This post contains affiliate links. See affiliate disclaimer here.
If you had a chance to read my last post about the Actual Costs Of Starting A Blog then you probably have taking the costs and weighed it with the potential income and are ready to start your blog! If you haven’t read that article, then I encourage you to give it a read because I go over all the costs of starting a blog with nothing hidden, it’s the real deal!
It can be extremely overwhelming when you start reading about how to create a profitable blog and not knowing where to even begin. I know I felt completely overwhelmed, luckily I found a couple sites that were so informative and I hope my site is just as helpful. In this post I will briefly go over a step by step plan to creating your first blog.
If you follow this structure, you will be prepared and on your way to making money!
Step 1: Write, Write & Write Some More!
This is something not a lot of sites go over unfortunately, yet I feel it’s the most crucial. You want to create 25-45 blog posts right off the bat. Even if you don’t have your domain name ready yet, you haven’t even begun to create your blog, that’s fine. Open up your word pad on your computer and start brainstorming blog ideas, then eventually start writing out all the articles. I cannot stress enough how much time and headache this will save you down the road. As your figuring out all the website details, getting all your articles in a row, ready to post is crucial. Remember, it’s the first several articles that will be on your blog, it’s the face of your blog, so when you apply to put ads on your site (which is how you make money) you want to make sure your site looks professional. If you have 4 posts, the companies may take a look and not take your blog seriously nor see a viable place to place their ads. Not only with ad companies, once you load all your pins on pinterest, you want to make sure your site looks professional, has additional content your viewers can click around to and explore. Last but not least, it simply as I said, saves you a ton of time. Once your website is created, you got a domain name that you love, you made all your pins, wait now you have to write 25-45 articles!? So time consuming when you could have already started driving people to your blog, so during the time that your website is being designed, start writing.
I hope that’s not super confusing, but I wanted to explain further why you need to have so many blog posts ready.
Step 2: Get A Website Host
Another thing I cannot stress enough is to make sure you get a website host (hosting is like renting a place on the internet to put your site out there).
This means you should not create a free blog.
I had a blog originally with Wix, there’s a lot of mixed opinions out there, however my point in mentioning the site is that I actually really liked the website to create my blog. However, despite it being great for a hobby, it is not great for creating a profitable website. I talk about this in my article What NOT To Do When Starting A Blog but basically, it will not drive in traffic, please feel free to read my article if you want more details as to why it isn’t a good idea.
So sign up for a hosting site like Bluehost which is $3.95/month, that’s the cost of one less Starbucks drink you get, for locking down that perfect domain name you want. The other thing I love about having a hosting site is that there is so much customer support help. Being new to this whole hosting thing, I can’t count how many times I called, was listened to and received such great help. I love knowing that my site will never be taking down randomly for no reason and that I have professional help walking me through the entire way!
Step 3: Pick A Visual Theme For Your Site
A theme is what makes your website unique, it’s the color scheme, the font, the layout, the arrangement of photos, everything visual.
I would absolutely recommend starting your blog with WordPress, it’s the most popular site to use for blogging. Again, Bluehost is great because it will let you install WordPress.
There are tons of themes either on WordPress or Bluehost, I got my website theme (the font, layout, color scheme etc) from the Bluehost marketplace. Whichever route you choose make sure you pay for a theme. Sorry if you don’t want to hear that, but you have to make sure to choose one that’s very visually appealing. It kinda goes without saying, but the better looking your blog is, the more traffic your going to drive to your blog.
Step 4: Sign Up For Affiliates
Affiliates are sites that pay you for clicks or purchases on their ads that they put on your site.
Again, this is why earlier I mentioned how important it is to create all your articles and content beforehand.
Adsense is one of the most popular and easily attainable add sites for new bloggers, it’s Google’s ad service. They will display ads on your site as I mentioned, when those ads are on your blog, you will start to gain income from them.
I heard Adsense is picky about who they accept, I have also heard it can be quite easy, I know it can sound scary and intimidating at first. Knowing a company is going to review your site to see if it’s basically legitimate enough to place their ads, sounds intense. However, if your site looks legitimate, again this is why I stress do not go with a free blogging website, the site theme is visually appealing then you won’t have any problems. As long as your site does not look like you just started a random blog, threw a few posts up, barely tend to your site and don’t seem actively present on your blog, then your ok! So again, create tons of content so you can show Adsense that real traffic will be seeing their ads.
Step 5: Make Your Pinterest Legitimate
So you probably already have a Pinterest account, if not now is a great time to create one! You’ll want to create a professional looking Pinterest account, if you already have an account, you’ll need to start rearranging your boards to look professional.
The first 14 boards are like your “store front”, it shows what your all about, so those old random boards like “Sally’s Baby Shower Ideas” shouldn’t be at the top. I wouldn’t recommend deleting any boards either though, even if you have 3 followers on that board, you will lose those. Every follower counts.
So start reorganizing your Pinterest account, start rewording the titles of your boards to simple titles like: “Blogging” instead of “Destination:Passion” so that it is easier for people to find your boards.
I wouldn’t recommend uploading your pins or displaying your website until your site goes live.
This is very important, if your site is in the works to being created and people click around, ending up at your page, if your page says “New Site Coming Soon” (which it will until it’s live) already you have driven away so many potential followers. They most likely won’t come back sadly.
So again, getting your account looking professional, start researching group boards and begin applying to those.
Step 6: Find An Email List Builder
You may be thinking, “I’ll do that later on when my site grows and/or I gain more traffic”, I thought the exact same thing.
However, in almost every bloggers posts in relation to email building sites, they all made it very clear that their biggest regret, is not creating an email list builder sooner.
Even if your thinking, “I don’t know what emails I would be sending out to the few subscribers I have” your not alone!
Almost everybody starting a blog thinks about this, that’s why it’s become bloggers biggest regret, it’s the task that gets put behind everyone, a task saved for “later”.
The best thing as new bloggers, we can all learn from the pro’s, if this is a regret of so many, we may as well benefit from the learned knowledge and not make the same mistakes.
The first few subscribers you have, are the one’s that will probably follow you throughout your blogging “career”.
Now with aaallll that being said, the best email list builder is ConvertKit. The reason it is is because it’s so user friendly, you do not have to be tech savvy to use this tool.
It’s not free but, again, with my whole spiel about the benefits of actually paying for services to create a profitable blog, apply again with this.
Email subscribing is so crucial, that you wouldn’t want a free company to use that could potentially send out spam or crash, losing all of your subscribers.
Convertkit has video tutorials, customer service and so many tools you can utilize, it’s $29.99 a month which is basically the cost of eating out for lunch a few times or a handful of Starbucks drinks. It’s definitely worth it to have a reliable company that supports you in this crucial portion of your blog, go ahead and check them out, you won’t be disappointed!
Pin it for later!
I hope these 6 brief points on what steps you will need to take in order to start a blog helped.
Again, it can be so overwhelming with all the information out there on how to create a blog, that things get lost in translation.
Feel free to make notes and create goals as you check off these steps.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask me!