"Our 9 step tutorial will teach you how to create a blog in 20 minutes or less! Learn about the best blogging platforms, getting a $.99 cent .com domain name, choosing a stunning blog theme, and most important things to get started profitably!
I started my first blog almost 9 years ago and the journey has been life-changing for me in dozens of ways. I've made tens of thousands of dollars, lived in many tropical countries (currently Thailand), met hundreds of amazing entrepreneurs and much more.
When I first got started it was simply for fun and some side income. I never expected it to turn into such a high-paying career. But, I'm not special - I'm just like you, an average guy.
However, years ago I developed a system of how to do keyword research and know how competitive it was to rank in Google. After analyzing the competition and know if it would rankor no built built dozens of different affiliate blogs with the exact process I am sharing below.
Update: We have now changed our website over to Thrive Themes for their superior website builder with drag and drop features.
Why would you want to blog?
When I talk about blogging, I do not mean filling out your personal journal for other to see. As mentioned above I am talking about writing high quality blog articles on subjects people care about and solving their problems.
This kind of blogging is what makes you money, and continually builds value in asset that you will be able to sell one day. Top bloggers are making hundreds of thousands of dollars per year and some of these guys started only a few years back. Imagine making money without ever speaking to a customer or dealing with sales....
As some motivation I wanted to show you The Google Analytics from one of my niche specific gaming websites that has millions of page views a month for advertising cheat codes. 100% of my revenue comes from Google Adsense. Where in 1 month 306,194 users visited one of my niche sites and viewed and average of 6.18 pages / session.
But let's set some realistic expectations...
You're not going to become a millionaire overnight, but this is what you NEED to do if your goal is financial freedom and location independence in a job that you enjoy. There's no programming knowledge needed, barely any money to invest, but you will need to commit to spending 2 hours per day while building this.
I'll show you exactly how to get started, how to publish your first post, how to design the blog, how to monetize it, how to get visitors, and everything else you'll need to know in this detailed gude below.
Before you actually learn to do this, you need to figure out what you’re going to be writing about. One of the key “secrets” to blogging success is choosing a niche (basically a topic) that you have an interest in and most importantly, have the ability to compete in.
Some examples of good niches include scuba diving, dirt bike racing, money savings tips, DIY crafts, or camping. Choose a niche too small and you’ll run out of blog post ideas, make a lot less money and be limited to just that industry. Choose a niche that’s too broad and you’ll probably have a hard time competing and getting any visitors to your blog.
When you choose a niche, go for one that:
You are super interested in
Has an upwards trend
Has multiple revenue opportunities
You already are passionate about
Has relatively low competition
You will be surprised how very few bloggers and businesses are actually doing this research before writing a post. You do not want to waste time writing blogs or writing product descriptions for something that you have no chance of ranking for.
In the example below I was selling beach umbrellas and learned that nearly 20 X more people were searching "Beach Chair With Umbrella" over a similar "Beach Chair With Umbrella" andhadless competition.
And once you narrow down your choices for the keyword or phrase you want to write about you dive deeper into a Competition Analysis of the Top 10 Organic Search Results. I clicked on the "Beach Chair With Umbrella" and it tells you what their domain authority, number of backlinks, age, content and most important keyword competitiveness. Since the top 5 positions are Amazon, Target, Walmart it is a term that I would have little chance of ranking for.
Now do you see why it is so important to do fully understand the keyword competitiveness and search volume to maximize results? We have a full blog your can read with step by step instructions on keyword competitiveness here.
Update: The only cost effective SEO tool that we recommend for accurately determining Keyword Competitiveness is Longtailpro.com.
Step 2) Best Website Building Software For Blogs
A content management system (CMS) is the software your website runs on. That’s where you’re going to log into to actually write your posts, change the design, manage the comments and so on.
Of course, you can use a programming language and code a website from zero, but we’re trying to show you the easy way. There’re hundreds of pre-made content management systems out there that make your life easier.
There are two super common ways of starting a weblog, one of them is good, the other is bad.
Using a free online blogging platform
There are a bunch of websites you can register on, such as 000webhost.com, Webs.com, Weebly.com, Blogger.com. You simply sign up on their website and you have yourself a blog, this takes like 30 seconds. This is the bad way I was talking about.
Here’s why you shouldn’t use an online blogging platform like Blogspot:
They can delete your blog at any time
You can not use your own domain name
Virtually zero flexibility with the blog
It is more expensive in the long run
You are not allowed to monetize it but they will
You do not own the software just renting it
So what’s the solution?
Go with the self-hosted version of WordPress. This is the www.wordpress.org (Not .com). This means that you’ll have have the files of your website on a server (from as little as $2.95 / month) but it’ll also mean that you own everything and control everything, which is an amazing position to be in.
You’ll be able to design the site how ever you want, change any code, install amazing plugins that make your website better and so much more. This is why I changed from the Genesis to Thrive Themes as everything I literally just drag. and drop.
