How to Start a Blog in 2021 (and Make Money): Easy Guide to Start Blogging Today
Thinking About Starting Your Own Blog?
Let’s Have a Look at the perks First:
- High Money-Making Potential
- Helps Kickstarting a Business
- Bringing New Clients to Existing Business
- Gaining Online Exposure
- Sharing your Knowledge/ Expressing Yourself
- Building an Audience
- Making a Difference
- And so many more…
How I got into blogging…
Introduction first ⎯
Hi, I am Sayan Neogie, An engineer by education, blogger by profession who managed to build a full-time income source through this blog, a year before graduating from college. Yikes!
And honestly, the idea of me running a blog full-time was anything but obvious.
One day, while I was mindlessly scrolling through the internet, I saw something that really grabbed my attention, I saw an article about a blogger making a ridiculous amount of money (something around $100,000) from their blog, IN A MONTH.
When you’re a college student, you kinda spend a lot of time thinking and planning about what you’ll be doing when you get out. And at some point, you also get a little desperate to score a reliable source of income as soon as possible.
So just like that, I just decided to give it a shot, without too much thinking, without much research and without any knowledge about blogging. I jumped right in. And thank god that I did!
My whole flipped (for the better) just because I took that chance and made something out of it.
This is why you should try something (that has minimal to zero risks) without too much overthinking. Otherwise, you won’t do it at all and as a result, will be missing a lot of great opportunities.
Even if my story doesn’t align with yours, tell me if at least one of these sound somewhat familiar to you or not,
- Frustrated with your 9-5 job (feeling trapped)
- Drowning in debts and bills
- Not being able to do what you want to because of financial constraints
- Tired of Waking up to alarms
- Unable to travel and living just for the weekends
- A constant urge to make more money while doing something meaningful
I have been able to avoid all of the issues mentioned above just because I chose to try something out, something new. After which I never had to even sit for a single interview, asking people to offer me a job.
My life took a different turn when I made a life-changing decision (just like you might today) .
I know it all sounds really fascinating and great but can you really make something out of this “blogging” thing? Can you really make a full-time income from blogging?
ummm…Aren’t people already?
I do, and so does hundreds of thousands of other individuals. This is one of those evergreen career titles, that will not become obsolete as technology advances.
Gone are the days where you only get an interview with potential employers by spending $75,000 on tuition, only to get a $40,000/year job. Now you can start a small scale side-hustle with zero to minimum upfront investment and scale that to huge income figures.
This isn’t me bragging about my income, this is a reality check.
And as a matter of fact, the very blog you are reading made over $9400 last December. How about that?
So I guess it is clear that blogging makes money, but now the question is, just how much?
Note: Actual numbers may vary as a lot of them have discontinued posting monthly income reports on their blogs, but these are close figures.
|Bloggers||Estimated Monthly Income|
|John Lee Dumas||$200,000+|
|Jeff Proctor and Ben Huber||$170,000+|
|Alex Nerney and Lauren McManus||$100,000+|
Mind you, this is a tiny list compared to the actual number of established bloggers out there!
Myths That Might Stop You From Starting a Blog
1. You Need to Have a Strong English Writing Background to Make it as a Blogger
The majority of people who will be reading your blog aren’t graduates of Ph.D. in English Literature, they are regular people, just like you and me. So you might want to use your original voice to create those awesome blog posts.
People admire relatability, honesty and realness, not some over-the-top big fancy words.
2. Starting a Blog is Expensive
Only if you believe $2.95/month is expensive, then yeah, it is pretty expensive 😉. If you can just manage to skip 1-2 lattes in a month, you’ll be able to afford it. Just saying!
3. Blogging Requires Vast Techical Knowledge to Run the Whole Thing
Also false. Blogging is one of those areas that has evolved with technology and certainly does not require one to have any technical knowledge whatsoever to start and run a blog from scratch.
4. Growing a Blog Takes Forever
It’s true, but only to some extent.
Yes, a brand new blog takes time to grow, we’re not making instant noodles here, we’re creating a sustainable income source for the long haul.
As most important things takes time, growing something that remarkable will take a year or two. But once you’ve reached a certain threshold, your growth becomes exponential.
For example, it took me a year to get to 20k monthly page views, but it went from 20k to 100k in a matter of two months and so did my income (5X growth).
So yeah, you can say that it takes time, but the growth after that makes it all worthwhile .
This page contains affiliate links, please read Disclaimer for more info.
Ready to dive right in? Don’t worry I’ll go slow…
As I’ve already mentioned before, starting a blog in today’s age is quite a cakewalk, all you have to do is follow this guide step-by-step and you’ll have your very own blog within the next 10 minutes.
1: Choose a Blog Topic and a Blog Name
The first and foremost thing you need to check off your list is to choose a niche ( a comfortable topic to write about) and a blog name (SomethingSomething.com).
For example, this blog revolves around the topic of “Finance” and “Entrepreneurship”, my other website (CentralNeo.com) has predominantly “Personal Development” related stuff.
These are the niches of each website. You have to choose one or more niches for your blog. You can know about niches in this article.
- If you’re passionate about health, go for a health blog
- If you’re interested in photography, start a photography blog
- If you’re interested in cooking and recipes, start a cooking blog
- If you’re leaned towards building a blog around your own life, do that
As long as you’re able to create content consistently on that topic, you can start a blog around anything under the sun. That’s the thing about blogging, you can share anything you like and that’ll make you money.
Now, you will have to think of a name for your blog (domain name). For example, the domain name of this blog is Prosmartrepreneur.com, similarly, you’ll have to come up with a blog name.
Try to think of a name that reflects the topic/niche of the blog. If your blog will be about cooking and recipes, you can name it KathysKitchen.com or something like HolyMolyGuacamole.com, it is completely up to you.
Alternatively, you can name your blog after your full name, (First name)(Surname).com.
You can check if the domain name you’re thinking of is available or not below:
If the domain is available, move to the next line, we’ll be getting it later (don’t click “Next” for now). If not then you’ll have to try out different names and word combinations so that your domain name is unique and available for registration.
Now that we have the domain based on your choice and availability, well be moving forward to getting that domain and buying hosting.
“Hosting” is like a house on the internet, the place where your blog will reside and the “Domain” (e.g: Prosmartrepreneur.com) will be its address.
Now, after reading all 4 points, tap the button mention later titled “Get to Bluehost” which will direct you to my #1 recommenced Hosting Service for beginners, “Bluehost“.
2: Buying Hosting for Your Blog
First, go on Bluehost.com, if you haven’t already and you’ll see the page given below.
Make sure you have the page pulled up in a separate tab before beginning the tutorial, as you’ll be following the guide and executing the steps on Bluehost simultaneously.
After tapping the button, you’ll see the homepage of Bluehost (Image given below).
Now, go at the top-left corner (for desktop version) and “三” symbol at the top-right corner (for mobile version). There you’ll be able to see the “WordPress” in the menu, tap it and then on “WordPress Hosting“.
After tapping the “WordPress Hosting” button, you’ll be able to see the page given below.
Now you’ll tap on the “Choose Plan” button that will take you to the list of the paid WordPress plans. Since you’re a beginner, you won’t be needing any other plans other than “Basic“.
So now, tap on, you guessed it, “Basic“, which cover all the basic things you need to have as of this moment.
After that, you’ll be redirected to a page that’ll get you your blog name (domain name) that you checked before.
Simply type the domain name you have in mind under the “Create a new domain” section and make to check the spellings once or twice.
And for the last page of this step, all you have to do is fill up your details and choose your term plan. The minimum you can choose is for 1 year and it goes up to 3 years.
Mind you, the cost per month reduces when a longer-term plan is chosen, so I would suggest you choose a 3-year package. This way you’ll be paying less money per month. Cost-efficiency? Check!
Now, uncheck every box except the “Domain Privacy+Protection“, and provide your credit card details for the payment.
And yes, Bluehost does have a 30-day refund guarantee, so you don’t have to think twice if this is worth the money or not. You can easily ask for a full refund if you find that this “blogging thing” isn’t for you.?
After the purchase, there are a few small steps like creating a Password for your blog and whatnot, all of which is easy and pretty straightforward.
3. Choose a Blog Theme
After the above step, the next thing you need to do is to apply a theme to your blog. There are literally dozens of free themes you can find under the Appearance→Themes, in your blog dashboard.
