If you’ve been wondering how to start a blog for free and make money with your blog, you’ve come to the right place. I began blogging as a retiree to fulfill several personal goals, and it was one of the best decisions I ever made. One of those goals was to supplement retirement income online, but it went well beyond that.
After years of working for others, I saw blogging as a means of building something of my own. It keeps me mentally challenged and provides me with the ability to help others who are pursuing a similar online dream. All in all, a very rewarding experience.
In today’s post, I’m going to walk you step-by-step through the exact same process I took to get my blog up and running. The initial steps are very straightforward. You can get started for free today if you choose. Naturally, fully developing your blog and achieving success will require an investment of time and effort. But you have to take those first steps.
Sound good? Then let’s jump right in.
Blogging has evolved as an incredibly popular way to communicate, share information, and express opinions. There are also numerous ways to make money with a blog once it’s established and you have traffic. But of course, you knew that which is why you’re here.If you would like a bit of background on blogging, you might want to read my earlier post, What is a Blog and How Does it Work, and then return. Otherwise, we’ll move on to the startup phase.
How to Start a Blog for Free and Make Money
Many people get into the exciting world of blogging every day. With the tools available in this day and age, it is not difficultand does not require technical expertise. If you can send an email or create a document, you are capable of creating a blog. So, here are the steps you must take.
#1 Decide What Your Niche Will Be
So, what topics would you like to blog about? Who would you like to communicate with and share information with? The possibilities are endless and limited only by your personal interests or areas of expertise. A niche is really nothing more than a group of people who share your passion for a particular topic. Understanding the needs of your niche is critical because everything on your blog will be written to and for your niche audience.
#2 Choose Your Blogging Platform
There are several options out there, but in my mind, there is only one obvious choice. My blogging platform is WordPress. The decision to go with WordPress is one I share with about 70% of all website owners. WordPress is free to use and represents a complete Content Management System (CMS). The essence of your blog is rich content. You want a platform that can easily manage content in all forms including text, photos, clip art, video and audio files.
You can readily customize the look and feel of your blog by selecting from more than 1,500 free WordPress themes. It is also possible to purchase a theme if you feel you need more bells and whistles. I use a free theme and have yet to experience any restrictions. You can also add additional features and capabilities by installing free WordPress plugins.
There are hundreds of plugins from which to choose. For example, I use Yoast SEO to communicate efficiently with Google and other Search Engines. I’ve also chosen Sumome to add social media icons to my pages and posts. Please feel free to use these icons to share my content
#3 Get Your Blog Online By Choosing an Awesome Domain Name and Hosting
Your Domain Name establishes your address and unique identity on the Web. Ideally, you want to choose a name that is easy to remember (so your readers can return), descriptive of your content and conveys trust. Your domain name followed by a dot com extension is generally best, although dot org and dot net extensions also work well.
A Web Host provides storage for your website’s files on a server and Internet connectivity that delivers those files to your readers. Think of hosting as renting space for your virtual business in the same way you might rent space in a building for a brick and mortar business. There are several hosting providers and packages you can choose. PC Magazine provides a comprehensive comparison of the best hosting providers.
My #1 Recommendation for New Bloggers
You’ve no doubt been contemplating creating a blog for some time now but have felt somewhat overwhelmed and weren’t quite sure where to turn. I totally get that because I was initially in your shoes. In the course of researching blogging platforms, I came across an online community that had numerous outstanding reviews with virtually no negative reviews. Since they also offered an option to get started for free, I had to check them out.
Wealthy Affiliate offers a free Starter Membership (no credit card required) with everything you need to get started the right way. Your Starter Membership allows you to create 2 free websites with hosting on the SiteRubix platform and WordPress as your CMS. Additionally, the Starter Membership includes access to an online course called “Online Entrepreneur Certification – Getting Started (Level 1)” with 10 free lessons to get your blog off on the right foot. Amazing, right?
The Starter Membership is not a trial offer. You can continue on as a Starter Member indefinitely. Naturally, there are more services and additional training available if you choose to become a Premium member as I have. But you are not required to ever upgrade your membership. Many WA members choose to remain at the starter level for long periods of time. This is a no-risk option with nothing but positive benefits. Read my Getting Started Online page for additional details. Learn everything you need to learn to create the ultimate professional blog.
#4 Craft Posts and Pages That Draw Traffic
A successful blog is all about information-rich content that satisfies the needs of your target audience and answers the questions that are uppermost in the minds of your readers. Pages are relatively static in nature and provide evergreen content that remains relevant over time. As an example, you will want to create an About Me page where you can introduce yourself to your readers and create a personal connection. Many studies indicate that About Me pages are the most frequently visited pages on blogs.
New posts allow bloggers to continuously update their websites and add fresh information that addresses questions and pain points experienced by readers. New content encourages visitors to return to your site on a regular basis. Each post will also target keyword phrases that searchers are querying and will attract new readers. Google and other search engines will reward bloggers with higher page rankings based on evidence of continuous updates and delivery of original content.
Watch the short video below to get Google’s perspective on creating content for your blog.
#5 Make Your Blog Profitable
Once your blog receives regular traffic, there are many possibilities for making money. One possibility is the approach that I use for my blog which is affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is the simplest and most straightforward approach to making money with a blog. I earn commissions, at no additional cost to my customers, for promoting goods and services that I believe in and use myself.
I never have the hassle of carrying inventory, shipping products or collecting payments from customers. These details are all the responsibility of the organizations with which I deal. This suits my retiree lifestyle well. Enrolling in affiliate programs is free and literally takes moments. To get a sense of the ease involved, see my post, How to Become an Amazon Affiliate Marketer.
You are certainly not limited to this monetization strategy. You can also consider marketing your crafts, selling photographic images, using advertising, or offering digital products such as ebooks to your customers. Please take a look at How to Make Money by Blogging for some practical suggestions.
To blog or not to blog? I hope you’re now in a better position to answer that question and that How to Start a Blog for Free and Make Money provided some useful tips. You can click the button below to get started for free today.
Please share your blogging thoughts in the comment section below. I would love to read them and will happily respond to any comments or questions you have.
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To your success!