How To Start A Blog And Earn A Living- The Ultimate Guide

You’re likely here because the idea of launching a blog and generating income from it has sparked your interest. 

Rest assured, this guide is written to guide you on that very path, whether you aim to supplement your income or commit full-time to blogging.

Within this comprehensive guide, I’ll be showing you the ropes, step by step—and don’t worry, no technical background is required.

The instructions will cover everything from starting your blog to selecting and personalizing themes and plugins, creating unique content, and promoting your blog across social media platforms.

Additionally, I’ll show you how to optimize your blog for search engines to help you climb the ranks and gain visibility.

I recommend following each section and utilizing the additional resources that will be provided throughout the guide. 

These resources are crucial for enhancing your understanding and ensuring your blogging journey is a complete success.

By the way, why would one start a blog?

Person Blogging
Online blog- Image by on Freepik

Why do people start a blog?

As interesting as the question sounds, there are many reasons why someone would want to start a blog, and we are going to explore them first.

If you are not interested in that, you can skip that part and jump straight into the first step. 

Starting a blog can be great for lots of reasons. I have divided the benefits into two categories based on my experience blogging for more than a decade. 

Here are a few good ones:

Personal benefits:

  • Inspiring others: Blogging allows you to share your thoughts and ideas with the world and to connect with and inspire others who share your interests.
  • Enhancing writing skills: Blogging regularly can help you improve your writing skills, including your grammar, vocabulary, and style.
  • Acquiring new skills: Blogging can also help you learn new skills, such as website management, SEO, and social media marketing.
  • Overcoming personal barriers: For many people, blogging can be a way to overcome personal barriers such as shyness or fear of public speaking.
  • Documenting your journey: A blog can be a personal archive of your thoughts, experiences, and growth over time.

Professional benefits:

  • Establishing authority: Blogging consistently about a particular topic can help you establish yourself as an expert in that field. This can lead to opportunities such as speaking engagements, guest blogging, and book deals.
  • Generating income: While it is not a get-rich-quick scheme, blogging can be a way to generate income through advertising, affiliate marketing, or selling your products or services.
  • Connecting with like-minded individuals: Blogging can help you connect with other people who share your interests, both personally and professionally. This can lead to new friendships, collaborations, and job opportunities. We have done something on how to use blogging to connect with like-minded people
  • Advancing your career: Blogging can help you advance your career by showcasing your skills and expertise to potential employers. It can also help you to network with other professionals in your field.

Why not to start a blog 

Truth be told, blogging is not for everyone, as it requires determination.

Blogging is for those who are serious and committed.

Here’s some friendly advice on what to expect, so you know if you’re up for the challenge

  1. Roll up your sleeves—it’s hard work!
Tired man <a href="">Image by storyset</a> on Freepik
Tired man Image by storyset on Freepik

Blogging is not just about sharing your thoughts online; it’s a serious task.

To create a successful blog, you need to put in more effort than you would in a regular 9-to-5 job.

So, if you’re up for some serious work and ready to dive deep, blogging can be your stage.

  1. Patience is key to earning.

If you’re looking to make money, blogging is a marathon, not a sprint.

Don’t expect to see a wallet full of cash overnight.

It takes patience and persistence to start earning through your blog, so if you’re in it for the long haul, you’re on the right track.

  1. Get ready for a roller-coaster income.

Earning through a blog isn’t always consistent, but that’s part of the excitement.

If you’re the kind of person who loves a challenge and can adapt to ups and downs, you might just have what it takes to thrive in the blogging world.

  1. Embrace the solitude – it builds focus.

Yes, blogging can be a solitary job, but that’s where self-motivation kicks in.

It’s perfect for those who can focus without the buzz of an office around them.

If you’re comfortable with quiet and can motivate yourself, you’ll do just fine.

  1. Stay on your toes – the landscape changes.

The world of blogging is ever-changing, which can be thrilling for those who love to learn and adapt.

If you’re someone who gets a kick out of staying ahead of trends and can pivot with changes, blogging can be your playground.

  1. Keep social media in check.

While social media is a big part of blogging, it’s all about balance.

If you can use it wisely without getting caught up in the comparison game, it’s a powerful tool at your fingertips. Use it to connect, not to compare.

  1. Your time, your rules.

Finally, while blogging may initially require a lot of your time, it also offers the flexibility to set your own hours.

If you’re good at time management and setting boundaries, you can have both a successful blog and quality time with family.

Blogging is for those who are serious about making their mark and willing to put in the work.

If this sounds like you, welcome to the world of blogging – your determination and passion are exactly what’s needed to make it big!

