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How to Start a Blog and Make Money – The Complete Blogging for Beginners Guide

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How to Start a Blog and Make Money – The Complete Blogging for Beginners Guide. This comprehensive guide is perfect for showing blogging newbies how to start a blog step by step.

This guide was carefully crafted with a lot of love and hope that you will be able to start a money making blog that you love within the hour!

And to really help you out, I have created an eBook version of this entire blog post. So be sure to click on the link to grab your FREE copy right now.

Click the image to get your FREE eBook version of this blog post!

However, before you begin your journey to creative and financial freedom, there are a few things that you will have to really get your head wrapped around if you want to know how to create a successful blog.

So, to really get you on your feet and have your soaring above the clouds and with the wind, I have curated this 7500+ word blogging for beginners guide on how to start a blog and make money.

It contains a detailed, step by step recount on exactly what you need to do, what tools you need to have and everything that you have to know in order to know how to create a successful blog that you love!

Now, pull up a chair, crack your knuckles and let’s learn how to start a blog and make money right now!

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How to Start a Blog and Make Money: The Complete Blogging for Beginners Guide

How To Start A Blog and Make Money: The Complete Blogging for Beginners Guide

Before we begin, I just wanted to start off by saying good on ya! Starting your own money making blog is an amazing way to unleash those creative juices aching to get out and giving yourself free reign over your financial freedom! 

My name is Michelle Ling and I have been making money online for the past 8 years.

I started this site CuratedByMichelle.com with the hopes of sharing how I had been making money blogging for nearly a decade.

For example, I had been a freelance writer for the past 5 years, earning a nifty income of $5000+ within my first month of freelance writing. In addition, through the guidance of my older brother Mark Ling (founder of Affilorama, the largest affiliate marketing community online) I have been making money blogging through affiliate marketing and eBook selling since I was 14). 

The journey has been incredible.

It is really amazing to see how much people can achieve with just a little bit of creativity and a dose of good ol’ fashioned hard work. But the thing is, throughout my journey online, especially with the time that I have spent on CuratedByMichelle.com, I have never really felt like it was work.

In fact, I would wake up in the morning, and before I could even go brush my teeth, I would be so excited to see my beautiful blog up and live for the world to see.

I hope you will feel the exact same way about your blog too!

Now, you can continue to follow this comprehensive blogging for beginners guide right here on this page, or you can take part in my free Start a Money Making WordPress Blog course. Both of these options will include all the information that you will need in order to start a successful blog.

Simply follow my instructions and not only will you have a smack bang stunner for a blog, but you will also be able to being making money off your blog like a pro.

And don’t for a second think that you aren’t qualified enough or that you don’t think that you have the necessary skill because I am a living, walking, breathing proof that you don’t have to have qualifications or experience to make money blogging. (I was 14-15 years old when I made my first $1000 bucks online for crying out loud! How much more unqualified or inexperienced could you possibly get?)

Ready to take the next step and start your blog TODAY?

Get cosy in your PJs, pour yourself a cuppa and nab yourself a pen and notebook because you’ll be wanting to get as much info down as possible – I guarantee you!

If you follow my instructions on how to start a blog step by step, I promise that you should be able to get well on your money making journey within the hour!

BUT, it is so crucially important to have a solid foundation for your blog if you want to make money blogging, so I highly recommend that you follow each step in this guide as closely as you can!

In order to really get the most out of my FREE resources and start a money making blog the right way, become part of the community and I will send you a free copy of my 30+ page workbook to get your blogging business launch plan monetized to the max!

Click the image above to grab your free Blogging Business Plan Workbook + Guide!

This workbook will serve to give you a clear roadmap on exactly what you need to do and what you need to have to start a money making blog. Because blogging without a fine tuned plan is just writing words into the thin air.

GET YOUR FREE COMPLIMENTARY BLOG BUSINESS WORKBOOK NOW

Step One: Decide On Your Blog Niche

What is a Niche?

A niche is a concentrated topic that you choose to blog about.

For example, CuratedByMichelle.com focuses on blogging and making money online. However, there are fashion blogs, food blogs, travel blogs and numerous of other types of blogging niches out there.

Why Should You Choose a Niche?

The reason why you should choose a niche for your blog is because you want to be seen as the expert in your field. It is not a good monetization trait to be seen as a jack of all trades and master of none.

So, the more defined your blog niche is, the higher the chances you will have of ranking high on search engines, growing your audience and building a community that keeps coming back for more!

