I created The Pay At Home Parent in February of 2018 to help you be a successful home-based business owner, blogger or side hustler.As a wife, mom and frugal homemaker, I still make a full-time income on a part-time work schedule and I know that you can too!
This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my full disclosure policy for details.
In the next few minutes, I will walk you through the 5 steps you need to take to start a blog on WordPress. Whether you’re aspiring to be a hobby blogger, a side cash blogger, or a quit your day job blogger, then you’ve come to the right place!
Using my tutorial, you can have your blog set up and ready to go in less than a day.
Here is the catch; do not get hung up on the details. If you wait until your blog looks perfect and has 25 posts before launching, you’ll burn out before ever seeing any traffic or earning any money! The goal is to get your blog set up and launched (while working through the details as you go).
After blogging for more than three years, I can say that it is not easy. It is simple to start a blog, but difficult to become a successful blogger and make money from it. Success will come with reader-focused writing, social media marketing, and a willingness to learn and grow as a blogger.
What NOT to Do When Starting A Blog
If you’re really considering starting a blog, that’s GREAT! I am so happy to have others join me in this fun (yet sometimes difficult) quest.
Blogging is a way to voice your opinions, tell stories and help others better themselves. When striving to help your audience, you can truly succeed!
Before I walk you through the steps on how to start a blog, let’s briefly talk about what not to do when starting out.
1. Do Not Forget Your Audience
Though your audience and niche can develop in time, the most important thing to do is to remember your audience with every post you publish.
If you publish a fantastic, long, or perhaps funny blog post, but it does not help your reader or solve a problem, you are forgetting your audience.
Always remember who you are writing for and what problems you can help solve!
2. Do Not Think That Blogging is “Easy”
Even if you’re an avid writer and the words flow easily, that does not mean blogging for money is going to be simple.
Being a great writer will help you succeed, but it’s only one piece of the puzzle. You need to remember that blogging includes writing, networking, daily learning, and much more.
Join my blogger support group on Facebook and ask your blogging related questions! The more help you accept, the easier it will get!
3. Do Not Set Too Many High Goals
Starting a blog is the easiest and quickest part of becoming a blogger. Once your blog is live and you’re ready to hit publish on your post, your mind will start to set unattainably high goals.
Rather than setting high goals, collaborate with other bloggers to determine goals each week or month that you can realistically accomplish. Perhaps your first goal is to write your blog posts the right way, get backlinks to your blog, or gain a certain number of followers on various social media platforms.
Whatever goals you set, be sure that you keep them realistic and don’t beat yourself up if you miss a goal!
4. Do Not Give Up!
When you first start a blog, remember that whatever happens, do not give up! It will take time to develop a successful blog. Some bloggers will see success in the first week, while others will struggle to make their first dollar before 6 months have passed!
Remember that if you are seeking support and learning from other bloggers, you are well on your way to becoming successful.
It’s normal to not make much money in the first 6 months after launchingo, especially if you’re only working on it for a few hours per week. But in time, that work will pay off!
Why Start a Blog on WordPress?
There are many reasons to start a blog on WordPress. One of the most popular reasons I hear today is “to make money online.” It’s certainly understandable for any knowledgeable blogger to expect to make money from their dedication! Most readers will also understand that talented bloggers don’t share secrets, tips, or valuable information with no intent to make a decent income in return.
Keep in mind that making money blogging doesn’t happen overnight. In fact, I wouldn’t suggest you quit your day job until you’ve established an audience. Your audience might be in the form of a social media following or an email list (or preferably both). The most important thing is that you target your audience and then work on building it.
I will walk you through each requirement to start your blog on WordPress.
5 Steps to Start Your Money-Making Blog
Typically, a new blogger steps into the domain with the intent to make money. There are occasions, however, where writers are just looking for an outlet to share their story! Whether you are here to make money or just for fun, keep in mind the steps are the same.
Let’s get started!
Step 1: Choose a Blog Niche
Believe it or not, many will think this is such a difficult step that they allow themselves to forgo starting a blog because they don’t know how to choose a niche.
I’m here to tell you not to let this step deter you! You will probably pick a blog theme and topic and change it two weeks down the road, just like I did. The point is that it’s okay to change your mind and transition to a new subject!