Can I Start a Blog for Free?

So you’re thinking about starting a blog without spending a dime, right? Well, you totally can! But let me tell you a little story before you jump in.

When I was a blogging newbie, I decided to start a blog on one of those free websites.

I thought, “Hey, why not? It’s free!” So I poured my heart and soul into this blog, writing about all sorts of stuff for almost a year. I was pretty proud of it.

But then, one day, I tried to log in, and poof! It was gone. Just like that, my 10 months of hard work vanished.

Frustrated man after blog suspension - <a href="">Image by KamranAydinov</a> on Freepik
Frustrated man after blog suspension – Image by KamranAydinov on Freepik

Turned out, that the platform decided to suspend my blog, and I was left with nothing. No backup, no content, no blog.

That’s the thing with free platforms—you’re kind of at their mercy.

They’re cool for messing around or if you’re just blogging for fun.

But if you’re looking to build something serious, like a business or your brand, going free might bite you in the back later.

Free options have their limits, and when you’re ready to grow, they might not be able to grow with you.

So, if you’ve got big dreams for your blog, think about investing a little in it from the start.

It could save you a ton of heartache and lost work!

If you’re set on trying out a free blogging platform, I’ve got just the thing for you—a detailed guide that covers different blogging platforms, what’s good about them, and what’s not so great.

Take a look at the guide and take your time to choose.

It’s like picking out a new outfit—you want to make sure it fits well and looks good on you because you’ll be wearing it a lot!

This guide is like a fitting room. Step in, try each one out and see which one suits you best.

Remember, there’s no rush. It’s better to choose wisely now than to have regrets later.

So, give it a read, weigh your options, and pick the platform that feels right for your blogging adventure!

How to Start a Blog in 10 Steps

Choose your niche 

Get WordPress hosting 

Choose a domain name 

Install WordPress 

Choose a theme 

Install essential Plugins 

Configure your basic blog settings 

Create your important pages and main menu 

Write your first blog post

Grow your blog traffic

Make money blogging 


  1. Choosing a Blog Niche 

Before you start a blog, you need to pick a topic area, also known as a niche.

Choosing the right niche is important because it can affect how much money you might make from ads on your blog. 

You make money based on how many people see the ads, and some topics earn more than others.

In 2023, some of the best topics that made money from ads were about home and garden, cars, and family stuff. 

Various blogging niches
Blogging Niches- Credit Semrush

But it’s a good idea to choose a topic you like or know a lot about. 

For example, if you love video games, you could write a blog about gaming.

There are some topics, like health, law, and money, which a lot of people write about, and they are very competitive.

 It might be hard to get noticed in these areas, so it’s usually better to pick something else when you’re just starting. 

You should look for keywords or phrases that big companies aren’t using but people are searching for.

If you want to write about lots of different things, you can make a blog that covers many topics. 

Some of the biggest blogs talk about a wide variety of subjects, not just one. 

Websites like WikiHow, Lifewire, and Business Insider are examples of this. 

But it’s still a good idea to start with one main topic and then slowly begin to include others.

Also, make sure your blog topic is okay for all ages because this will allow you to have ads on your blog, according to Google’s rules for ads.

You can read about how to pick the best blog niche here.

2. Choose a blogging platform 

Choosing the right blogging platform can be hard because there are so many options available. 

How do you decide which one is the best match for you?

We’ve made a special guide to help you pick the best blogging platform so you don’t make a mistake.

So, which blogging platform should you choose?

The top choice is definitely

Why is the best? 

It’s the most used blogging platform in the world and it’s free to use.

Right now, is powering 33.4% of all websites. That means one out of every three websites you visit is likely using WordPress. has more than 60% of the blogging platform market share. Big names like BBC, Wired, Time Magazine, and the New York Post use it.

WordPress lets you add whatever plugins you like and lets you change your website in any way you want. This kind of freedom isn’t available with most other blogging platforms.

Remember, WordPress software doesn’t cost anything, but since you host it yourself, you’ll need to pay for web hosting and a domain name.

Don’t confuse with

They’re different.

We’ve written a post about vs. and their key differences.

If you want to understand how they differ, you can read it

In this guide, we are going to focus on WordPress because it is the most popular blogging platform, but you can also read how to set up a blog on other various platforms by doing a simple search online.

3. Get WordPress hosting 

As someone who’s been blogging for over a decade, I’ve seen my fair share of platforms, but WordPress is my go-to, and here’s why: it’s incredibly user-friendly and flexible enough to build any type of website.

