because companies spend a ton of money on television ads to get it right
- Drill down into your market for sub-niches. Go an inch wide and a mile deep. Are there opportunities to expand your market once you pick a topic? Are there multiple products and services for sale in this niche?
- Go to ebay.com and amazon.com to see what’s hot over there. Amazon has simple tools that allow you to browse by subject, popularity, sales, and even analyze trends with their “Movers and Shakers” feature. It’s been awhile since I was on eBay but I believe they have similar features to help you scoop up valuable niche data
- Focus on one niche to start with and become a go-to person in that niche or topic. Don’t be a “jack of all trades – master of none”. If your first niche doesn’t work out quickly find a new one. If you’re going to fail then try fail fast and keep moving
- Go to clickbank.com which is the holy grail of digital information products. I say that because they really are the largest and most profitable digital retailer in the world. Their marketplace is loaded with tens of thousands of products that you can sort by market, popularity, price, longevity, etc. If you’re not making money on clickbank right now you need to get started… now
- Follow the money. Do a little digging around on Google for what people are spending money on right now. Go where the money is flowing and set up shop
- Think about the future. For example, I know for a fact that driverless cars are the next HUGE market. So I jumped on and purchased several domains in that space for future sites. I did the same thing with the drone market. You should too
- Is the market or niche sustainable? Following trends is good for some quick cash but will that money flow last in the long run? Think about what happened to Beanie Babies. People that invested thousands of dollars in them were left with boxes full of useless, worthless, and ugly-ass dolls
- Think about specialized information i.e How to tie flies for fly fishing. Or how to add 20 yards to your golf drive. It’s little niches like these that people are extremely passionate about and will always be willing to spend money on
- Take a stroll over to magazines.com. This website is a wonderful resource for finding a ton of niche markets. The magazines are even broken down into categories and ranked by popularity. This is a goldmine folks!
- Listen to what people are bitching about. People like to yap about all the problems they have in life. It’s annoying yes, but it can also clue you in to what problems people are looking to solve to help simplify their lives. If one person has a problem, it’s likely that many other people share that problem. Think of it this way, wherever there is a problem, there is an opportunity. Solve it for them and make money. Then hang around to see what they will bitch about next!
- Think! Use your intuition, brainpower, and powers of observation to solve problems. Some of the best ideas ever thought of were results from initial mistakes or applications of other ideas applied way outside the box.
So start digging into the possibilities and choose your first niche.