The ideal situation is if you select a singular topic for your blog to be focused on. This way, you will be able to build authority in the niche and consequently, find it a lot easier to sell niche specific products/services to a dedicated audience.  

How to Choose a Niche

One question that so many new bloggers ask is ‘how do I choose a money making blog niche?’

You can have a blog based about anything, but it has to tick ALL of the following boxes…

  • Something you LOVE/have an INTEREST in (otherwise you may experience blogger burnout far too fast)
  • Something that is in DEMAND (people actually care)
  • Something that isn’t OVERSATURATED (less competition = high ranks on search engines = greater money making potential)

So, overall? I would highly recommend that you begin jotting down blog niche ideas that you would enjoy blogging regularly about, that actually has other people interested in too and preferably something that isn’t oversaturated in the online blogging world.

Buuuuuuuut, if you don’t know exactly what your niche is going to about quite yet, don’t fret! That’s totally OK! Your blogging niche can have a slightly wider scope to begin with and you can narrow down later when you really begin to find ‘your peeps’!

Just don’t let your blogging dreams sit on the back burner while you spend far too long trying to figure yourself out! Because growing an audience takes time, starting sooner rather than later is always a good idea.

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How to Start a Blog and Make Money: The Complete Blogging for Beginners Guide

Step Two: Choosing a Good Web Host

To kickstart this step, I will be focusing the second half of how to start a blog to make money. The key point here is the ‘make money’ aspect of blogging.

And what so many blogging beginners don’t know is that in order to make money blogging, you need to be self-hosted.

Why Do You Need to Be Self Hosted?

#1 You Will Have Complete Ownership

To be self hosted means that you completely own your own blog and you have complete control over it.

This is completely different to a ‘free blogging’ platform like Wix or Blogger or even WordPress.com (different from WordPress.org) because if you use something like Blogger to run your blog, you don’t actually own your blog.

This means that if the good people at Blogger can shut you down without warning at any given moment. However, this would never happen if you self host and actually own your own site.

Consequently, one of the top reasons why I recommend WordPress.org is because I believe that running your website on a ‘free’ platform will not give you the freedom to control your own blogging endeavours.

#2 You Will Have Better Monetization Opportunities

What most people don’t know is that you can’t really monetize a ‘free’ website platform like Wix, WordPress.com, Weebly and others.

This is because these ‘free’ website platforms don’t allow you to run ads and no respectable brands with respectable payments will be willing to sponsor you for paid blogging partnerships if you have an unprofessional wix.com domain address!

Who could blame them? How unprofessional does it look?

In addition, many free website platforms will not allow you to sell products online either – unless you pay some hefty fees for upgrades and as a result, this leads us to my third point…

#3 It’s Actually the More Affordable Option

You might originally think that opting for a free platform is cheaper, but in actual fact, ‘free’ platforms are a lot, A LOT more expensive in the long run compared to a self hosted WordPress.org platform.

This is because if you actually want to be able to make money blogging, you will need to pay for upgrades with these free platforms. And guess what? These upgrades are all free and included when you opt for a self hosted platform!

For example, WordPress.com offers eCommerce features for $61/month while a self hosted WordPress.org allows you to have eCommerce features for $150 a YEAR.

See the difference?

Why Else Should You Use WordPress.org?

Personally, I use WordPress.org to run my blog and even though I have dabbled with some of the other platforms before in the past, I can honestly say that none of them holds a light to WordPress.org and this is why…

  • It’s Free: WordPress.org itself is actually 100% free and offers a wide range of free plugins and themes, which is something many other platforms don’t offer.
  • Endless Customization Options: With the endless plugins and countless WordPress themes that are available out there for you to use, you can customize and design your WordPress blog however the way you like! In fact, some of the WordPress themes out there i.e. BluChic or page builders i.e. Elementor will allow you to have a gorgeously designed blog without needing to hire a web designer. How nifty is that?
  • Easy to Use: One of the best things about WordPress.org is how damn easy it is to use it! Learning how to start a money making blog as a beginner couldn’t be quite so easy if WordPress.org wasn’t so straightforward. And with the help of this guide, it will be made even easier!   

How Do You Get Started with WordPress.org?

Well, in order to begin using WordPress.org and have access to all the amazing functionalities that it offers, you will have to choose a hosting provider.

But, the thing is, not all hosting providers were made equal, so I will be giving you my top tips on how to start a blog using an AMAZING host provider the right way.

What is Web Hosting?

Essentially, web hosting is what lets your blog to be seen by others on the Internet. Typically, the cost of web hosting can be anywhere between $10-$100 a month, however, I have a special deal for you, so keep an eye for it below!

How to Start a Blog with SiteGround

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How to Start a Money Making Blog with SiteGround

I have used a handful of different web hosting companies in the past and out of all of them, I would have to be honest and say that SiteGround is by far the best web hosting company I have ever used.

This ‘How to Start a WordPress Blog and Make Money’ blogging for beginners guide will give you a detailed run down of exactly how you can start a blog with SiteGround for just $3.95/month (normally, for premium self hosting platforms, you’ll have to spend approximately $10 each month, but with my exclusive SiteGround coupon, you can get started for less!)

CLICK HERE TO START YOUR BLOG AND MAKE MONEY ONLINE

Using my SiteGround discount, you will be spending less than $4 each month to self host your money making blog, including a FREE SSL security certificate, great customer support, free WordPress themes and so much more!

Set Up Your SiteGround Account

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How to Start a Blog and Make Money with SiteGround

To begin, click here to sign up for your SiteGround account and choose your web hosting plan.

I personally recommend that you opt for the StartUp plan if you are just a blogging beginner. This is because it offers services for a single website/blog that are getting less than 10,000/month web visitors, 10GB of space and other essential features like free SSLs, free email accounts, free customer service and a free web builder etc.

This plan typically costs $3.95/month.

I would opt for this until you have grown your blog significantly enough to move onto an upgraded plan.

However, whatever plan you choose, you have the great option of locking in that initial discounted price for a fixed period of time – usually, with web hosting services, after your first term contract i.e. 12 months, 24 months, 36 months etc. the price of web hosting increases.

For more detailed step by step instructions on how to start a blog with SiteGround, read this guide to find out exactly what you need to know about how to sign up for this web host.

The next step on how to start a money making blog is to register for your very own domain!

Under the *EXTRA SERVICES segment when you are signing up for SiteGround web hosting, you will be given the option to sign up for a domain i.e. URL. I personally believe that getting your domain from a site that isn’t your web host is a much smarter idea because…

  1. If you ever choose to stop your SiteGround membership, it is just so much easier to transfer your URL to your new web host
  2. It is cheaper to get a URL from a domain name site like GoDaddy compared to a web host site i.e. if you bought your domain name through SiteGround, it will cost $15.95/year for domain registration + $15.00/year for domain privacy. Meanwhile GoDaddy is a lot cheaper with it’s domain names starting from just $1.25/year.

* If you chose to get your domain name from a site like GoDaddy, simply transfer your domain name once you’ve got your account set up – it’s as easy as ABC!

Now, fill in your contact details and billing information and hit enter.

Yay!

You’re well on your way to making money from a blog!

For more detailed step by step instructions on how to start a blog with SiteGround, read this guide to find out exactly what you need to know about how to sign up for this web host.

Other Web Hosting Options

While this blogging for beginners guide on how to start a blog talks about setting up a blog with SiteGround, there are actually a wide variety of options that you can choose from.

Another popular choice is BlueHost (although I personally prefer SiteGround above BlueHost because I find BlueHost to be unreliable, prone to shut downs and poorer page speed loading times etc.)

However, what does make BlueHost an attractive package is that it is slightly cheaper than SiteGround (only $2.99 a month and comes with a free domain).

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How to Start a Blog and Make Money: The Complete Blogging for Beginners Guide

Step Three: How To Start A Blog With SiteGround – Install WordPress

Even if this is the very first blog that you have ever started, I can promise you that SiteGround couldn’t make setting up a WordPress blog any simpler!

Once you have wrapped up your payment, SiteGround will immediately ask you to begin installing your brand spankin’ new WordPress account.

All you have to do is to follow the prompts and the 1-click WordPress blog installation will happen in an instant!

It is seriously that easy!

Once WordPress has finished installing, sign in with your chosen login information. And from now on, you can access your WordPress.org login page at any given moment by simply typing www.domainname.com/wp-admin into your URL bar.

When you have finally logged into WordPress, you will be on your WordPress dashboard which looks a little something like this…

The WordPress Dashboard

On the LHS you will see all the various options such as your posts (where you can upload and publish your future blog posts), pages (which you can use to create static pages such as your contact page, home page, about page etc.)

Don’t worry if you are still a little lost at the beginning and take some time to really get yourself familiar with your WordPress dashboard. Trust me, you are going to use it heaps and heaps!