You get to enjoy the freedom of open-source software, a wealth of themes and plugins for customization, and a supportive community for when you need a hand. 

Plus, its SEO capabilities are top-notch, helping your content reach the right audience. 

Whether you’re just starting out or scaling up, WordPress is the smart choice for anyone serious about their online presence.

Choosing a web host can take a lot of time.

There are many options and prices, and it can be hard to know what’s best for you. 

Knowing what makes a good web host will help you save time.

Once you know this, picking a plan is easy. In this chapter, we will guide you through choosing a good host and the right plan for your website.

Here are the common ones you will see:

Shared Hosting

You share a server with others.

It’s cheaper, but you depend on the other sites you share with.

Virtual Private Server (VPS)

You still share a server, but it’s like having your own computer. It’s better for performance and gives you more control.

WordPress hosting

This is made for WordPress sites. It has tools and services that make things easier for you.

Dedicated server

You get a whole server to yourself. 

It’s more expensive.

If you are starting a new blog, I can recommend Hostinger, as their StartUp plan is a good option.

It is affordable and has all the features you need to get started.

Here is a breakdown of the StartUp plan:

  • Price: $1.99 per month
  • Disk space: 10 GB
  • Bandwidth: 100 GB
  • Email accounts: 1
  • Databases: 1
  • Subdomains: 3
  • FTP accounts: 3
  • SSL certificate: Yes

This plan is enough for a new blog, but if you expect to get a lot of traffic, you may want to consider upgrading to a higher plan later on.

The rest of this guide will focus on WordPress hosting because it has many helpful features for setting up your site.

Depending on your choice, we have a full tutorial that explains how to install WordPress on various hosts. 

4. Choose a domain name 

Struggling to pick a name for your blog? It’s a big deal since your blog’s name is often the first thing people notice. 

It shapes how they feel about your blog, right from the start.

But don’t worry! Our guide makes it easy to create a name that can help your blog shine and grow. 

Plus, we’ll show you examples of all sorts of blogs to spark your creativity. Ready to find a name that fits like a glove? 

Dive into our guide for all the tips and tricks you need!

Explore Our Simple Guide to how to generate Blog Names

5. Choose a theme 

Choosing the perfect theme for your WordPress site can be like finding the right outfit for a special occasion – it needs to fit well and look great.

With thousands of themes at your fingertips, you’ve got plenty of options, both free and premium. 

However, investing in a premium theme is like opting for a tailored suit rather than off-the-rack – it often comes with more features and dedicated support to help you out when you need it.

Choosing a theme
Choosing a theme

Think fast, sleek, and modern when selecting a theme. Some top-notch choices are GeneratePress, Divi, and Astra, all known for their speed and clean design. 

You can shop for these and other themes on ThemeForest, a popular go-to for WordPress themes.

Once you’ve chosen your theme, it’s like bringing your new outfit home. To dress up your site:

  1. Head over to your WordPress dashboard.
  2. Click on ‘Appearance’ and then ‘Themes’.
  3. Select ‘Upload Theme’ to bring your new theme into WordPress.

And just like tweaking how an outfit fits, you can personalize your theme to match your style. 

Simply use the “Customize” option on your WordPress admin bar when you’re on your site, or you can adjust settings from the dashboard itself.

Whether you’re a WordPress newbie or a seasoned website fashionista, remember, your theme is more than just looks—it’s about making a memorable first impression and providing a great experience for your visitors. 

If you need to know more about how to choose and customize themes, we have you covered 

Happy theming!

6. Install Essential Plugins 

WordPress plugins are essential for maximizing your site’s performance and functionality, offering you a vast range of features to choose from.

For a brief overview: simply navigate to the ‘Plugins’ menu on your WordPress dashboard, search, install, and activate your desired plugins to enhance your site.

For an in-depth guide on choosing and installing the right plugins to transform your website, and an overview of the must-have plugins,  read our comprehensive guide on WordPress plugins.

7. Configure your basic blog settings 

Before diving into writing your blog content, it’s crucial to adjust your blog settings for optimal performance and visibility.

  • > Change your Permalink Structure in the WordPress dashboard under Settings > Permalinks to ‘Post Name’ for better Google indexing and reader-friendliness.
  • Ensure your blog is public. Under Settings > Reading, make sure the ‘Discourage search engines from indexing this site’ option is unchecked to allow search engine ranking.
  • Turn off pingbacks to avoid spam. Go to Settings > Discussions and uncheck the option for link notifications from other blogs.

With these settings configured, you’re ready to proceed. For a full guide on setting up your blog effectively, visit our detailed blog setup tutorial.