When choosing a subject for your blog, consider starting with the topics that interest you the most. That way you will look forward to writing your next blog post! Plus, you’ll probably have the most knowledge on a subject that is intriguing to you.
11 blog subject ideas to consider for your niche:
- Money-saving tips
- Parenting tips
- Health and Fitness
- Interior Design
- Trending Stories
Step 2: Select a blog platform
Choosing a blogging platform doesn’t need to be overwhelming. There are many options available, but for the purpose of this blog, I will mention the three that I’ve had experience with: WordPress, Wix and Weebly.
I’ve found that WordPress is best for a blog because it offers the most flexibility to monetize your blog with ease and has fast load times.
In this tutorial, I will walk you through each step using screenshots and instructions tailored to WordPress.
The reason I suggest WordPress is because not only is it the most popular blogging platform out there, but it is also one of the most affordable solutions. For fewer than $4 per month, you can maintain a blog with the potential to make enough money to cover any expenses incurred from running your blog and much more. That’s no more than the cost of just one Caramel Latte from your favorite local coffee shop.
Step 3: Decide on a host
You will need to choose a host for your new WordPress blog. Just think of a host as a “rental space” on the internet. It costs money to store your physical property in a storage unit, and similarly, it costs money to store your written blogs and images online.
Thankfully, there is an affordable hosting solution with SiteGround. They have the best customer service and tech support I’ve ever contacted and they are available 24/7!
Click here to open SiteGround and start your blog
Make sure to keep this page open in a separate tab so you can continue following the instructions below!
First, open SiteGround and select the orange “Get Started” button below the plan of your choice. Simply select the plan that works best for you. If you’re just starting out, it’s okay to start with the most affordable option.
Step 4: Secure your favorite domain name (URL)
If you do not already have a domain, the next step will be to choose a domain name. I use Namecheap because it’s secure, simple to navigate, and cheap.
You can choose anything from your full name (if available) to a unique sequence of words that summarizes your blog’s subject. Don’t worry; if you decide to change your domain name only two weeks later like I did, that’s okay! Most domain names are pretty cheap.
If you already have a domain name or you’ve purchased one on Namecheap, select “I already have a Domain” and then enter it on SiteGround to continue setting up your blog.
*Note: it’s not advisable to purchase both your hosting and domain name through the same company. That’s why I highly recommend choosing Namecheap.
Select “proceed” when you are ready to continue.
You will now need to set up your account with SiteGround. Fill in all information completely and accurately, then review your package selection. There are plans starting from 12-36 months.
Select “pay now” when you’re ready to commit to your new blog.
SiteGround is the best host for beginners and will help you choose a theme and set it up as soon as you’ve ordered! Make sure to login into your new account and start a chat with tech support if you’re not sure where to go next.
Step 5: Start Blogging!
You can now add your very first blog post! Use this opportunity to introduce yourself, your mission, your expertise, and anything else that will tell readers why they should follow your blog. Set up your navigation bar (home, categories, about me, contact, etc.) so that visitors can easily peruse your blog. You can create additional pages or set up an eCommerce store if you have products to showcase!
What types of blog posts do people love? Try these:
How to, [X] Steps, Ways to
When writing a “how to…”, “5 steps to…” or “ways to…” blog post it’s okay to include “how I” did it. Your instructions should clearly explain how your readers can accomplish the same (or similar) results.
There are occasions where it only makes sense to title an article “How I….” For example, my article, “How I Earned my First $105,000 Working from Home” was one of my first introduction posts to my readers that I have experience in the topics I choose to blog about. I couldn’t title this piece, “How You Can Earn Your First $105,000 Working from Home” because each one of you is different and will make money in ways that use your expertise.
Top lists, Best of
Top lists and best-of lists are popular, especially when coming from the perspective of someone who has experience with the items presented. This type of blog post is best written from the perspective of someone who has authority on a subject, whether it comes from trying each item yourself or from a reliable source.
We all know that not every writer has tried every list item they suggest; it would be naive to believe that. It is best when you can share an experience that shows why your audience should take your word for it.
If you are writing in an area that you do not have experience with, make sure to cite authoritative sources. That way your readers will know you are serious and not just pulling things out of thin air for a good read.
