how to start a successful blog

Are you considering starting a blog and looking for tips on how to start a successful blog? Here is a step by step guide on how to start a money making blog.

This post contains affiliate links. Read my full disclosure here.

how to start a successful blog

If you’re looking for a side hustle to start that can potentially make you tons of money, you’re probably wondering how to start a successful blog.

I started my blog 5 years ago when I was a senior in high school. Since then, I’ve not only made money from it that has helped me pay the bills, I’ve also had opportunities that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. It’s one of the best investments I’ve ever made in myself!

Here is a step by step guide on how to start a money making blog in 2023, and everything you need to know to make it successful.

This post is about how to start a successful blog.

How To Start A Successful Blog In 2023

Why You Should Start A Blog

You could potentially make a lot of money

Blogging has the potential to be an extremely lucrative side hustle (or main hustle). I’ve heard of many bloggers who make 6 figures a month.

Passive Income

The main reason to start a blog is that it can potentially make you tons of money, and a lot of the income that you can make from a blog is passive. Meaning, you do something one time and continue to make money from that thing without having to actively work for it.

You write a post once, and it can make you money for years and years after you write it. It can make you money while you’re not actively working.

Work from anywhere

You can work from anywhere when you’re blogging. You’re not tied down to one location. A blog can make you money while you’re out with your friends, on vacation, sitting on the couch, etc.

You could be your own boss

The best part of having a money making blog is that you can be your own boss, and work on your own terms. You have complete creative freedom with it.

Related: Why You Should Start A Blog In College

Now that you know some reasons why you should start a blog, let’s talk about the steps you can take to start your own blog.

In this post I’m going to be explaining how to make a blog using Bluehost web hosting.

First things first, let’s talk a little bit about why you should purchase web hosting instead of going with free hosting.

Why you should purchase web hosting instead of doing a free blog

  • You’ll be able to make money with your blog. This is the biggest reason to buy hosting. You can’t make money from a free blog because you technically won’t own it.
  • If you have a free blog, it can be taken down at any time. The company that you sign up with can decide to take it down whenever they want because they’re technically the ones who own the content.
  • With a free blog, they can show whatever ads they want on your site and profit off of it. On the other hand, when you purchase hosting and own your blog, you’re the one who will be making the profit.

Long story short, if you’re starting blog you are probably wanting to make some money from it eventually.

The initial investment of buying a website is totally worth it when you think about how much money you could potentially make. Buying a website costs less than a cup of coffee a month, and is totally worth it considering that some bloggers make 6 figures.

As someone who started their blog at a time in their life where they did NOT have a lot of money to spare (I literally used babysitting money to buy my first 3 years of hosting), I promise it is so worth the few dollars a month that it costs to start a blog! It can have a huge return on investment.

Steps To Take Before Starting Your Blog

1. Think about what you want to write about

This is otherwise known as choosing your niche. For example, my blog’s niche is college.

A lot of bloggers harp on how crucial it is to pick a niche when you’re just starting out. While it IS important to eventually pick a niche (your content will get more views and you’ll be able to better build an audience if you pick a niche), I wouldn’t worry about it too much starting out.

I recommend getting a general idea of things you want to write about and starting there. Once you start writing posts you’ll get more of an idea of what you like writing about, along with what kinds of posts get more views. From there, you’ll be able to “niche down” your content.

2. Choose your blogging platform

WordPress is the number one platform for bloggers. It’s the platform I use, and so do most other bloggers I know. It is great for just starting out, along with using it long-term. I’ve used it for the past 5 years and I love it and have never had any problems.

3. Choose your website hosting

The web hosting I, and countless other bloggers, recommend is Bluehost. I’ve used Bluehost for this website for 5 years, and I’ve also built a few websites for other people using Bluehost. I’ve not had many problems, but any time I have, they’ve done a great job fixing it.

Now, let’s move on to how to actually start your blog.

Click here to get started with setting up your blog!

Psst! Sign up using my link and you get a free domain name!

Here is a step by step guide on how to purchase web hosting and everything you’ll need to get started with your blog.

How To Start Your Blog

1. Go to Bluehost to purchase hosting

how to start a money making blog


2. Select your plan

how to start a blog in college

I personally use the basic plan. If you choose one of the other options you get more perks, but I personally think that the $3.95 plan is the way to go when you’re starting your first blog–especially if you’re trying to start a blog for as little money as possible.