8. Create your important pages and main menu 

For a strong foundation, your WordPress blog needs to include some essential pages:

About Page 

This page is the cornerstone of your blog’s identity.

It’s where you share your story, describe your blog’s purpose, and connect with your audience on a personal level.

It sets the tone for the relationship you intend to build with your readers and often includes your mission, vision, and values.

Contact Page

Accessibility is key to growing your blog’s community.

Your contact page serves as a bridge between you and your readers, potential collaborators, and sponsors.

This page typically includes a contact form, your email address, and sometimes your physical mailing address or phone number, depending on the level of direct contact you wish to establish.

These pages collectively establish trust, provide clarity, and invite interaction, laying the groundwork for a thriving blog.

Your blog’s menu is essential, as it directs readers to key pages and helps with site navigation.

It’s the core of your blog’s user experience, highlighting the most important content and ensuring easy accessibility. 

Delving deeper into the specifics of what makes the menu and these pages effective and how they contribute to your blog’s success is something our comprehensive guide covers meticulously. 

9. Write your first blog post

Embarking on your blogging journey begins with planning your content. 

Establish a content calendar and aim for a consistent publishing schedule, like one post per week, to maintain discipline and give yourself time to learn.

To find what to write about:

  • Look at Other Blogs: See what other blogs in your area are writing about. Don’t copy; just get ideas and make them better.
  • Check Out Online Groups: Use websites like Reddit and Quora. See what questions people ask about your blog’s topic and answer them in your posts.

Stay true to your plan, write original stuff, and soon you’ll have a blog full of great posts. Want more tips? We’ve got a big list of ideas and a guide to help you out. Now, go fill up that content calendar!

10. Grow your blog traffic

Starting a new blog can be challenging, especially when it comes to attracting an audience. 

The best way to increase your blog’s visibility is through search engine optimization (SEO), which enhances your presence on search engines, helping your posts to appear on the first page of search results.

SEO consists of two key components: On-Page Optimization and Off-Page Optimization. Both are essential for driving blog traffic.

For On-Page Optimization, focus on the elements within your site to improve rankings. This includes:

Enhancing your site’s loading speed

– Conducting keyword research to understand what terms your audience searches for

– Using keywords effectively in your titles, blog posts, and website metadata

For a step-by-step guide, our beginner’s SEO guide for bloggers provides a comprehensive look.

Keyword research can be performed using tools like Google Keyword Planner.

Select keywords with a high search volume to boost traffic potential. After research, strategically place keywords in your blog post titles, URLs, headings, image alt text, meta descriptions, and within the content itself.

Plugins like All in One SEO can simplify the process by suggesting improvements and ensuring keyword placement.

For Off-Page Optimization, it’s about building links and networking with influencers to promote your blog. Engage in online communities without immediately promoting your links. Establish relationships first, then share your content when appropriate. 

Connecting with bloggers and influencers on platforms like Twitter can also facilitate guest posting opportunities and content sharing.

Tools such as Ahrefs Content Explorer and BuzzSumo are great for identifying influencers.

SEO is a vast field, and while this summary touches on the basics, for a deeper dive, you should read our detailed SEO guide.

11. Make money blogging 

Welcome to the world of blogging!

Once your blog is up and running, the inevitable question arises: “How can I make money blogging?”. 

There are numerous strategies for monetizing a blog, and we’ve put together a guide on the various methods to earn income online.

Here, let’s explore some favorite monetization techniques

  1. Google Adsense: A stalwart in the blogging community, Google Adsense enables you to earn money by displaying ads on your blog. 

Payments are made for ad displays and clicks. To integrate Google Adsense, see our specific guide on the subject.

  1. Affiliate Marketing: This involves promoting products or services and earning a commission on sales made through your referral. 

It’s a straightforward approach: sign up for an affiliate program, share your unique affiliate link on your blog, and earn when someone makes a purchase via your link. 

Amazon and AliExpress are good starting points for affiliate programs. 

The ThirstyAffiliates plugin can help manage your affiliate links.

For more information on getting started with affiliate marketing, check out our beginner’s guide.

  1. Create an Online Store: Bloggers can also generate revenue by selling products directly from their blogs.

 WooCommerce is a top-notch eCommerce plugin for WordPress users.

 If handling inventory and shipping seems daunting, consider drop shipping as a simpler alternative to traditional retail.

Remember, launching your blog is just the beginning. 

Continuous learning and practice are key to blogging success.

Keep an eye on our blog for more guides and tips, and consider subscribing to our newsletter to stay updated.


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