Example blog posts don’t have to be about you.
Let’s say that I am writing a post titled, “5 Examples of Writers Who Grew Their Reader Base in 30 Days.”
I might use myself as one example and explain how I grew my brand new email subscriber base from 0 to 100 in one week; but what about the other four examples I promised my readers?
My second example would be something that I personally learned from Carly, the creator of Mommy on Purpose. Carly grew her audience using Pinterest and has had amazing results with her strategy that sometimes brings 20-30k page views to her blog in a single day.
What little-known strategies have helped you succeed that your audience probably doesn’t know?
“5 Secrets that Will Keep Your Home Clean Forever” might be intriguing to someone who likes a tidy home but can’t seem to stay on top of it.
Sharing a secret (or 20) is a great way to gain interested readers who will actually come back to read more. You can even use “these secrets” to attract email subscriptions and loyal followers.
When considering what secrets are worth sharing, think about what has helped you succeed and how you can turn it around to relate to your audience so they can succeed too.
Remember, we are learning how to increase traffic to your blog. To do so you need to provide true value to your readers in a form that they like to read.
Tips or Hacks
Who doesn’t want to know the hack that you personally use to still see aggregate pin counts on Pinterest?
In 2016, Pinterest decided to remove both individual repin counts as well as aggregate counts! How can you possibly know what is popular on Pinterest without paying for an outside tool? There is a hack for that.
Maybe you know a tip or a life hack that many of your readers don’t know and you want to share. If it’s not a well-known hack but it gets searched for on Google or Pinterest often, you just might have hit the jackpot!
There are many other types of blog posts that add value to the reader while allowing you to use it as a platform to share about yourself and your life experiences. It is important to understand that there is a balance to this style of writing!
Bonus: How to Engage Your Audience
Here are a few tips to help bring readers to your blog (and keep them there).
1. Relate to your audience. Make it about them.
When someone reads your blogs, they don’t want to read about your life, they want to read about their own life.
Your readers want to see themselves in your story. They want to know how they can overcome what you overcame or how they can do what you did.
Sure, you need to tell them that you did it, but if you’re stopping there and not turning it around to be about them (and fast), you’re missing the point of blogging.
Storytelling is an outlet, but if you’re using it to increase traffic to your blog and a method to make money, you need to understand and cater to your audience.
Blogging is a way to relate to your readers and teach them something about themselves or how they can improve in certain areas.
2. Keep your anecdotes short (if it’s not short, it’s not an anecdote).
An anecdote is “a short account of a particular incident or event, especially of an interesting or amusing nature” or “a short, obscure historical or biographical account.”
You can absolutely tie in your amusing grocery shopping story, your birth story or your account of parenting when you write those blog posts.
Are they amusing, interesting and ultimately short?
Go back to your underperforming blog posts for a minute and measure what percentage of the post is about you and not about your readers.
Do you think there is a way to tweak it to include more “you’s” and fewer “I’s”? Likely, there is!
Your readers want to hear your anecdotes, but the random stranger doesn’t want to read a never-ending stream of “about me” blog posts.
Your audience can find your “about me” section quite easily if they want to know more about you.
3. Add value. Keep your audience wanting to learn more.
By now you’ve related your personal life to your audience and they want to know more about how they can do what you’ve done! This is where you want to be adding more value to your blog posts in order to increase traffic.
A valuable, engaging post will leave your audience with more than a story or a life lesson that you learned.
Ask yourself, if I was reading this same story about a stranger, would I be interested? Would I share it on social media?
To add value to your readers, try different types of posts. Even more importantly, be unique! If a subject you choose to write about is covered by 100’s of bloggers, chances are your posts will never see the light of day on Google.
Are You Ready to Start a Blog?
Last, but certainly not least, sit back and admire your live blog!
Get to know your target audience and create content they love to read! You can always write about what you love the most and your audience will find you. It is always best to be proactive to get your blog in front of as many readers as possible.
Make sure to join Facebook blogging support groups, start a business Pinterest account, and start sharing your new blog as soon as it’s ready!
It’s easy to start a blog on WordPress. The difficult part is running and maintaining a profitable blog. After you start on WordPress, make sure to check out my top tips for bloggers here: