How to Start a Blog on WordPress (Step-By-Step Tutorial)

If you had asked me two years ago how I thought my blog was doing I would’ve laughed and said, “I quit.” Two years ago I was 8 months into my first blog and things weren’t looking great.

I had no traffic, my content sucked, and I didn’t enjoy working on my blog at all. I was ready to give up!

Fast-forward to today and I earn over six figures per year because of the connections I’ve made due to this little blog! What if I gave up like I was so tempted to do two years ago? I wouldn’t be staying at home with my babies full time, that’s for sure.

If you think that you can stick to a year (or sometimes more) blogging with little to no profit, then you can potentially break through and hit the profits you dream of.

How Much I Made Blogging in May 2021

Before I share how to get started with your own blog, I want to share the income possibilities by showing you how much I made in May of 2021. It was my first 5-figure income month, and it’s important to know how I got there.

I used to read income reports all the time. Truthfully, I thought the numbers were either inflated or written by “lucky” bloggers–those who happened to start at the “right time.”

But over the last few years, those shiny income reports always got my click. I would read through to the end and glean as much as I could! If they could earn money from a blog, why couldn’t I?

Those income reports kept me going. I was almost ready to quit my blog in early 2020 and work full time as a freelancer. But something kept telling me that I needed to keep pushing and that those SEO strategies I used on my clients’ blogs would one day pay off if I would just commit to implementing them on my own little blog.

So that’s what I did. Keyword research, on- and off-page SEO, high-quality content, and consistency were the types of strategies I really needed. And they’re what paid off big time after just one year of implementing them on my blog.

Since those income reports were often the only thing pushing me forward, I decided that it was time to publicly share my journey, especially my May 2021 income. I want to give you the motivation that really benefited from just one year ago.

One year! You can do anything for one year without getting bored, without making much money, and without giving up.

Note: While my blog has been in existence since 2018 (so, more than one year before implementing the strategies I’m about to share with you), it was mainly my freelance writing portfolio. So it had a handful of posts that were there to show potential clients—not necessarily there to rank on Google and earn money.

Here is the breakdown of how much my blog generated in one month:

Gross Income: $11,037.75

  • Expenses: -$1,615.05*

Net Income: $9,422.70

*Many of my expenses are a choice–they are not all a necessity. However, I firmly believe that spending money on your blog can help scale your business quickly.

Now that you know the income possibilities, consider starting a blog of your own in just a few simple steps.

6 Steps to Start Your Money-Making Blog

The Pay at Home Parent Blog Mockup

In the next few minutes, I will walk you through the 5 steps you need to take to start a blog on WordPress. Using my tutorial, you can have your blog set up and ready to go in less than a day.

Here is a little secret that helped me jump right in; do not get hung up on the details. If you wait until your blog looks perfect and has 25+ posts before you launch, you’ll burn out before ever seeing any traffic or earning any money like I almost did. 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 now, I can say that it is not easy. It is simple to start a blog, but it takes hard work to become a successful blogger and make money from it.

If you can put in the work and stick to it, then I encourage you to jump in and start your blog. Follow these next steps closely and you could publish your first blog post as soon as today.

Step 1: Choose a Niche

A niche is a specific market where you can promote products and services.

When choosing a niche or topic for your blog, start with something that interests you. That way you will enjoy writing each blog post.

Niche ideas:

  1. Health and Fitness
  2. Kids and Family
  3. Homeschooling
  4. Cleaning and Organizing
  5. Food and Recipes
  6. Parenting Tips
  7. Gaming
  8. Travel
  9. Interior Design
  10. Hunting
  11. Sports
  12. Finance
  13. Relationships
  14. Trending Stories

Step 2: Select a Blog Platform

WordPress

WordPress.org is the best platform for a blog because it offers the most flexibility with free themes (templates) and plugins (features).

This is the platform that I’ve been successful with and recommend without a doubt.

Step 3: Choose a Host

Every blog requires a host in order to connect with readers. 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 blog posts and images online.

