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Do you want to learn how to start a blog and make money? The world of blogging has grown so much since my first blog in December 2008. With the ever-growing industry of bloggers making money, it’s no wonder more people want to start a blog and make money.

There are so many webinars, e-courses, and blog posts that bloggers have created to show others how to start a blog and make money. While I believe some of these courses are well worth the investment, I’m seeing a higher number of how to start a blog webinars or courses being poorly organized.

My First Blogging Role Model

When I first started blogging, my role model was Darren Rowse. We used to be friends on Facebook before he got really big and when you get BIG on Facebook, they limit you to 5K “friends”. I didn’t make the cut to stay connected as a “Facebook friend”.

It’s all good! I still love poking my head on over to listen to his podcasts and read his blog, as well as his job board. Darren is an awesome person to follow if you want to start a blog and make money.

How to Start a Blog and Make Money

If you’re serious about starting a blog and making money, there are a few steps you will need to do.

  • Pick a niche
  • Brainstorm a blog name
  • Purchase a domain name
  • Get website hosting
  • Set up your blog with a theme
  • Sign up for affiliate programs
  • Start writing content
  • Promote on social media and SEO

What Exactly is a Niche? 

A niche is a targeted topic that you can focus on when you are building a website. A niche blog site will have a targeted focused topic that will be the focus of what you write about.

The best niches are evergreen niches, meaning that they won’t go out of style. Some popular blog niches include: food, fashion, personal finance, lifestyle, and blogging. These are all evergreen topics that people will always be interested in.

Blogging about a specific video game or fitness craze could work well in the short term to take advantage of current trends. However, there will likely be decreased interest and traffic in a few years when people move on to the next thing.

Picking the Right Niche for You

My biggest advice to anyone looking to choose a profitable niche is to select a niche that you are both passionate and knowledgeable about. You will have to do a lot of writing about this topic in order to build a successful blog, so make sure you enjoy it.

You should also have enough knowledge about your niche to be able to intelligently write about it. Now, this could mean that you read 3 or 4 books on the topic and use that knowledge as your base for writing.

You don’t need a Master’s degree to get started blogging, but make sure you have enough real world or research experience to give your writing credibility.

I tend to go with lifestyle blog niches as I can write fluently about a lot of topics like personal finance and fitness. However, creating more specific niches could help your blog take off faster. Instead of writing about all sorts of fitness, you might want to focus on a smaller piece of it, like Crossfit or running.

Let’s say you choose to start a running blog because you are comfortable and fluent in that topic. It helps if you have sufficient running experience to be viewed as an expert or near an expert in the industry.

If you choose a blogging niche that you are not comfortable with or an expert in, you could hire a ghostwriter to develop SEO content for your blog. While it is certainly possible to outsource your writing, new bloggers should be ready to write most content themselves.

Finding a Domain Name

Now that you have your niche that you want to focus your blog on, it is time to start building out your website. This starts with finding a domain name that will be the face of your brand.

A domain name is the URL that people type into their web browser to see your website (i.s., You can choose from a variety of top level domains (TLD), such as .COM, .ORG, .NET, .ME, or .CA.

When I personally build websites, I always try to go for the .COM domain because it is the most popular and most common. They are also cheap, at around $12 to $15 per year. Of course, there are times when your brand fits perfectly with a different TLD, like

To pick out a domain, I like to use because they are one of the largest and easiest to use domain registries. Use their search box to see if your preferred domain name is available.

For a running blog in California written by Mike, a good domain might be something like Get creative and remember that this will be your brand for the blog.

Set Up Your Website Hosting

Web hosting is the next piece that you will need to get started blogging. Hosting is essentially a server that provides a place for your website files to be stored and shown to visitors.

There are different levels of hosting available with increasing speed, storage, and pricing. For most blogs starting out, shared hosting is absolutely fine and you can get started for as little at $5 per month.

As you scale up and start to grow your traffic, you may then want to look into upgrading your hosting to a dedicated server. This will help you handle a higher volume of people on your website and make sure your page speeds are quick.