Maintenance Mode

Before we move onto the next stages on how to start a blog, if you want to keep your website tucked away from the prying eyes of the outside world, you can keep it hidden by putting it in something called ‘maintenance mode’.

This essentially means that this will put a shield over your website so that nobody except for you will be able to see the contents of your website until you decide to let your blog go live again.

There are heaps of various plugins that you can use to achieve this, so I have listed a few for you to try out below…

Step Four: Choose WordPress Theme + Plugins

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How to Start a WordPress Blog – Upload Themes

When you download WordPress, don’t be too shocked when you find yourself with a very empty looking blog.

But this next stage on how to make money blogging is by far my favourite.

Seriously, what could be more fun than designing your blog to make it look exactly like you pictured it?

When you log into your WordPress dashboard, on the LHS sidebar, under Appearance > Themes, you will be prompted to select a theme for your blog.

Free vs. Paid WordPress Themes

You can opt pick one of the free default themes that WordPress offers like Twenty Nineteen, Twenty Seventeen etc., however I personally do not recommend doing so.

This is because of the following reasons…

  1. These default themes weren’t designed with bloggers in mind, they were created to cater towards businesses.
  2. Premium themes/paid themes have greater customization options that allow you to design your website to look the way you want
  3. Paying for a WordPress theme will come with some crucial features such as better SEO optimization, mobile responsive designs, good customer service, step by step set up instructions etc.
  4. WordPress makes several updates every year and premium paid themes are updated to match the current versions of WordPress while free themes sometimes suddenly become incompatible with each new WordPress upgrade.
  5. You will be able to make your brand stand out from the get go!

GRAB A FREE COPY OF THE ULTIMATE BLOG BRANDING BLUEPRINT

If you are a little bit lost on how to brand your blog so that it gives off that polished, professional look that everyone else seems to have, you can nab yourself a free copy of my Ultimate Blog Branding Workbook designed to help blogging beginners to find their perfect brand aesthetic.

Click the image above to grab your free Blog Branding Workbook + Guide!

Which WordPress Themes I Recommend…

I personally have tried out nearly 50+ WordPress themes and I have to say that I really push for the following WordPress themes because they are just so beautiful, offer great customer support and are so easy to set up!

#1 BluChic Themes

This brand offers gorgeous, feminine WordPress themes for female entrepreneurs and bloggers.

I am the proud owner of about 4-5 of their themes and I have to say, I have never come across more beautifully designed WordPress themes than those from BluChic! Seriously!

Have a look at them yourself…

BluChic Pretty Feminine Blog Themes
Feminine WordPress Themes – Bluchic WordPress Themes

Grab Your Feminine Bluchic WordPress Theme Here!

#2 17th Avenue

Another brand of WordPress themes that I recommend is 17th Avenue. They create beautiful Genesis child themes that are absolutely perfect for female entrepreneurs and bloggers.

PLUS did I mention?

If you buy a child theme with them, they will throw in a FREE Genesis theme (valued at $59) with it! Now that is one pretty sweet deal!

Feminine WordPress Themes: 17th Avenue WordPress Themes

Grab Your Feminine 17th Avenue WordPress Theme Here!

#3 Elementor Page Builder

This option is for those of you seeking to really customize your site to the max.

Elementor is a drag and drop page builder that allows you to design your blog to look exactly the way you want it to!

Curated By Michelle has been designed with Elementor, with the underlying theme being GeneratePress (GeneratePress is one of the most compatible themes with Elementor)

I highly recommend Elementor on all aspects if you want to have full control over the design of your site and make your site look 100% unique and to your taste! PLUS, both GeneratePress and Elementor have free versions, allowing you to build a gorgeous website with minimal financial investment!

Elementor WordPress Page Builder

#4 Other Themes..

How to Install a WordPress Theme

Add Themes to Your WordPress Blog

Once you have purchased your WordPress theme, you will download it as a .ZIP file.

Go to your WordPress dashboard, click on the LHS sidebar and choose Appearance > Themes > Add New. From there, upload your zip file and once it has finished downloading, click ‘Activate’.

Congrats! Your blog is well on its way to become one gorgeous looking piece <3

How to Customize Your WordPress Theme

Your blog branding journey doesn’t just stop there!

While the demos that you saw before you purchased your theme might have looked absolutely gorgeous and amazing, chances are, you won’t have the exact layout of the theme from the get go.

You will have to tinkle around a little bit before you get it looking the way you want. And how do you do that?

Typically, if you don’t have a page builder and only a theme itself, what would happen is that you would go to the LHS sidebar and pick Appearance > Customize and you will be brought to a page where you can adjust the various options to customize your blog.

