How to Start a Blog (Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners)

Last updated on July 22, 2020  ∙ by Edwin Contreras8 comments
How to start a blog and make money

I may earn a commission for purchases made through links in this post.

If you want to learn how to start a blog and make money, you're in the right place.

The action-plan!

In this free guide I'm going to cover how to:

  • Start a blog with Bluehost (free domain name)
  • Design your blog using Astra (free) and Elementor (free)
  • Create a logo with Canva (free)
  • Write content with the help of Grammarly (free)
  • Build an email list with ConvertKit (free)
  • Get traffic to your new blog using Tailwind (free)

Do you resonate with any of the following?

  • Sick of spending your time at work instead of with your growing family.
  • Tired of the daily 9-to-5 grind while building someone else's dream.
  • Cursing at alarm clocks and traffic every morning.
  • Wondering if you have to wait until retirement to travel the world.

Yeah, that was me just a few short years ago - before I started a blog.

Allow me to introduce myself...

Hi there! I'm Edwin, husband, #girldad, and founder of Do Six Figures. I went from having $22,625.24 in credit card debt to becoming debt-free and a six-figure blogger in 3 short years.

Since starting my first blog (cashthechecks.com), I've gone on to purchase our dream home, buy my dream car, and retire my RN wife!

Starting a blog is one of the best decisions I've ever made and would change the course of my entire life forever.

Blogging allowed me to choose my own hours, work from anywhere, and make more money than I ever thought possible.

And now, I want to help others start a money-making blog so they too can live the six-figure laptop lifestyle.

Blogging FAQ

What is a blog anyway?

A blog is just a type of website that is updated on a regular basis. Blogs are written in a conversational style and have a goal of attracting an audience and making money.

Why start a blog in 2020?

Starting a blog is an awesome way of launching your own business and earning income online. Blogging lets you express your creativity, help people solve problems, and get paid while doing it.

Can non-tech savvy moms do this?

I have helped countless moms with toddlers all the way to moms who are expecting start a blog and earn an income to help support their family. If they can do this, so can you!

Can anyone start a blog and be successful?

Starting a blog does not require you to be a professional writer or a web developer. On the contrary, in 2020 you can start a blog without any technical knowledge whatsoever!
Regardless of your age, location, or experience level, anyone can start a profitable blog.

How much money can you make blogging?

While I earn a six-figure yearly income blogging, others earn six-figures per month! How much money can you make blogging? This entirely depends on how bad you want this. But if you put in the work, there is no limit to the amount of money you can make blogging.

What are the benefits of starting a blog?

I'm going to run out of room here, but there are lots of reasons to start a blog. How about earning passive income, escaping the 9-to-5 rat race, being able to design your days, and becoming your own boss to name a few.

How much does it cost to start a blog?

Starting a blog is the lowest-cost type of business you can ever start. While a brick and mortar business might cost $50,000 to start and have operating costs of $15,000 per month, you can start an online business for less than $5 per month!

What's the best blogging platform to start with?

A blogging platform is the software you use to write and publish your blog posts. The blogging platform I recommend is WordPress.

Best of all, when you start your blog with Bluehost, WordPress comes pre-installed - easy peasy!

What is web hosting and do I need it?

Just like a physical store has to pay rent, a website has to pay rent as well. To get your blog online you need a web hosting company to "host" your website on their servers.

Ready to get started? Let's do this!

Step 1. Choose a blog topic

If you want to make money blogging you have to pick the right niche.

Sure, you might love writing about fashion or celebrities, but how do you plan on making money from those niches?

That's the problem many newbie bloggers face. They get so excited creating their first blog, only to realize they can't monetize it.

You need to pick a niche that has products or services that sell online. Here are examples of profitable blog niches:

  • Health (healthy eating, keto diet, weightlifting, crossfit, running, etc.)
  • Money (personal finance, investing, debt, budgeting, etc.)
  • Lifestyle (parenting, crafts, food, hobby, etc.)
  • Digital marketing (email marketing, copywriting, content marketing, etc.)

Step 2. Choose a blog name

A lot of people get stuck at this step. Don't.

We're going to win by taking action, massive action. We won't accomplish a thing if we get stuck in analysis paralysis.

There's no such thing as the perfect domain name. In fact, let me just give it to you straight: all the good ones are already taken. At the end of the day, it is your content that matters, not your blog name!

Type in a domain idea or two below and take the first step to securing your own home on the web.

Step 3. Start your blog

Ready to begin?

Click here to go to Bluehost to get started.

You're going to see a page like this:

Click on Get Started.

Choose the Basic package, that's all we need!

After selecting a plan, the next step is to choose a domain name.

