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What do you need to start a blog?

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what do you need to start a blog~this post may contain affiliate links. ~

What do you need to start a blog?

Are you looking for a way to express your creative side, share your thoughts, or maybe even make money on the side? Starting a blog can be a great way to have a creative outlet and make money on the side.

I started my blog after thinking about it for several years! The only thing I regret is not starting it sooner. Not only has been a great outlet for me to develop and grow as a person, but it has also been a way to earn extra cash! If you are like me, you might be doubting that the world needs another blog. I heard someone say that there is room for everyone in the blogging world because no one has your exact perspective or your way of communicating. I have read SO many blogs about starting a blog and only a few really helped me understand how to get started. You CAN start a blog and start earning extra income.

So you may be thinking, what do I need to start a blog? How hard is it to get set up?

You can start a blog with Bluehost quickly! In about 15 minutes, you will be set up with a FREE Domain name, FREE site builders, 1-click wordpress install, and 24/7 support.

I set up my blog through Bluehost and WordPress in less than 15 minutes! It was super quick and easy. The customer support was really helpful as I maneuvered my way through the process. As a non-techy kind of person, I was able to set up my website without any stress.

I am using my blog to share all the ways you can earn extra income by working side jobs. I spent a lot of time searching for jobs that were legit, and I found some! This is my journey of working online and saving money for our family. I’m keeping track of my side income and goals in my Monthly Goals Report and sharing the ways that I am able to earn extra money as well as how I grow my blog. You may be hoping to earn extra money to save for your family, pay off student loans, pay off credit card debt, create a business of your own, or to be able to give.

Getting started:

  • Sign Up:

    If you want to make money through blogging, then you really need a self-hosted site. The difference between a free blogging profile vs. a self-hosted site is that it can be hard to make money on the self-hosted site. People don’t really take you seriously when you are on a free site. Blogging is all about your online appearance and a self-hosted site gives you a professional look. I recommend using Bluehost because they are so easy to work with and as a non-techy person I need all the help I can get! Not to mention as a new blogger they are super-affordable at prices beginning at $3.95 a month. About 2 times a year they have a big sale for $2.95 a month, which is just crazy! Join my email list and I will keep you updated on when Bluehost has any special offers! For more detailed instructions you can check out my guide Bluehost Setup.

  • Pick a Name: 

    You get to pick a name for your new blog! It’s kind of like naming a baby…you want this to be perfect and it can be hard to do. Just don’t spend too much time on your blog name. Just a little advice, don’t define your name so that you can’t branch out into other areas and don’t make your name too broad that you can’t define yourself. I know that sounds confusing! Here’s an example, if I want to blog about my favorite kind of dog labrador retrievers I will limit myself if I choose a name like Labrador Retriever Puppies.  It would be better to have a name like Puppy Paws or maybe a little broader Pets and Stuff.

  • Join WordPress: 

    You will need to create a WordPress account. This is the platform where you will be creating your content. There are many great websites that are dedicated to teaching you to maneuver around your WordPress platform. After you join WordPress you will connect your WordPress and Bluehost accounts.

  • Pick a theme

    Now you can pick a theme. This is important because the visual aspect of your blog is what will  draw people to your amazing content. You can use one of the wordpress free options or you can purchase a theme for around $50 or more. This is a one time purchase. You may want to take some time to do research to find a theme that matches you and what you’re all about.

    WP Beginner is a great site with many guides to help you. This install guide was helpful for me!

  • What do all blogs need?

    Law requirements: you need a disclosure page, privacy policy, and comment policy. You can read the law for yourself here FTC. Look at your favorite blogs to see how they have set up their pages. You can see mine here.  These pages are important for 2 reasons. First, it’s the law that you have them and if you want to earn money through ads affiliate programs usually require that you have them. Second, it shows your readers that you are honest and not hiding anything from them.

  • Work on Content

    Before you launch your blog, you should have 20 – 40 posts up on your blog. This will help readers find something they want to read and give you a more established look. You also will be able to link between posts which will encourage readers to spend more time on your site. I made the mistake of promoting my blog before I had much content and I didn’t have my email worked out. I started getting subscribers and was quickly overwhelmed. Two lessons I learned: make great content and social media marketing works! Quick writing tips:
    * Write to your niche
    * Answer this question for your readers “What’s in it for me?”                                                                                            *Use SEO (search engine optimization) to pick out powerful post titles. This is really important and was a big learning curve for me. You can see my post “What you need to know about SEO” for the details!

Sign up for a business Pinterest account.

Pinterest is booming! There are some awesome posts on how to use Pinterest to grow your page views. You can read this “8 Most Helpful posts  using Pinterest for marketing” for ideas on how to make the most out of Pinterest!

Sign up for Google Adsense and Amazon Affiliate marketing.

These are probably your best bet for quickly earning money through your blog.

Google Adsense: Is a way to earn money by placing ads on pages of your site. You get paid when someone  clicks or views the ad.

 Amazon Affiliates: Using referral codes through Amazon placed in your blog post. When someone clicks through your link and purchases an item you earn a small percentage of the purchase.

Both of these ways are great for both you and your readers, because it doesn’t cost anything extra for the buyer.           By choosing products that are meaningful to your post and helpful to your readers, this is an easy way to earn income through your blog. I also took a course with Michelle Schroedner-Gardner of Making Sense of Cents  called Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing. Michelle has built her website and just recently earned over $100,000 for the month of July! She knows her stuff. She is encouraging and extremely helpful and available to answer questions. You should definitely check out her course!

Bonus:

These are some extra tips I have found to be really helpful!

  • *Use Facebook Groups to help guide traffic to your blog and social media channels. I am a member of these groups and have found them to be helpful in building traffic to my Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Blog.
  • *Sign up for an email service. If you just want to deliver a newsletter then Mailchimp is a great FREE service. But if you want to send out an email course ConvertKit is a great option and is what I switched too quickly after I got started. Building your email list is going to be very important as you grow your blog and build community.
  • *You know those little pop-ups that ask you to join the email list? Those are great for building your email list. Sign up for a plug-in that will connect your email service and blog. You can use the FREE version HelloBar or if you are ready to spend a little money you can sign up for Sumome. This makes it really easy to add the pop-up to your site and another way to track your readers.
  • *Google Analytics is an important tool that helps you make decisions on what types of posts are successful, where your traffic is coming from, and how long your readers are on your site. You can check out my post on the “Best Tips for Using Google Analytics” for more information!

I hope this helps you get started with your blog! There is so much to learn, but it is definitely worth the effort. I’m so excited for you as you start the journey towards blogging for profit.

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