Which Hosting is Best for Blogging?

I have used a few different hosting accounts and below you’ll find the most popular blog hosting options. You can select the plan that meets your budget and needs as a beginner blogger.

Hostgator Blog Hosting

Hostgator is my preferred web host and is where I currently host all of my websites. I have used them for several years now and have never had a problem with uptime, responsiveness, or customer service.

They are a reliable hosting provider that is perfect for anyone looking to run a basic blog or website. Their shared servers have plenty of features and speed to handle most startup sites for only a few dollars per month.

If you have only one website, you can sign up for the Hatchling Plan for only $2.75 per month. I prefer the Baby Plan for $3.95 per month since it allows an unlimited number of domains. Plus, you it is easy to upgrade to dedicated hosting when your blog starts to see a higher level of traffic.

Hostgator uses cPanel to make it easy to administer your website backend. Simply login and have instant access to your web files, databases, email, and a wide variety of quick-install applications.

Sign up for a hosting account with Hostgator.

DreamHost Blog Hosting

As with most blog hosting companies, DreamHost has a variety of options to suit any website owner’s needs. They have an easy to use control panel that’s perfect for beginners.

DreamHost provides 24/7 customer support from US-based experts so that you don’t have to worry about waiting until “business hours” for help. They have Website Hosting, WordPress Hosting, and VPS Hosting options.

The best option out of all of the DreamHost blog hosting packages for someone looking to start a blog and make money would be the Website Hosting or WordPress Hosting options.

BlueHost Blog Hosting

With a free SSL certificate and 1-click WordPress install, BlueHost may be an excellent option for you to start a blog and make money. They offer 1 free domain for your first year with them too, so you may want to check out the blog hosting options on BlueHost if you’re still looking to buy a domain name.

It looks like their current price structure starts as low as $2.95 but that appears to be a sale price. You’ll want to pick a web hosting package that works for your budget.

BlueHost has a few more options available than DreamHost. It looks like you can choose from a Basic Hosting, Plus Hosting, Choice Plus Hosting or Pro. The basic option is a great starting point to start one blog and make money.

Someone like me, who owns many sites and blogs, would have to go with the Choice Plus or Pro BlueHost blog hosting plan.

Namecheap Blog Hosting

I feel that NameCheap hosting is an excellent web hosting option for a starter blog. This is a great way to get an affordable plan with a free SSL certificate and they sell domains too, so you can monitor it all in one place.

The downside to Namecheap is that I would have to contact customer support frequently due to issues with access or uploading photos to my blog dashboard. This created a time-lapse in work hours. Needless to say, it wasn’t a hosting account that worked for someone like me who’s been blogging to make money since 2008.

Again, you can select from a few different blog hosting options like the other two blog hosting companies. Namecheap has 3 different shared hosting plans including 50% off 2 years of Shared Hosting!

At the end of the day, I’ve found that anyone with a tight budget for web hosting really has to go with a lower-cost option at first. You can always switch to a faster web hosting plan with the same blog hosting company or a different one at any time.

What is the Best Blogging Platform for Beginners?

I started my blogging career on the free blogging platform, Blogger. I think this is a great way to get your feet wet. It’s hard to start a blog and make money right away.

The money won’t come right away when you start blogging, so you can start with a free Blogger blog and see if this is going to be what you thought.


This is a free platform option for blogging. If you want to start a blog and make money but aren’t quite sure if blogging frequently will be worth it for you – start with Blogger.

The best part is that you don’t need to buy blog hosting or a domain name to use Blogger for your first blog. Everything is included for free in your account and you’ll be able to use a domain name.

Blogger will require a Google Account to start with and they have many blog themes for free as well as add-ons to use for your sidebar widgets.

There are some other blogging platforms that people like to use when they start a blog and make money, but this is a great option for starting a long term blogging career.


I started with Blogger, as I said, in December 2008, but I switched to WordPress not that long later. WordPress does require you to get a hosting account and a domain name, but it’s so much better when you want to start a blog and make money.

