The most common question that I am asked on almost a daily basis, either in the comments of the blogs that I publish on or even in person, is: How do I start a blog that will make me some extra cash? My answer always starts with a giggle and a nod, knowing that for the most part my advice will probably fall on deaf ears especially when I get to the “to-do” or “work” part of my simple instructions.
Let’s face it, the majority of those that have the gumption to create a blog fall into one of two categories:
- Blogging for passion – those that have a passion or strong need to share either their beliefs, experiences, or know-how with the general public.
- Blogging for money – those who are stuck in “regular” crappy job/career and wish to make an extra buck.
No matter which of the two categories people fall under 90% of them will fail to even publish their first post. Why?
The answer is simple. They simply either lack the true motivation to add in something extra to their everyday life or they allow themselves to get bogged down in the technical aspects of setting up their blogging site. While I can’t necessarily help with the motivational aspect, I am able to give you a simple plan to move you over those technical hurdles that you might face.
Over the next month or so, I’ll walk you through the basic how-to’s for starting your very own money making blog. Covering key points such as:
- Blog Setup (Getting Started)
- Creating Content
- Establishing Your Blog
If you are here, reading, and believe that you are ready to put in the work (yes, there is that ugly word) then read on to the first steps to becoming a successful blogger that actually has an income to show for their efforts.
Step One: Blog Setup (Getting Started)
Getting a good domain name
Think of your domain name for your blog/site as a brand. Just as Nike or Starbucks wouldn’t change their name, you don’t want to either. Once you pick your domain name that will become your site’s identity for the remainder of it’s life.
I don’t think that there are any hard rules as to how a domain name should be picked, so use the following points as a guideline for choosing your domain name:
- Use Keywords
- Make it easy to remember
- Keep it short
- Use hyphens if needed
- Make it easy to type
- Pick the correct domain name extension (.com, .org, etc)
- Avoid using your name or business name unless your blog will center around your personality (speaker or coach). If you plan on monetizing your blog for a specific product then go with something that includes the product name.
- Avoid Copyright issues
2. Getting a cheap and reliable web hosting solution
What is a web host? In the day and age where most everything can be found, purchased, or researched online it seems odd to me that most people don’t really understand how the internet works. Think of your blog/site as a book that can be found in a library. That library of books needs to have lights, electricity, and a building to reside. A web host is that building. A host will serve as a storage area for your site, calling it up and pushing it to any and all visitors who choose to wish to view it.
There are literally hundreds if not thousands of hosting options out there, so no wonder newbies get bogged down with choosing and navigating their way to a reliable yet inexpensive solution. Here are my top three picks:
Sure there might be better deals to be found out there, however if it turns out that the host isn’t as reliable as they claim and your visitors are met with a dead page will it really be worth the extra pennies saved? Changing hosts is a tiresome task, so best to start with a reliable company from the start.
3. Setup WordPress
This is probably the most technical portion of setting up your blog. So, take a deep breath and don’t freak out!
The good news is that most hosting solutions offer a simple point and click installation of WordPress via your cpanel.
- How to install via quick install on Hostgator
- How to install via Softaculous on A2 Hosting
- How to install via One-Click on DreamHost
If you have chosen to not go the route of any of the above three hosting solutions, check the FAQ section of your web host first for a quick install solution before heading over to WordPress proper to manually install. Instructions can be found here.
Make sure you check back in the next couple of weeks for a continued mini-course on how to get started blogging and more importantly making money!
Do you have any blogging questions or experiences that you would like to share? If so we would love to hear about them in the comments below.