Here are some stats about WordPress to get you even more excited:
There are over 74,652,825 websites powered by WordPress
48 out of the 100 top blogs in the world are powered by WordPress
WordPress is available in 60+ languages
22 of of 100 domain names registered in the US will be WordPress websites (120,000+ new domains are registered on a daily basis)
43,139+ WordPress plugins available
Impressive, isn’t it? This is why we recommend Thrive Architect for WordPress. A few other reasons include:
A. WordPress is super flexible
Although it started out as a simple blogging platform, it now powers not only the top blogs but millions of business websites out there as well. The New Yorker, BBC America, Best Buy, Fortune, Forbes and even Samsung use WordPress. No matter what kind of website or blog you’re looking to create - WordPress can do it with ease.
B. Ease of Use
Out of the thousands of people who start using WordPress every single day, the majority of them do not have a technology or computer-related background. WordPress has been created with average person in mind. Everything ranging from setup to design and writing your first post is super simple, your 95-year old grandma and 5-year old cousin would both be able to do it, especially with the help of this guide.
C. It’s FREE!
WordPress is open-source, which means all of it’s code is publicly available for anyone to use. You don’t have to pay a single penny to use the platform itself, the only investment you will have is a web server to hold the files so that your website is online and accessible by others 24/7.
D. Search engine friendly
Let’s face it, having a blog sucks if no one is reading it. WordPress websites are super search engine friendly which means traffic generation will be much easier for you. There are thousands of examples where people with zero marketing background simply share their thoughts and then build up a following through Google’s organic results. WordPress makes this much more likely to happen.
I’ve been using WordPress for over six years on 30+ different websites and I’ve never been able to break it. There’s not much you can break when it comes to WordPress and that’s a super good thing. The last thing you want is to deal with technical issues you have no idea about. It can be a major time-suck with other content management systems.
Step 3) Choosing a catchy domain name
Learning to set up and design your blog is one thing, but it also needs a name. Your domain name is how your audience will be coming to your website, what they type in their browsers. As you know, our domain name is MonetizePros.com. Every single website has one and we need to figure out what yours is going to be.
Here are the 8 rules I follow for choosing the perfect domain name:
It has to be clear and understood in a second
It has to be brandable (think Google.com VS SearchForWhatYouWant.com)
Keep it short (2-3 words maximum)
Keep the name flexible, don't limit yourself
Choose the .com domains if they are available!
Use a keyword in the name if possible
Don't overthink it, choose something!
What to do if the .com is taken?
It is really important that the domain you choose you stick with for the long haul so make sure you are happy with it. As your websites ages it will increase in domain authority and back-links, that is not transferable to a new domain. Essentially you are starting again from zero.
With the new 300+ domain extensions being added, Google has stated that they do not show preference to .com in the search engine ranking but does play beneficial for local search extensions such as the .au (Australia) or .ca (Canada) or .us (United Stated). Go for the .com if available but having a ( .law .me .website .org) or another extension is not as important as most would think anymore.
Coupon Update: The Godaddy $.99 .com Domain is back but do not advertise it on their website, click here for the special link and let's build your future brand!
Step 4) Choosing a web hosting company
As you already know, when you’re looking to start your blog, you have to go with a self-hosted WordPress solution, it’s a no-brainer. That means you’ll need to have a web hosting company who will keep your website up 24/7. Here are the key criteria to look out for when choosing a hosting provider.
Site-speed is critical and one of the main factors of that is the web hosting company you decide to go with. No one wants to wait for a website to load in digital age, if it takes more than two seconds, it’s easier to hit the back button and go to another website.
That means you lose a potential customer or reader. Not only that, site-speed is super important for Google rankings - it’s one of the many ranking factors. Google will not display websites on the top of their search results that take ages to load, period.
Your blog/website is no good if it’s down when a user is trying to visit. Unfortunately, a lot of hosting companies have server overloads and other technical difficulties that cause websites to go down on a regular basis.
As a website owner, it’s a horrible feeling for two reasons: you cannot do anything about it and you’re losing money. Choosing a reliable host will help with this problem and we’ve got an amazing recommendations for you. How does a 99.9% uptime guarantee sound? Stay tuned.
Price is always an important thing, no matter what we’re talking about. Hosting comes in a myriad of different price ranges, it can be anywhere from 3 dollars a month to 3,000 dollars a month. The thing web hosting companies don’t want you to know is that you don’t NEED to spend a lot of money. I’m confident in saying that 80% of you will only need to spend 3-5 dollars a month on hosting and I’m going to show you which one to get. Hint: It’s going to be an investment of 31 cents a day, that’s it!
Web servers and websites can get super complicated when you run into some kind of problem. I’m not a tech-person and I don’t expect you to be one either, that’s why having access to 24/7 support is one of my main criteria when choosing a hosting company. The company we’ll be introducing you to, has 24/7 live chat support that will help you out INSTANTLY!
Our Web Hosting Recommendation
The hosting company we recommend for bloggers starting out is Bluehost. They started way back in 2003 and by today they employ over 700 people.