Have a bit of fun and just enjoy this process!

Introduction to WordPress Plugin Installations

How to Start a Blog and Make Money – Upload WordPress Plugins

WordPress plugins allows you as the user to run special features and functions on your blog.

Simply go to Plugins > Add New and browse through the large selection of plugins that are on offer.

However, as a blogging beginner, it’s likely you don’t exactly have your feet on the ground yet. So, to help you out, I have compiled a nifty list of my favourite WordPress plugins that I believe that every blogger should have!

Free Plugins…

  • Akismet Anti-Spam
  • Broken Link Checker
  • Elementor
  • Google Fonts
  • Google XML Sitemap
  • JetPack
  • ThirstyAffiliates
  • Yoast SEO
  • WooCommerce (to run an eCommerce store on your blog)
  • W3 Total Cache
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How to Start a Blog and Make Money: The Complete Blogging for Beginners Guide

Step Five: Setting Up Your Pages and Blog Posts

How to Start a Blog and Make Money – Create Pages

On your WordPress dashboard, on the LHS sidebar, click on Pages > Add New.

This will then lead you to the WordPress page editor which looks a little something like this…

Some pages that you should be setting up if you want to begin making money from a blog include the following…

  • Home
  • About
  • Contact
  • Blog
  • Privacy
  • Disclaimer
  • Terms and Conditions
  • Shop (Optional)
  • Services (Optional)
  • Resources (Optional)

I personally recommend that you purchase the Legal Bundle Templates which helps to protect yourself legally via showing you exactly what you need to include on your Disclosure, Privacy and Terms and Conditions pages.

This is a step that many blogging beginners often overlook and the repercussions that come with taking the legal side of blogging too lightly can be very dire. So, be sure to protect yourself fully and completely with the Legal Bundle Templates.

Once you have your pages all ready to go, simply add these pages to your navigation menu by selecting Appearance > Menus  

How to Start a Blog and Make Money – Write Blog Posts

Once you have all your pages set up, it is time to crack your knuckles and get start on creating your very first blog post!

Don’t fret about having nothing good to say or feeling insecure if you believe that you aren’t a natural writer because here are my best blogging tips for beginners that will have you publishing amazing blog posts within moments!

Niche Up!

By now, you should have chosen your desired niche/topic that you want your blog to be based around.

Using the information that you have collated from my FREE ultimate 30+ page blogging business workbook, you should have already figured out exactly what kind of content you will be creating for your niche target market to read.

But, in the off chance that you decided not to make full use of my amazing FREE resource, here are my best blogging tips for beginners…

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How to Start a Blog and Make Money: The Complete Blogging for Beginners Guide

How to Write What Your Audience Will Actually Read

#1 Hang Around Your Audience

If you are ever at a loss as to what to say, why don’t you just go and ask your target audience themselves what they would like to hear?

For example, get your Sherlock hat on and begin lurking around online forums, Facebook groups, other similar blogs and research exactly what your audience’s issues are and what kind of content they would like to read to have their pain points sorted out.

Trust me, you will find a heap of blog topic inspiration just by doing this!

#2 Discover Popular Keywords

Another way to go about doing this would be to conduct some keyword research of your own.

 Use tools such as BuzzSumo or UberSuggest or Pinterest Keyword Explorer to find out exactly what people are looking for on search engines.

This way, you will be able to create content that people are actually interested in knowing more about.

Not to mention, by conducting some keyword research, you will be able to find keywords to help rank your blog posts higher on search engines too!

It’s a double whammy!

How to Write a Blog Post

To begin crafting your blog post is quite simple.

All you have to do is go to your WordPress dashboard, select Posts > Add New.

This will then lead you to your WordPress post editor which looks extremely similar to your WordPress page editor.

Too add an image to your blog post, simply go to your WordPress post editor, select Add Media and upload your image.

Some examples of images that you should include are…

  • Featured image – this refers to the image that people see when they see your list of blog posts. It is typically above/to the side of the blog post title.
  • Pinterest pin images (600 x 900) – include these within your blog post so that people interested in your content can ‘pin’ your content for others to see too!
  • Facebook/Twitter image (1024 x 512) – upload these under the social media tab in Yoast or Social Warfare so that this is the social media friendly image that pops up when somebody opts to share your blog post with others on social media.

Personally I love to use Canva and the Adobe Creative Suite to create my graphics. So be sure to check them out!