If you're not sure yet you can skip this step by choosing "I'll create my domain later."

On the next page, choose the pricing plan that works best for your budget.

I recommend the 36 month plan since it provides the most value for your money. If you want to pay less up front, choose the 12 month option.

Price hack! It might not work, but if you're on desktop move your cursor to close the tab - did you get a pop-up offering a lower price?

Be sure and uncheck any package extras.

Note: If you did choose a domain name you might want to keep privacy protection since domain registration information is public and you might get spammed.

Once you're ready, enter your payment information, check the box to agree, and Submit!

Congrats! You're now the proud owner of your very own domain and website!

See, it wasn't that bad, was it?

Step 4. Get started with WordPress

Next, create a password and log in.

Note: There's an onboarding process Bluehost has for starting your new website, but I recommend just skipping these steps so we can get started building your blog with WordPress right away.

Once you're logged into Bluehost, click on the WordPress link and we'll start exploring WordPress.

WordPress can be a bit daunting at first. But once you get the hang of it it'll be a breeze. What you'll notice on the left panel is a section for Posts, Pages, Comments, Media Library, Appearance, Plugins, Users, and Settings.

Click around and get used to using WordPress. Don't worry, you can't mess anything up.

Plugins

I like to start with a clean slate, so the first thing I do is go to Plugins to deactivate and delete them.

Posts

There should be a post that says "Hello World!" you also want to delete.

Pages

Delete the Sample Page (you can keep the Privacy Policy page).

Comments

And there is a comment there to delete as well

Settings

Go to Settings > General to add or update your Site Title and Tagline

Go to Settings > Permalinks and make sure it's set to "Post Name"

Note: One of the reasons I'm having you go all over WordPress at the beginning is to get you used to using the platform. You're going to spend A LOT of time here, so it's important to get used to it.

Step 5. Choose a blog design

Now we're going to move on to designing your [currently empty] blog.

Go to Appearance > Themes

The blog theme I recommend starting with is Astra.

Click here to open a new tab and see what you can do with Astra.

If you want to start with the free version of Astra, go to:

Appearance > Themes > Add new and search for Astra.

Then click Install and Activate to complete the setup.

Astra comes with starter templates so you can have ready-made sites in just a few clicks.

You can see the list of ready-to-import websites right here.

To install the free starter templates, go to:

Plugins > Add new and search for "Starter Templates". Install and activate the plugin.

To use the starter templates you will also need what's called a Page Builder.

We're going to use a page builder to visually design our blog, because ain't nobody got time to learn how to code!

The default WordPress installation comes with the Gutenberg page builder, but I recommend using Elementor instead.

Click here see how easy it is to design a blog with Elementor.

Elementor is a drag-and-drop visual builder that is perfect for designing the blog of your dreams.

To install the free version of Elementor, go to Plugins > Add new and search for Elementor.

With the Astra and Elementor, you now have all the tools you need to design the perfect blog!

You can use Elementor to design your homepage, about page, blog page, and even your blog posts.

Step 6. Design a logo

Even if you don't have one design bone in your body, we're going to design an awesome logo in the next 5 minutes.

Ready to do this? Giddy up!

First, use this free logo maker from Canva.

Note: You'll need to create a free account with Canva to continue.

Once you're in, simply choose a template, make your desired changes, and save the file.

To add the logo to your blog, go to Appearance > Astra Options > Upload Logo

Step 7. Write your first blog post

Now it's time to write and publish your first blog post.

I recommend using the free Grammarly browser extension to help write your blog content.

Before you go spending all day doing this, keep in mind that nobody is reading your blog. The main goal here is to get this post published just to get the ball rolling on your new blog.

A simple first blog post can be as simple as:

Hello and welcome to [My Blog]!


My name is [Name] and I want to welcome you to my new home on the web.


I started this website because:


- Why this topic interests you

- Why you want to help others

- What is the goal you want people to achieve

- Why this matters / How will it make them feel


Thank you for reading and if you have any questions, be sure to leave a comment down below!


Follow me on social media [Twitter] [Facebook] [Pinterest] [Instagram]

If you need more help writing content for your blog, I have guides on: 

Once you're done writing your first blog post, hit Publish.

And with that, your blog is officially LAUNCHED!

Step 8. Start an email list

Before we open the floodgates and let people see our blog, we need to start an email list first.

You may have heard that "the money is in the list." It's true.

That's because it is difficult to get readers who land on your blog posts to buy something. Most of the time, they show up, read your blog post, and then leave.

An email list is the perfect way to continue the conversation that started on your blog.

When you continue to communicate with your audience and deliver EPIC value, you build trust.