At the same time, they have 24/7 live chat support that will solve any problems you might have, instantly. They’re specialized in hosting WordPress sites, which is exactly what we’re going for with this tutorial. The smallest package they have will be an investment of less than 13 cents per day and will power one website, up to THOUSANDS of monthly visitors.
Setting up your web hosting is the first step in learning how to create a blog. It's super easy and requires almost no effort on your part. Here’s how to do it.
Start off by clicking our coupon in the box below. This ensures that you get the absolute best price and all of the bonuses Bluehost has given our readers - such as the 70% discount off any website hosting package.On the page set up specifically for MonetizePros readers, you'll find reference to this 70% discount being offered to you.
We recommend choosing the "Prime" package as it'll let you have unlimited number of websites, unlimited website space, a FREE spam expert service, FREE domain privacy, Sitebackup pro and much more at the CHEAP price of only $5.95 a month.
It's relatively cheap and you're going to make your money back in no time, but if you're on a seriously tight budget, the "basic" plan would work, too. It is something that is not too difficult to change in future, if your needs change or looking for another provider.
Step 6) Installing WordPress & Choosing A Theme
If you've listened to our recommendation and bought your web hosting at Bluehost, setting up WordPress will be super simple and take only two minutes. Just log in to the Bluehost user area with the credentials you signed up with. Don't forget to Choose WordPress option on the initial setup.
The default WordPress theme is not very impressive, that’s why we’re going to show you how to change it. There are thousands of free options available and plenty of premium versions out there as well. At MonetizePros we use Thrive Themes and after quickly installing it gives us a admin panel with all options to easily manage your site.
With a traditional website, you need to hire a designer to create the design for your website and slice it into pieces. Then you have to hire a separate person, a developer, to put that design into code and make it functional. With WordPress, all of these extra expenses are eliminated. WordPress has themes.
A WordPress theme is basically a pre-made design for your website that takes only one click to install and one click to activate - you can change this as many times as you wish, as often as you wish. This way you can have a website in any kind of style, with any kind of purpose in a super short amount of time, with no technical knowledge needed.
Although free themes are often great, it's hard to find one with extensive functionality that fits your idea of a perfect blog. On MonetizePros.com, we use the Thrive Themes. Here's why we love it:
Great user experience for our readers
Perfectly SEO optimized
Well coded which means no problems
Super easy to customize and build upon
It's responsive (works on mobile devices)
Really good customer service & forum
Now do you see why we spent the time to change over from the Genesis to Thrive Theme?
Update: We have now changed our website over to Thrive Themes for their superior website builder with drag and drop features.
If you're not ready yet to invest money in a premium WordPress theme, I'd recommend having a look at the Prolog WordPress theme. It looks like a traditional blog, has a lot of functionality and is mobile responsive. Other themes are available on Themeforrest but do not include plugins or support.
Click here to read how to install a WordPress theme
Step 7) Choosing your WordPress plugins
WordPress plugins are essentially small apps that you can install on your website to give it more functionality. This could be a plugin that shows popups, collects emails, creates a contact form, redirects links - anything.
Here are 7 WordPress plugins that we think are must-have:
SumoMe - 12+ Free tools to grow your website automatically & make more money
Yoast SEO - The easiest way to optimize your website for search engines
Contact Form 7 - The easiest way to let your readers get in touch with you
One plugin I can not operate without is Thrive Leads. When you see all of my action based email popups they are designed within minutes using their conversion tested designs. Control which pages you want it to appear on, when to load or which point of the page, and required fields.
And where would you like you Thrive Leads to load from? There are multiple spots that can be displayed on each blog post to drastically improve your conversions. Setup an AB Split Test and see which type of form converts the most. I bet you will be shocked with which one wins!
Step 8) Publishing your first blog post on WordPress
Why did you want to know how to create a blog? So you could write a blog post, of course! With WordPress, this is super simple. Log in to your admin dashboard at yourdomain.com/wp-login.php/ and choose "Posts" and "Add new" from the left-hand sidebar.
Now it's as simple as entering your content and pressing publish!
You now know how to create a blog - congratulations! Want to start another one? Simply go through the process again!
Step 9) Broadcasting Your Blog To The World
Done is better then perfect. I see too many entrepreneurs spending time too much time on the details when launching quickly is key. There is no such thing as the perfect but you first have to launch, before you can improve.
You are not going to be able to count of Google sending you countless traffic from the start, so you are going to have to do whatever you can to get those initial visitors. This normally means setting up all your social media accounts, registering for different forums, joining Facebook groups, and creating as many videos as you can. Start doing whatever you can to increase your domain authority and get as much content indexed in Google as possible.
Even if money is not your main motivator, only good things come from blogging. You will build credibility, establish your expertise, become a better writer, and will have fun learning a new skills. Thanks for sticking around to the end #virtualhighfives.
Having issues? I'm here to help! Please feel free to comment below and we will answer any question no matter how specific or crazy it may seem.