Once you have written up your blog post, hit the ‘Publish’ button at the top right hand side of your WordPress post editor and you’ll be good to go.

Click the image above to grab your FREE eBook version of this blog post!

How to Get Your Blog Posts Ranking on Search Engines

SEO.

Search Engine Optimization.

Even if you are new to the world of blogging, it is likely that one of the things that you would have surely have heard of by now is search engine optimization.

This essentially covers the act of a series of actions that will help you to rank high on search engine results so that people will actually see your blog’s content and make your blog visible to others.

To learn more about how to drive traffic to your blog, read my Ultimate Beginner’s Guide on Blogging and SEO and grow your audience immediately!  

Keyword Research

When someone wants to find something out on Google or any other search engine, they would typically type a ‘keyword’ or ‘keyword phrase’ into the search bar.

Consequently, Google would pull out what they consider the most relevant search engine results to show you. And typically, one wouldn’t normally scroll beyond the first page or two of search engine results before giving up.

Therefore, it is highly important that you know that one of the key components to making money from a blog is to rank high on search engine results.

This is because, without ranking high, your blog will not be visible and so, the amount of traffic (and potential customers) will be low.

My Fav Tools for Keyword Research

The best kinds of keywords includes those that have high search volume paired with low competition.

Even though it might seem a little tricky to wrap your head around at times, I promise that SEO isn’t nearly as scary as it is made out to be! And if you conduct great SEO practices from the moment you start your blog, you will be able to reap the benefits and avoid nasty pitfalls from the get-go!

Where to Place Keywords

It isn’t enough to just simply sprinkle SEO keywords randomly around the place. You need to do it strategically. So here is a run down of where you should be placing keywords in your blog post for maximum effect…

  • Blog Post Title
  • Headings and Subheadings
  • First Paragraph of Blog Post
  • Blog Post Content
  • Alt Text of Images
  • Blog URL

There is definitely a lot more details you should consider when tweaking your SEO strategy to boost your blog’s online visibility, but this is the general run down of blog SEO.

However, for a more detailed guide on how to drive traffic to your blog, read the Ultimate SEO Basics for Bloggers to boost your readership from the get go!

Polish Your Blog URLs

It might surprise you, but the URLs that you showcase actually impact your brand in more ways than one.

For example, a cleaner, tidier blog URL will 1) increase search engine rankings 2) make your blog look more professional and 3) makes it easier for your readers to remember how to get back to your blog post/pages.

https://curatedbymichelle.com/blog-post-name is so much cleaner and tidier than https://curatedbymichelle.com/20-10-2019/blog-post-name/1234 wouldn’t you agree?

Well I do, and Google concurs.

Blog post URLS with no extra unnecessary information makes search engines happy and is a lot easier for readers to remember your URLs.

You can adjust your URL links by heading over to your WordPress dashboard, selecting from your LHS sidebar Settings > Permalinks > Post Name and save.

Once you’ve done that, all of the pages and posts that your blog shows will have the following format… https://domainname.com/post-name.

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How to Start a Blog and Make Money: The Complete Blogging for Beginners Guide

Step Six: Release Your Blog

There is a little bit of controversy surrounding when you should release your blog i.e. should you make your blog live after publishing your first blog post or waiting until you have 5+ or 10+ or 20+ blog posts?

Well, I personally recommend waiting until you have approximately 10 blog posts all written up before you launch your blog.

This is simply because the more blog posts that you have up from the very beginning, the more likely people will actually stick around and continue reading your content.

The thing is, search engines like Google take into account how often people stay on your blog as a testament to how valuable your blog actually is. And the more valuable they think your blog is, the more they will push for your blog content to be ranked high in search engine results.

Simply disable ‘maintenance mode’ from the plugin that you had activated and your blog is now live!

Congrats!

BUTTTTT, before we move onto the next stage, be sure to remember to connect your blog to Google Analytics so that you can keep track of your blogging efforts to see what works and what doesn’t.

Step Seven: Grow Your Following

One major misconception that many people get about blogging is that blogging is all you do. But I have to say that this can’t be further from the truth.

As a blogger, you have to do so much more if you want to make money with a blog.

After all, how can you make money with a blog if you don’t have traffic aka. potential customers?

In a previous step, we briefly talked about driving traffic to your blog via good SEO practices, so in this step, we will be touching on all the other marketing tactics you can use to grow your audience.

Read more on how to make money with a blog by driving your target market to your doorstep with these SEO basics for bloggers.