You’ll have many advanced features that help boost search engine rankings, add-ons, themes, and plugins that will help you expand your money-making abilities with blogging – without any extensive coding experience!

WordPress is a free platform, but you will need to install it from a paid hosting account. Once you have your hosting, you can often install WordPress easily from your cPanel. You can then add custom WordPress themes and plugins to customize your blog how you need it.

If you are serious about blogging, WordPress is the best platform that you should be using. Learn how to set it up and build a blog, and those skills will be useful for the rest of your life.


Medium is a free blogging platform that allows you to reach a larger audience by publishing on the the domain. If you are interested in growing an audience without running a full blog, Medium is a good option.

The articles that perform the best on Medium tend to be engaging and thoughtful posts that are outside of the normal topics. Look to publish articles that are thought-provoking and may have a different angle than other authors.

A benefit of using Medium is that you can enable your articles to be monetized every time they are read. The more views and reads you get, the more money you can make.

Medium can be a great supplemental platform to be used in conjunction with your WordPress blog. Once you publish an article on your main blog, you can republish that article on Medium using their import feature. This will help to reach a larger audience and drive additional traffic to your blog.

How Much Does It Cost to Start a Blog?

If you opt to go with a Blogger blog to make money, then you won’t have any costs associated with blogging. As you get more serious with blogging, there are a few upgrades that will help you look more professional without breaking the band.

If you choose, you can spend about $12-$17 for a blog domain that points to your Blogger or WordPress blog through GoDaddy. Hosting will run you around $5 per month and they often give discounts for paying upfront.

Of course, a computer or laptop is needed to allow you to work online and build your blog. If you don’t have one already, it is possible to find one for a few hundred dollars to get you started.

Ideally, you can start a blog and make money on less than $50 when going with a self-hosted WordPress blog. This is possible only if you already have a computer to start a blog and make money.

What Tools Are Helpful for Blogging?

There are some tools and equipment that I highly recommend you grab if you want to start a blog and make money.

  • Hubspot’s Blog Topic Generator – use this tool to generate blog post topics.
  • Grammarly – proofreading, grammar, and writing assistant.
  • SEMrush or Moz – an SEO software to help give you insight on ranking keywords faster.
  • Computer or laptop – it’s not easy to blog from a tablet without a keyboard.
  • Dedication to creating unique content on a regular basis.
  • A creative mind!

How do Bloggers Get Paid?

There are many ways that bloggers can get paid and it depends on your skills, partnerships, and existing products. One of the best ways to monetize your blog is to create a paid membership site, product, or course that you can sell.

Besides building your own product to sell, here are some other ideas to monetize your blog.

  • Sponsored Blog Posts
  • Affiliate Programs, such as Impact Radius or Flex Offers
  • Ad Networks, such Google AdSense, MediaVine, or Ezoic
  • Paid Product Reviews
  • Brand Ambassador Programs
  • Influencer Networks
  • Selling your own course, SaaS, membership, or digital product
  • Email marketing

How Do Beginner Bloggers Make Money?

I’ll be honest, when deciding to start a blog and make money you will not make money at first. It takes months of consistent writing and sharing content to build up a steady stream of traffic to your blog.

You often can’t get an ad revenue account until you have significant number of impressions per month (visitors/web page views).

You can sign up for affiliate programs, like, to make money at any time but some brands may decline your application until you’ve become a more established blog site.

One key to making money with a small amount of blog traffic is to make sure that every visitor counts. Set up your blog to easily capture email addresses and funnel visitors towards taking an action. This could be buying from an affiliate link, opting in to an email list, or buying your own product.

You Can Start a Blog and Make Money

Learning how to start a blog isn’t too difficult. You can use step-by-step tutorials to get the techy portions completed, however, most hosting companies are rather helpful with getting you all setup to start a blog. This article can serve as a little guidance on your mission to learn if you can you really make money blogging. 

“Don’t focus on having a great blog. Focus on producing a blog that’s great for your readers.” – Brian Clark

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