3. Choose your domain name

how to start a blog for beginners

Now we’re to one of the most exciting steps– choosing your domain name, aka, the name of your website. There are tons of options to choose from when you’re doing this. A safe bet is to go with your name or a variation of it, or you could do something more specific to the topic you want to write about. The world is your oyster!

4. Fill in your account information and package information

how to start a blog and make money

I did the 36 month account plan so that I could have my blog for 3 years. The shorter amount of time that you purchase your hosting for, the more expensive it is per month, so I recommend doing the 36 month plan.

I personally didn’t choose to pay for any of the three options here (site backup pro, search engine jumpstart, and site lock security) and my website works just fine, but they do give you the option to choose these addons.

5. Finish setting up your account and purchase

After this, you’ll put in your credit card information, so on and so forth.

6. Pick your theme

how to start a successful blog and make money

When choosing a theme, you have two options. You can buy a theme, or you can choose a free WordPress theme.

If you’re looking to buy a theme, there are lots of people who sell cute and customizable themes and they’re usually around $60. You could find some by via google or Etsy.

If you’re like me and don’t want to spend the extra money buying a theme, you can browse the free options on WordPress and use one of those. Personally, I’ve been using free themes for all of the 5 years I’ve been blogging, and I’ve never had any issues.

7. Login to WordPress and start building your site

how to make money blogging for beginners

Now it’s time to get into the nitty gritty parts of setting up your website, like creating pages, customizing your theme, etc.

Tips For Setting Up Your Website

how to start a blog

I remember when I started my blog I was so confused by all of this, so I am going to go a little more in depth here and explain the different parts of your control panel/ dashboard.

1. Launch button:

This one is pretty self explanatory, but this is what you’re going to press once you’re ready to publish (launch) your website so it can be viewed by the public.

A lot of people say wait to launch until you have at least 5 blog posts, but I’ve learned that you should launch as soon as your website is ready and just publish your blog posts as soon as you write them. Google takes a while to trust your website, so the sooner you’re getting posts out, the better.

2. Blog posts:

If you want to write a post you are going to click “add new post.” You can also view all the posts you’ve written, published and drafts, by hitting “all posts.”

3. Pages:

These are going to be the static pages of your blog. These are the pages that are going to stay the same all of the time. For example, on my website, I have a recommendations page, a contact page, and an about page.

4. Menus: 

Your menu is what is going to show up at the top of your blog. For example, my menu is “college,” “books,” “lifestyle,” etc.

You can put pages and categories on your menu. If you look at my menu and click “college” it will take you to my college post archives, where all of my college posts live. That is because I have “college” set as a category, and I put all of my college posts under that category.

When you’re writing a blog post, there is a little box on the right side of the screen that says “categories” and it will have all of your options that you have put in and you just check a box for the category that you want. So, any time I write a blog post about college I just select that category and it will automatically show up there. It’s the same for the other categories on my site.

Now that you you’ve set up your blog and know how to navigate the dashboard, here are some tips for having a successful blog.

Tips For Success When You Start Working On Your Blog

1. Research popular plugins for bloggers

WordPress plugins are things that will make your life easier as a blogger. There are all kinds of plugins for different things, so definitely do some research to find some that will help you. Some of my favorite are YoastSEO, jQuery Pin It Button for Images, and sassy social share.

2. Research SEO and Keywords

SEO is so so so important when it comes to getting your posts to rank on Google. Every post you write should be centered around SEO and keywords, so it is very important to learn.

3. Learn ways to market your blog (Pinterest!!!)

Pinterest is the way that most bloggers get traffic. I would definitely recommend coming up with a Pinterest strategy because it can generate tons of traffic for your blog. I make my Pinterest graphics using Canva.

4. Research ways to monetize your blog

Knowing how to monetize your blog is one of the most important parts of how to start a successful blog.

Once you have some page views and  you’re ready to start trying to make money from your blog, research affiliate programs and ad programs. I personally participate in Amazon Affiliates and have ads through Google Adsense.

Don’t worry too much about page views and making money at first, and don’t fall into the trap of comparison. It usually takes some time to get traffic to your blog & to start generating income. That’s okay! Just focus on writing good content and marketing your posts, and you’ll start to see success before you know it.

This post was all about how to start a successful blog to start making you money in 2023.

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Why You Should Start A Blog In College

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No BS Ways To Make Money In College With Side Hustles

I really hope this post helped you set up your very own blog! Having a blog is honestly so rewarding and I get so excited when I see other people starting blogs.

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