Social Media

For every piece of content that you write, you should be spending FOUR times the effort marketing and promoting that blog post. This is particularly true in the beginning.

So what kinds of things do you need to do?

Well…

  • Create social media pages for your blog i.e. Facebook page, Facebook group, Twitter account, Pinterest account, Instagram account etc.
  • Discover which social media platforms work for you and consistently post and promote your blog posts on social media.
  • Take part in Facebook groups, but large and defined and small and intimate (like my Facebook group!) in order to promote your brand, grow connections and build your insider blogging knowledge
  • Connect with me on Pinterest and follow me on my Instagram where you can get more rad tips and tricks on blogging!

Build an Email List

In comparison to social media, an email list is by far the superior of the two.

When it comes to ROI (return on investment), an email list has the biggest money making potential. So, there should be no surprise that you need to begin focusing a lot of time, effort and energy into growing your email list and gaining a dedicated following that is actually interested in what you have to say.

‘But what about traffic?’ you might ask.

Well, guess what? Driving traffic to your blog would be so much simpler when you have a dedicated following of people who are actually interested in what you have to offer them.  

But how do you go about getting people to sign up to your email list?

After all, there must be hundreds if not thousands of other bloggers offering similar things to you. So, to combat this, you need to offer your target audience an incentive, called an opt-in freebie.

This would involve you creating a free content upgrade, product, service, offer etc. for your readers that they will receive in exchange for providing their email address.

But before you go about sending out these emails and converting subscribers into lifelong fans, you need to select the best email service provider to represent you and your needs.

I have used AWeber, MailChimp, MailerPoet and MailerLite in the past, but I have to honestly say that none of them holds a light to ConvertKit which I say is hands down the best email service provider.

ConvertKit is professional, easy to use, doesn’t have any restrictions when it comes to using affiliate links in your emails, tracking analytics, offers great segmentation capabilities and gives you the options of setting up landing pages forms and automations that will send your ideal audience down the perfect welcome sequence/sales funnel.

And did I mention that this is all for the affordable price of $29 a month?

But, for you, click on this link and get your first 30 days with ConvertKit totally free!

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how to start a blog and make money, making money from a blog, how to start a money making blog, how to create a blog for beginners, blogging for beginners tips
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How to Start a Blog and Make Money: The Complete Blogging for Beginners Guide

Step Eight: How to Monetize Your Blog

Okay, now we are onto the final step of how to start a blog and make money with extra emphasis on the make money portion!

There are many ways you can be making money from a blog and in this step, I will carefully outline some of the best and most profitable ways you can be monetizing your blog.

For example…

  • Selling digital products
  • Selling physical products
  • Offering services
  • Memberships/subscriptions
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Blog sponsorships
  • Ads

I would never suggest sticking solely to one money making strategy for your blog because I think it is far wiser to monetize your blog in as many ways as you can afford to be.

Now, let’s delve deeper into each of the various money making blog strategies….

#1 Offering Your Services

Like I had previously mentioned before, in the past, I made a living as a freelance writer, earning $5000+ my first month of freelance writing.  

The truth of the matter is that blogging is an amazing platform to attract your ideal freelance clients.

Instead of having to always go onto job site where you are competing with literally hundreds of other bids, you can have prospective clients knocking on your front door if you have your very own blog.

If you think that it is enough to have your own website. Let me tell you straight up – it’s not.

Who’s freelance biz do you think will do better? Someone who has 5 web pages on their website? Or someone who has 100 web pages ranking on Google on their website?

Definitely the second option. With a blog, you will have a greater chance for your freelance work to be seen and heard by potential audience members.

How freakin’ awesome is that? 😉

#2 Affiliate Marketing

If you have been lurking around Curated By Michelle for a while, you would have learned about my experiences with affiliate marketing and how my brother Mark (founder of Affilorama and a self-made Millionaire) has been able to grow a massive affiliate marketing empire by not only running various affiliate marketing businesses, but through teaching others how to become successful affiliate marketers via his popular online course Affilorama.

Affiliate marketing really is a great way to earn money online. It gives you the freedom to (for a lack of better words) steal a portion of the profits off someone else’s products and earn a great side income. And, if you know how to do it really well, it could potentially turn your affiliate marketing business into a full time gig.

The amount of success stories that hear about affiliate marketing from Mark is endless. Stories of his students surpassing even his successes and earning up to 8 figures a year. Dayumm.

