How to Start a Blog in 20 Minutes and Make Money

Last Updated on – Sep 2, 2019 @ 6:48 am

If you’ve always wanted to start a blog but were unsure of how and where to begin, you’re not alone. Blogging is one of the great online pastimes.

Think of a blog page as your “virtual soap box.” It gives you a venue to share your thoughts, ideas, and opinions with others who have similar interests.

I’ve been blogging since 2009 and making money from it. And believe it or not, setting up a blog is the easy part. Knowing what to blog about has gotten most people stumped.

Yes, people have made tons of money from blogging. But don’t choose a blog topic just because it makes money. If you’re not particularly knowledgeable about the subject, you might not be able to sustain good ideas for your blog.

Here are three key things to keep in mind when choosing a blog topic:

  • It must be your passion.
  • It must be a topic where you can consider yourself an authority.
  • It must invite other people to discuss, share ideas, thoughts, and opinions.

Blogging is an activity that must frequently be done to become successful. Therefore, your blog topic must be something you enjoy doing.

Why Should You Blog?

People blog for different reasons but the most part, they just love to express what’s in their hearts and minds. But here are five other reasons why you should blog:

  1. You can make real money from blogging.
  2. You can help people find solutions to their problems.
  3. You can boost your business with engaging and compelling blogs.
  4. You can enhance your reputation as an expert in your field of interest.
  5. You can improve your writing and communication skills.

Collectively, all of these benefits from blogging will make you a better person. You will gain more confidence, make new connections and hopefully, find a financially rewarding career!

Step-by-Step Guide to Setting Up a Blog

Step 1: Choose Your Blogging Platform.

There are many blogging platforms to choose from, but for my money, you should go with WordPress.

Here are just a few reasons why you should choose WordPress:

  • It’s very easy to set up.
  • WordPress is highly secure. That’s why NASA, Sony, and 72 million other websites use WordPress.
  • WordPress allows you to customize your website which makes it unique only to you.
  • It’s free for everyone to use.
  • 52% of all websites use WordPress.

There are good blogging platforms, but WordPress is simply the best.

Go Self-Hosted or Go Free?

When does food taste its absolute best? When it’s given for free! But not all the best things in life are free.

There are close to 200 million blog sites on the Internet. If you want your blog site to stand out, it must create an immediate impression. Tell me, which blog site you would rather visit:

  1. yourblog.com
  2. yourblog.freehosting.com

Letter “a” is self-hosted blog while “b” uses a free blogging website. Ask yourself, have you ever clicked on a link that uses a free blogging website?

Successful bloggers never use free blogging websites for the following reasons:

  • You don’t control content.
  • Your web address is too long and difficult to remember.
  • You cannot advertise on most free blogging platforms.

If you want a professional-looking blog site that will attract an audience and help you make money online, always opt for a self-hosted blog with your domain name.

Step 2: Get a Domain Name

Your domain name will be the address of your blog site. It is where people will find to read your content. Since you’ve opted for a self-hosted site, your domain name would read like www.MyDomainName.com.

But what’s in a name? Is finding a cool-sounding domain name important to the success of your blog?

The truth is one of the key reasons why bloggers fail to get their blog sites off the ground is having a bad domain name. Here are three tips for creating your domain name:

  • It must be easy to remember.
  • What your blog is about should be unique and descriptive.
  • Use prime extensions such as “.com,” “.net” or “.org.”

Once you have a domain name, write it down on a piece of paper or your smartphone so that you won’t forget.

A domain name will cost you around $10. However, if you sign up with Bluehost, you can get it for free. You’ll learn more about Bluehost on the next step.

Step 3: Find a Web Host

If your domain name is your blog address, the web host is the building complex that houses your blog. Without a web host, you will not be able to build a WordPress website using your domain name.

Learn More: 10 Best Web Hosting for Business Websites and Blogs in the Philippines

There are two important things to keep in mind when choosing a web host:

  • Speed – The average time it takes your page to load on a device. The faster the loading time the better.
  • Uptime – Don’t buy into 99.99% uptime; that translates to 42 minutes of downtime per month. Always go for 100% uptime.

There are many reliable web hosting service providers you can consider. But my personal recommendation is Bluehost. And here are seven good reasons why you too should use Bluehost:

Why Choose Bluehost?

  1. You get a free domain for one year.
  2. Fast and efficient US-based 24/7 customer support.
  3. Ability to host multiple domains and websites on your account.
  4. Availability of unlimited space and transfer bandwidth.
  5. Bluehost offers very competitive pricing.
  6. Automatic backup of your files and databases.
  7. Bluehost makes any WordPress updates available within 24 hours.