And trust is the magical ingredient necessary to make money blogging.

While you can't see this now, I'm telling you: your email list will your blog's most valuable asset.

You can start an email list for free using ConvertKit.

Click here to open a free ConvertKit account.

ConvertKit email marketing

Once you're all signed up, the first step is to create a form.

Click on Landing Pages & Forms > Create new > Form > Inline

Choose a template and save the form when you're ready.

To add the form on your blog you need to install the ConvertKit plugin in WordPress.

Back in WordPress, go to Plugins > Add new and search for ConvertKit.

To finish setting up the plugin, you need an API key which you can find in your ConvertKit settings.

After that's done, you can go to Settings > ConvertKit in WordPress to find the form you created earlier and add it to your blog.

If you need more help starting an email list, I have a guide on that too.

Step 9. Get traffic to your blog

After you've written a few articles it's time to start driving traffic to your blog posts. To find out where to promote your blog you need to find out where your audience hangs out.

For most, this means social media sites and search engines. Namely, Google, YouTube, Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram.

But rather than trying to be everywhere, it's best to focus on one traffic source at a time.

That's because there's a learning curve to getting traffic from each platform. And if you try and learn them all at once, you'll end up knowing a little bit about each one without mastering any of them.

My recommendation is to start with Pinterest.

Pinterest is the best traffic source for bloggers.

Here's why I choose Pinterest over the other platforms.

  • Google search is very competitive and takes a long time to rank in the search results.
  • Instagram and YouTube aren't designed to take people off the platform.
  • and Facebook doesn't distribute your content unless you pay for ads.

Pinterest on the other hand, is designed to send you traffic.

Here are 3 steps to start promoting your blog on Pinterest:

  • Step 1. Open a business account, complete your profile, and create boards relevant to your niche.
  • Step 2. Use Canva to create images (called pins) to promote each of your blog posts.
  • Step 3. Add the pins to the most relevant board on your profile.
  • Step 4. To further promote and share your content on Pinterest, use the Tailwind scheduler.
Tailwind Pinterest scheduler

Tailwind is a Pinterest-approved scheduler that helps you:

  • Schedule your pins (the Pinterest algorithm favors those who are active on the platform daily)
  • Analytics on pin, board, and profile performance
  • Track new follower growth
  • Provides collaboration tools to grow your reach

After your new blog starts getting free traffic from Pinterest, the last step is to monetize your blog!

Step 10. Make money with your blog

Show me the money gif

Finally, it's time to make money blogging! For this last step, I encourage you to sign up to my free 4-day blogging bootcamp. It is designed for beginner bloggers who want to start a blog to make money - not blog as a hobby.

Sign up below to enroll in the free eCourse!

Thank you so much for allowing me to help you start your blog, you have no idea how much this means to me.

If this guide has helped you start your blog, please share this on social media and let your peeps know about it. Thanks again!

Until next time,
Edwin, DoSixFigures.com

just a little > about me

About edwin

Edwin Contreras is the professional blogger behind Cash The Checks and Do Six Figures. Over the last 17 years, he has started over 100 profitable blogs on his way to a six-figure income as a full-time blogger. He is now obsessed with helping people just like you escape the 9 to 5 and make serious money online. You in?

learn more > earn more

continue > the conversation

  • Grateful. Probably the best I’ve read so far. Informative. I’m about to start my own blog.

    May I ask you help?

  • Hello, nice blogging matters here. I started my blog since one month and my niche is pet photography; maybe not the richest one but the others are already a mess and saturated…

  • Winnie Xu says:

    Wow, I’m so impressed with how you were able to make blogging into such a successful career! I always saw blogging as more of a hobby/interest rather than a full-time job.

    One of the greatest highlights of a blogging career does seem to be the independence you get from self-employment. But it does seem like it would be a very long journey to get there.

    How were you able to stay motivated and committed during the first year with no profits?

    • You need to follow a blueprint that others have followed (and been successful with) before you.

      This is the only way to keep pushing through the beginning months of a new blog.

      That, and a faith in yourself.

  • Hey Edwin,

    Loved your strategy on picking up the niche. IMO, picking up a niche is the most important part of starting a blog. You can change almost anything afterward (name, hosting, theme, etc.) but not the niche.

    Thanks for a great article.

    • Yes you can’t change the niche without starting over, so it’s best to make sure you choose a profitable niche right from the start.

  • {"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

    ready to start making big money blogging?


    Six-Figure Bloggers Blueprint shows you the system to build a profitable blog from scratch. These are the exact steps I've used to build multiple successful blogs.

    If you're serious about making real money with your blog - you need this course!

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    see what's in the course

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