As you should already be aware, I use affiliate marketing tactics around my blogs and emails because while making money from a blog through offering your services is a great way to earn some extra money, there will always be a cap on your income (even if it is pretty sweet!). This is because you are only one person and you can only take up so many jobs at one time. So, affiliate marketing is a great way to tap into a world where you can keep earning the big bucks without any limits.

To learn more about affiliate marketing, read the Beginner’s Guide to Making Money Affiliate Marketing for Bloggers

But before you go about applying to affiliate networks, be sure that your blog is live, with no ‘under maintenance’ pages. Plus, it is also a GREAT idea to have at least 5-10 blog posts published and up and running to increase your credibility as a blogger.

And once you have been accepted as an affiliate to affiliate networks, you can begin applying to individual brands/companies that offer their affiliate programs on these networks.

Affiliate Networks…

To learn more about affiliate marketing, read the Beginner’s Guide to Making Money Affiliate Marketing for Bloggers

#3 Digital Products

Similarly to affiliate marketing, there isn’t a cap on how high you can take your income – except this time, instead on selling someone else’s products, you are marketing your own! How neat is that?

There are heaps of ways you can create digital products, so I decided to list a few of the most popular ways below for you to have a browse through!

eBooks

The awesome thing about creating an eBook is that you won’t only increase your brand exposure, but it can also serve as an awesome way to promote related affiliate products (why just stop at selling your eBook? Squeeze as much cash out of your reader by recommending to them related products that might interest them!)

The amount I earned during my first year of selling eBooks was enough to pay for my first laptop, smartphone and fund my first year of Uni (this is telling something!) So, I can personally vouch for it’s effectiveness as a money making tool for any online entrepreneur. But, what I did discover about eBooks is that if you are planning to sell eBooks on platforms such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble etc. you need an email list.

I mean, it is definitely possible to do without one, but it’ll be super hard.

This is because in order for your eBook to become viral, you need an original ‘boost’ in visibility that comes with hundreds (or thousands) of people going to purchase your book within a short period of time. This boost in visibility will then lead to more sales by other people who weren’t on your email list browsing through the shelf.

I don’t want to lie to you and say it was all my effort because, the fact of the matter is that without the help of Mark’s fantastic email lists, I would never have been achieve the results that I did. (Sure, content creation is important, but so is the marketing that goes along with it!)

Online Courses and Webinars

I have never dabbled in paid online courses and webinars, but from what I hear from so many other creative online entrepreneurs, it is an amazing outlet to earn a sweet income online.

For those of you who aren’t quite acquainted with online courses, this is essentially the break down…

Online courses and webinars is when you (the expert) will teach others about a particular subject via videos, training guides and other resources.

I believe that this is an online marketing avenue with a lot of potential to make a lot of money, but I definitely feel like anyone who doesn’t have a proper following yet shouldn’t create online courses.

This is purely because if you don’t have an audience, you won’t be able to sell your product to anyone. So focus on building your audience first, find out what your audience needs and build an online course to fit their desires.

But that’s just my take on things!

Best Resources for Selling Digital Products…

  1. WooCommerce
  2. Teachable
  3. Shopify

#4 Membership Sites

In order to monetize your blog as a membership site, people will have to pay a monthly subscription to access ‘special’ content. This can be achieved through the use of the following plugins…

  1. MemberPress
  2. MemberMouse
  3. LearnDash
  4. RestrictContentPro
how to start a blog and make money, making money from a blog, how to start a money making blog, how to create a blog for beginners, blogging for beginners tips
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How to Start a Blog and Make Money: The Complete Blogging for Beginners Guide

How To Start A Blog and Make Money – Conclusion

Congratulations for completing this blogging for beginners guide to making money from a blog!

Bear in mind that it takes time to start a successful blog – but find comfort in the fact that EVERYBODY started where you are right now – new and confused!

But the most important thing is to never give up and invest a little bit of your time each and every day to learn more and more about how to start a money making blog and you will reaping in that income in no time!

Let’s stay in touch. Follow me on Pinterest @CuratedByMichelle

If you loved this guide and thought that this tutorial on How to Start a Money Making Blog for Beginners was helpful, please share it and spread the love. <3 You mean a lot to me!

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Read Curated By Michelle's complete guide to creating a money making blog for newbies. Follow these step by step instructions and nab yourself a creative and financially freeing online blogging business for nearly $0. 

I have been making money online from my various niche blogs, so I am sharing with you my no fluff, no filler roadmap to blogging success right here.

From the set up process to building traffic and simplifying the different monetization routes you can take, this guide has all the blogging for beginners tips you need to succeed as a blogger today!

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