Bluehost is one of the most affordable host providers for new blogs. It has fantastic customer service and tech support that is available 24/7 via Live Chat or by phone.

Bluehost displayed on a laptop

Why Bluehost? Because it’s fantastic for new bloggers. You will hear lots of opinions on host options, but I strongly believe that it’s 100% just fine to go with one of the cheapest hosts you can find–and Bluehost is cheap.

Now, am I saying that there will never be problems or times when you’ll need to reach out to tech support for help? Of course not. But I don’t know one hosting company that doesn’t have some issues along the way.

To get started, click here to open Bluehost in a new tab. Select the dark blue/black “Get Started.”

I recommend starting with the Basic Plan which is the most affordable option. If you can commit to a 36-month plan, you’ll save even more in the long run. Carefully review the plans and what each one includes, and then make your selection by selecting the blue “Select” button.

Bluehost plans

Step 4: Choose a Domain Name (URL)

A domain name is a unique phrase that people can type into a search bar to find your blog, like www.name.com.

Bluehost gives new customers a free domain name for one year if they sign up for a 12, 24, or 36-month plan. A year+ plan will also provide the best value.

A domain name could be anything from your full name (if available) to a unique sequence of words that summarizes your blog’s subject. You can always change the name later (I did).

You can either create a free domain here or type in your existing domain if you already have one. Then select “Next” to continue. You can also choose to skip this step if you need more time to think about your domain name.

Bluehost domain name

Step 5: Create Your Account

Enter your name, address, phone number, and email address in the first section. This information will establish your account for billing purposes.

Next, choose between a 12, 24, or 36-month hosting plan. If you can afford to purchase three years of hosting, DO IT. It will save you the most money. Bluehost has a 30-day money-back guarantee if you should need to request a refund for any reason.

Bluehost package information

Next, select any extra services you may wish to purchase. I don’t subscribe to any of those services because there are usually free alternative WordPress plugins (except for domain privacy–you may want to keep your information private).

Finally, grab your credit or debit card and fill in your payment information. Review the terms of service, cancellation policy, and privacy policy. Check the box next to those documents and then select “submit” to finalize your order.

Bluehost is one of the best hosts for beginners. Its 24-hour support will help you choose a theme and set it up as soon as you’ve ordered your hosting package. Make sure to log into your new account and start a free chat session with tech support if you’re not sure where to go next.

Step 6: Start Writing!

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 read your blog.

When I was in school, I hated writing. But once I started my blog, I realized that it’s possible to love writing when you can choose the topics to cover.

Make a list of topics that you could talk about non-stop and write about those first. Keep your readers’ best interests in mind, teach them something new, and your blog will be on its way to earning money.

What Took My Blog From ~$0 in Early 2020 to $11,037.75 in May 2021?

The number one change that brought my blog from earning next to nothing (I did have ads at the time, so I earned a few dollars) to earning $11,037.75 in a month just over a year later was taking the time to understand what my audience actually wanted. How did I learn what they wanted? I did topic or keyword research.

Keywords are the driving force behind Google. As a user, think of it this way: you want to learn how to make pea soup for dinner, but have no idea where to start. So, you hop on your smartphone, pull up Google, and type “pea soup recipes” or “how to make pea soup.”

You may not realize it, but those phrases you typed are keywords. As soon as you hit “search,” Google searches its indexes of billions of articles and pulls up the top 10 that it thinks will answer your question the best. You’ll probably never need to go past page one of Google because those top results are exactly what you need!

Now, think about this concept as a content creator. What can I write that people are actually searching for? This is the first of many steps to getting into the head of your audience so that you can write articles that people want to read.

If you haven’t grasped this concept, then please don’t give up on blogging. Without doing keyword research, you’re just guessing when it comes to choosing new topics to write about.

There is so much more to it, but I can honestly say that this strategy is the main driving factor behind the progress of my own blog. I want to share it with you!

Check out my eBook called Get Your Keywords Together. It’s literally everything you need to know about getting into the minds of your readers and giving them exactly what they want to read. In exchange, you can earn income from display ads, affiliate marketing, or your own products and services.

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