If you’re convinced as I am that Bluehost is the best, go to their website right now and let’s get started!

See Bluehost’s Plans

Step 3: Select a Plan

Bluehost offers different types of plan to suit your budget. The more expensive the plan, the more features you get. But if your budget is tight, it is perfectly fine to start out with the Basic Plan. After all, you can upgrade your Plan anytime.

Please take note that all Plans include a free domain for one year. Click the green “Select” button to go to the next step.

Step 4: Input Your Domain Name

Earlier we discussed the value of having a good domain name. If you’ve thought of a good one, enter it in the box to your left side. The small box on the immediate right side is for the extension name.

If you already have an existing domain name, but it is running on a different web host, enter it in the box to your right side. You won’t run into technical problems even if the domain is registered in another web host. For now, the domain will just be used to identify the existence of your account.

Once you’re done, click the “Next” button to go to the next step.

Step 5: Enter Your Account Details

Bluehost will ask you details on personal information. Make sure you fill out all the entries completely and accurately. If you use many e-mails, identify the one which e-mail address will receive the log-in information.

You will also have to select your account plan. Bluehost gives you a choice between one, two or three years’ payment period. The longer the period, the lower becomes the cost of subscription per month.

Bluehost will also offer other features such as Domain Privacy Protection, Site Backup Pro, Search Engine Jumpstart, SiteLock Security and Comodo PositiveSSL. All of these extra features will come at a cost.

You do not have to avail of these. However, Domain Privacy Protection will ensure the security of your personal information. So if you’re using your home address and residence numbers for contact information, I would recommend signing up for Domain Privacy Protection.

If you already have an existing domain name, but it is running on a different web host, enter it in the box to your right side. You won’t run into technical problems even if the domain is registered in another web host. For now, the domain will just be used to identify the existence of your account.

Once you’re done, click the “Next” button to go to the next step.

Step 5: Enter Your Account Details

Bluehost will ask you details on personal information. Make sure you fill out all the entries completely and accurately. If you use many e-mails, identify the one which e-mail address will receive the log-in information.

You will also have to select your account plan. Bluehost gives you a choice between one, two or three years’ payment period. The longer the period, the lower becomes the cost of subscription per month.

Bluehost will also offer other features such as Domain Privacy Protection, Site Backup Pro, Search Engine Jumpstart, SiteLock Security and Comodo PositiveSSL. All of these extra features will come at a cost.

You do not have to avail of these. However, Domain Privacy Protection will ensure the security of your personal information. So if you’re using your home address and residence numbers for contact information, I would recommend signing up for Domain Privacy Protection.

Here are the summary procedures for having WordPress installed:

  • A window will open up where you will see a button that may read as Install or Start. Click this button to begin the installation process for WordPress.
  • WordPress will present a drop-down menu where it will ask you to select the domain you wish to install. Then click Check Domain.
  • Check the box next to Show Advanced Options then enter your Site Name or Title.
  • Choose an Admin Username and create a Password. When your WordPress website has been installed, you will use them to log in.
  • Enter your e-mail address.
  • Once you’re done reading the Terms and Conditions, click the Install Now

You should see the “Status: Success” notification after WordPress has been installed. All of the information you need to access your website will be e-mailed to you.

Note: Bluehost is offering a special price for Grit readers:

Get Started for only $3.95/month

Designing Your Blog

Now comes the fun part; designing and customizing your blog! We’ll go through another series of steps, but it will not take much time and much easier than you think.

Remember to go to www.YourBlogName.com/wp-admin and log in using your credentials when setting up your blog.

When you log in for the first time, you will be greeted by a host of terms you may not be familiar with. These includes:

  • Dashboard – Presents your recent activities
  • Posts – Click this if you want to add a blog or edit an existing one
  • Library – Archive of all the images, videos and audio files you’ve uploaded to the website
  • Pages – If you want to add another web page to your website
  • Comments – This is where you moderate comments made on your website
  • Appearance – This is where you can make revisions, modifications to the design and layout plus install new themes.
  • Plugins – If you want to add a new feature or upgrade an existing one
  • Settings – If you want to edit your title, tagline or do edits to your e-mail address and customize the other features of your website.

How to Change Your Blog’s Design

For sure the part you’re excited the most is designing your blog. After all, that’s what web designers are known for right?

WordPress has templates called “Themes” which were designed by professional web designers. There are over 2,000 fully-customizable themes to choose from, and most of them are beautiful! However, if you want to use premium designs, you can go to themeforest.net.

Meanwhile, let’s get started on designing your blog!

  • Move the mouse over the Appearance tab then click Themes.
  • If you don’t like any of the themes on display, click Add New to start looking for designs that will suit your taste.
  • You will see popular and brand new themes. There is also a Feature Filter and search bar. The Feature Filter allows you to choose themes based on your preferences. Choose the features you want then click Apply Feature. If you’re not sure what you want, do a keyword search to have a clearer idea of what you are looking for.
  • When you’ve found the theme you like, click Install.
  • Once the theme has been installed, click Activate which appears on the next screen.

How to Install WordPress Plugins

Plugins are programs that you can install in your WordPress site to customize it according to how you want it to function. Plugins have the following benefits:

  • Add contact forms
  • Moderate Spam content
  • Improve page optimization or SEO
  • Create newsletter or sign up forms
  • Create photo galleries

It is crucial to research on the plugin before adding it to your website. Some plugins may affect the look and overall functionality of your website. A simple Google check will help you find relevant information on each plugin.

  • Move your mouse over the Plugins in the sidebar then click Add New.
  • Do a keyword search to find a plugin you like. Once you find the plugin that suits your website needs, just click Install Now then Activate Plugin.

You’re done!

How to Make Your Blog Search Friendly

If you want your blog to be found, it must be search friendly, and search engines dislike two things:

  • Clumsy URLs – Keep your URL by using only relevant information. Click on Settings, go to Permalinks then choose Post Name.
  • Spam Comments – People constantly spam to get your audience to their websites and to advertise their business. Click on Settings, go to Discussion then click on the following answers to these questions:
  • Email me whenever… A comment is held for moderation
  • Before a comment appears… Comment must be manually approved

How to Manage Your User Information

You should learn how to manage your user information in case you want to change your password, details or add another user who can access your blog.

  • Move your mouse over the Users tab on the left side menu.
  • Click Add New; you’ll be taken to a different page.
  • Fill in the details.

You can include a password but be sure to share it with the new user.

Writing a Blog Post

At this point, you already have a fully functioning blog site on the Internet. You’ve also been able to customize the look and feel of your blog site. Now it’s time to get to the reason why you started out on this journey.

Finally, you can start writing your blog!

A blog isn’t just a group of words strung up together to support an idea, a thought or an opinion. In the context of a business or an income-generating venture, your blog must make sense to the reader. It must address the reason why he or she clicked onto your blog page.

To resonate powerfully with the reader, everything he or she find on the page must be relevant. Everything means that your text, images, structure, look and feel must be aligned. You must have sources to validate any claim or information you stated in your blog.

That’s why a blog is such a powerful tool for building a business. It gives you a venue to be seen and heard by a global audience.

Thus, it’s not just how your blog reads that influences readers. You have to give it that look and feel that screams authenticity, relevance, and usability.

Here’s a step-by-step process on how to get your blog published on your website:

  1. Create a New Post:
  • Drag the mouse over Posts and click Add New.
  • Write the title of your blog on the field located on top of the page.
  • Write the content of your blog on the large field in the middle of the page.
  • You can see a box menu on the far right side of the page. This box menu has features that will allow you to save your blog, have it published at a later date or make it accessible only to select people.

Once your blog is published, you can access it via the All Posts section of the Posts tab.

  1. How to Add Images:
  • Place you cursor at the space where you want the image to be attached.
  • Click Add Media.
  • Click Upload Files tab then click Select Files.
  • Double click the selected image so WordPress can upload it automatically.
  • Click Insert into Post button to add the image to your location in the blog.
  1. How to Add Links:
  • Leave your cursor in the text where you will add the link.
  • Click on the icon that looks like a chain link on the toolbar and put your link.
  • Click Add Link.
  1. How to Add Headings and Footers:

Adding headings and footers is a great idea and helps search engine rankings. They will make your blog more organized and easy to read:

  • Click the drop-down menu with the word Paragraph.
  • Click Heading 1 for the first heading, Heading 2 for the second heading and so on and so forth.
  1. Editing Font Styles:

If you are familiar with Word, this should be easy for you.

  • Place the cursor at the word or text you want to modify.
  • Click on the icons you can find in the toolbox to edit or modify the font style or look of the word or text.

You can make the text or word Bold, Italicized or change its color.

Time to Make Some Money!

Can you make good money from blogging? The answer is a resounding “Yes!” In fact, many blogs make over six figures a year.

The first question that comes to mind is “What should I write about?” But really, you should frame the question from the perspective of your audience:

  • What topics or issues concern my readers?
  • What difficulties or challenges do my readers go through?
  • What is the Persona of my reader?
  • What would readers find most interesting about my skills and expertise?
  • What would readers dislike about my skills and expertise?

The point is when you are blogging; you are not writing for yourself but your readers.

Find issues that interest your readers and use your skills, expertise and other forms of knowledge to help them find valuable and actionable solutions or relevant information.

But the truth is, the money you generate from blogging does not directly come from your writing.

A blog is like a career springboard. As you gain viewership, followers and firmly entrench yourself as a valuable resource in your field, you can monetize your blog by selling products and services such as:

  • E-Books
  • Speaking engagements
  • E-courses
  • Modules
  • Consultation services

As your blog grows, take advantage of the opportunities that come with popularity. If you’ve been blogging successfully about health and fitness, why not sell physical products such as supplements, fitness wear, and apparel online?

If you have been blogging about virtual assistance, why not offer virtual assistance packages on your website? You can provide services for administrative work, content writing, accounting and other tasks commonly outsourced by businesses to virtual assistants.

Your blog itself will be the endorsement and seal of quality for the products you sell.

Bloggers also use the following avenues as streams of income:

1. Advertising – You directly generate income from your blog. Examples of advertising opportunities are:

  • Display Ads – These are graphic ads that are usually placed in the sidebar, header, footer or within the content. Display ads come from Ad Networks which act as middlemen between advertisers and bloggers. Google AdSense is one of the most popular ad networks.
  • Private Ads – This is a direct arrangement between an advertiser and the blogger. To find potential advertisers, go to your competitor’s website and see who places ads there. Contact them and pitch a win-win proposal.
  • Reviews and Giveaways – Companies may compensate you in currency or kind for reviewing their products or giving away samples in your blog.
  • Newsletter/ Podcast Sponsorship – You can ask for advertisers to place ads on your newsletters or to have their businesses mentioned in your podcast.
  • Sponsored Posts – You are hired by a company to write about their products and services.
  • Underwritten Posts – You could write about any topic, but the company would like you to mention them in your blog.

2. Affiliate Marketing – You are promoting someone else’s products and services in your blog. You get paid whenever someone clicks on the link and transacts with the company.

The bottom-line is the amount of income you earn from blogging will depend on the number of followers you generate and the viewership your gain. To become a successful blogger requires time, effort and lots of creativity and resourcefulness.

But if you are committed to becoming a blogger, have a deep passion for writing and an inherent desire to help people, your success will just be a matter of time!

About jasonacidre

Jason Acidre is the Co-founder of Avaris, a digital marketing agency. He's also the author of Kaiserthesage, a popular online marketing blog.

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. poch says

    I have this subdomain from blogger. Can I register that to bluehost and enter my new domain redirecting my current blospot.com?

  2. Matt says

    Hi Jason,
    If you don’t mind me asking you a blog monetize related question that would be great. I need to join a affiliate program that can accept me as new comer and commission rate is not bad as well. Actually i am an blogger myself and it’s been oven a year that i got fully engaged with my contents and built nice followings and traffic and that helped me a lot earn a little through adsense but it is not cutting it.
    It crossed my mind many times before about integrating with affiliate marketing but i was waiting for my traffic to build up so i would not be turned down by programs or stores for that matter and now when i have the traffic built up and trusted following, i feel like i should start promoting products related to my niches now. But finding the products of different niches in one place/platform or even getting approved in and program that might just refuse the starter is hard.
    I’ve been searching and found this program here in UK that is offering those kinda services and stores data with free CMS tools and 100% commission on sales which caught my eye and i feel like i should try joining them but i feel like it would be nice to gain some advise from some professionals on this first.
    revglue(.)com/free-wordpress-plugins here is the address to the list of their CMS tools, any suggestions or recommendations are appreciated .
    Thank you in advance

  3. Tina says

    Thank you for this guide. I have bumped to this blog post a couple of weeks ago, and just yesterday finally launch my own first blog. Not with Blue host, but still amazing, Namecheap.

  4. Lbie Lazareno says

    Thank you for this Sir,its very informative with all the details. Now, I am starting to figure out the ‘hows’ of blogging. I do really want to do this.

  5. JF says

    Do you have an office in the Philippines particularly in QC ?

    Or is there any pinoy who can assist me with my enquiry?

    Thank you.

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