If you wish to have a more premium, professional, and customizable theme, my #1 recommendation will be GeneratePress themes (I use it for both of my sites). GeneratePress is lightweight, cheap, and very beginner-friendly.
Now after applying your preferred theme, all you have to do is, Launch your blog.
So there you go, you have successfully got yourself a new blog, WOOHOOO! ? Now give yourself a treat before anything else.
4. Start Creating Awesome Content
Now that you have your very own blog, start creating/writing your thoughts, your views, express yourself on the topics you find interesting and share that to the world (and yeah, make money along with it ?).
If you haven’t started implementing the steps yet, just tap on the button below and get started.
Now Some common FAQs regarding starting a blog…
- How do bloggers get paid?
- How to start a blog for free?
- What should I blog about?
- How much does it cost to start a blog?
1. How do bloggers get paid?
There are literally dozens of ways you can monetize your website.
Display Ads :
The most common way to monetize a blog is by integrating display ads. Once your blog has reached a traffic threshold, you can easily apply to premium Ad networks Such as Mediavine and Adthrive and they’ll handle the rest.
(Threshold values for applying: 50k sessions/month (around 65k Pageviews/month) for Mediavine and 100k Monthly pageviews for Adthrive)
Once the ad codes are installed on your website by the ad network itself, all you have to do is sit back, write your articles, and get paid every month. It’s that simple.
And since I am a member Of Mediavine, I can tell you that the money you make from Mediavine is pretty high.
I make anywhere from $1500 to $3000 from the ads alone every single month. And this value always doubles during the holiday season (Nov-Dec).
Affiliate marketing :
When you select certain products, services, and courses that are owned by other individuals and businesses and you promote then in your own blog, you get a percent of the sale that is being made through you, known as “Affiliate commission”.
You can easily join the affiliate programs for free that align with your niche and can promote their products on your website.
For example, I joined an affiliate program (for an online course) a while back and it has already made me almost $6000.
Sponsored posts :
Once you’ve attained a decent audience through your blog, various brands will reach out to you pitching offers to pay you to get featured on your website.
The amount of money you’ll be making may range anywhere from $1000 per post up to five-figure for multi-article deals.
You’ll be creating content regarding the company/service that might encompass their features and advantages.
2. How to start a blog for free?
There are in-fact ways to start your blog for free but the method of starting a blog I’ve mentioned here obviously isn’t free. Why so?
The reason being, you get what you pay for.
Websites like Blogger.com offer free blogs to its users but it might never be fully yours. Blogs posted on Blogger.com are owned by the company and they can remove it if they wish to.
And if you opt for sites like Wix, they offer you free hosting but provides the website name like myblog.wixsite.com, and you cannot remove that “wixsite” out of the name unless you pay a value.
One the other hand if you pay a mere $5 a month for a paid hosted service (like the one I’ve mentioned above), the blog will be fully yours, the content will be yours and whatever you do with your blog is completely up to you.
You’ll be the sole owner of the whole thing.
So to sum this whole thing up- Yes, you can start a blog for free but you shouldn’t.
3. What should I blog about?
One of the great things about blogging is that you can literally write anything under the sun.
Moreover, no one is going to read your blogs in the beginnings which is why you can experiment with different topics and analysis what works for you, without any risks whatsoever.
So you can write about making pie one day and give out tips about taxes the next day, anything you want. This way you’ll be able to find your own voice and space to write anything that vibes with you.
4. How much does it cost to start a blog?
Starting a blog is one of the small scale businesses that does not require a huge upfront investment. You can set up and launch your own blog with prices as less than $5/month.
The only downside of this is that you have to buy at least 12 month’s worth of hosting at once.
Other than that, you’ll be getting loads of free themes and plugins from WordPress for your website to work with, you won’t have to buy anything extra unless you want premium themes and tools.
Few Final words…
I don’t think I have to remind you that blogging changed my life. I’ve said it so many times that it’s annoying some might say. But it’s the truth. It has given me the opportunity to do what I like, to make a living out of it.
How many of us can say that “I love what I do for a living“? Not the majority, I would say!
no matter where your interest lies, let it be cooking or paragliding or basketball or space or anything, you can start a blog around it and make a living doing that thing which excites you to work.
So I would suggest you give it a try, give it at least a solid 1-year try, after that, you can bail if you want to, but until then, I want you to give this “blogging thing” a consistent try.