How to Start a Profitable Blog

How to Start a Profitable Blog

Starting a blog to make money requires a bit more setup and planning than starting a blog as a hobby. This tutorial shows you how to set up your blog, design it with a theme, optimize your site, and write your first blog post.

Starting a blog isn’t an issue. You can host your website into the world in a matter of minutes – that everyone can do.  you’re not just here to start any blog. You’re here to make money with a blog and is the primary purpose. This will require a bit more setup and planning.

This is why we’ve included not just how to start your blog, but also how to design your blog using a theme, how to optimize your new blog with free plugins, and how to decide what blog posts to write first.

1. Find a profitable niche.

Your niche is just the overall market category of your blog. Some of the most profitable blog niches proven in the past include:

  • Personal finance
  • Health and fitness
  • Beauty and fashion
  • Business
  • Personal development

However there are a lot of niches out there that might catch the eyes of internet users today and can be profitable. 

Ideally, your niche should be a topic that:

  • You know well and/or
  • Are interested in AND
  • Something that other people care about
  • If you can capture all three, you’ve found a profitable niche.

Select a domain name.

Once you have your overall niche, the next step is to choose your blog name (AKA domain name/URL). Your domain name is an important part of your blog for three reasons:

A) It’s your first impression. When a user sees your content on social media or comes to your website, one of the first things they’ll notice is your URL. It should give them a general idea of what you can help them with.

B) It’s part of your brand. A good domain name can help you stand out from competitors in your niche and make your brand more memorable. It can also showcase your personality and let users know what to expect from your content.

It affects your SEO. It’s not necessary, but it can help to have a relevant keyword or two in your domain. For example, if you’re starting a fitness blog, then you might consider having “fitness” in your domain name. This helps search engines better understand what your site is about.
Here are some tips for choosing a good domain name:

Use .com if possible. It’s the most memorable and most common extension. If the .com version isn’t available, choose a different domain name.
Avoid punctuation (like hyphens) and numbers. Your domain should be easy to spell, pronounce, and remember.
Keep it short. A good rule of thumb is to aim for 18 characters or less. The shorter it is, the easier people will remember.

While your domain name is important, don’t let it hold you back from getting started. It’s easy to spend too much time in the planning phase and get overwhelmed. But nine times out of ten, quick action wins out over careful calculation. If you find yourself getting stuck here, just choose a domain name you can live with and move on.

Choose your hosting service and plan.

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Hosting Plan Cost/Month Services Visit

  • 1 Website
  • 10G Web Space
  • 10,000 web visits/Month
  • Unmetered Traffic
  • Free SSL

  • 1 website
  • Unmetered bandwidth
  • Free SSL
  • certificate
  • Free domain

  • 1 website
  • 100 GB storage
  • 10 databases
  • Unmetered bandwidth

2. Install WordPress

As far as blogging platforms go, WordPress is in rare company. In fact, WordPress sites now comprise more than 30% of the entire Internet. You could go with a smaller platform like Tumblr or Blogger…or you can go with the content management system (CMS) chosen by:

  • Spotify
  • TechCrunch
  • CBS
  • NBC

If those sites use WordPress, I think its safe to say you’re choosing the right blogging platform.

3. Design your blog.

WordPress themes allow you to design your blog without any coding or real technical knowledge. You can choose from one of WordPress’s free themes or upgrade to a paid theme.

For free themes, go to Appearance > Themes. Here you’ll find the standard themes that come with your account. If you see one you like, click Activate to apply it to your blog or Live Preview to see what it would look like on your site.

If you don’t see anything you like, click on Themes at the top of your screen to view more free theme options.

Free WordPress themes are a great option for new bloggers. However, they come with a few drawbacks:

  • Limited (or no) developer support
  • Lack features and functionality
  • No warranty (if something goes wrong or breaks, you’re on your own)

Paid WordPress themes often come with all of those features, plus the added benefit that you can customize your site and make it look exactly how you want it.

4. Optimize your blog.

Plugins add new functionality to your website, like the ability to create a contact form or back up your website with the click of a button. With the thousands of plugins available, it’s easy to get lost in the mix. But as a new blogger, you don’t need every plugin out there.

Start with these five free plugins and tools to help get your content seen, shared, and start building an audience.

1. Set up your email, use it to create a Google account, and set up Google Search Console.

Google Search Console isn’t a plugin. It’s a free tool from Google that allows you to see how your site is performing in search results, what other sites are linking to yours, and what keywords your content ranks for. This is important information to have to improve your search engine optimization (SEO) and get your content in front of more people.

2. Connect Google Analytics with the MonsterInsights plugin.

Search Console is all about your site’s SEO, while Google Analytics is about your audience. You’ll use this tool to track who’s coming to your site (demographics), how long they’re reading your content, which blog posts are the most popular (pageviews), and how many pages users visit when they come to your site.

This information can help you better understand your readers and improve your content.

3. Optimize your content with Yoast SEO.

Now that you can ready your SEO data with Search Console and Analytics, the next step is to optimize your content so it appears in search results. Yoast provides a checklist of items for each blog post, like making sure you have keywords in prominent places (titles and headings), include internal and external link, and write compelling meta description.

4. Make your content shareable with Grow by Mediavine.

The most important (and often most challenging) part of monetizing a blog is actually getting your content in font of people. That’s why you want to make it as easy as possible for readers to share your content with others. The Grow plugin adds sharing icons to your site so that users can share to Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and other social media platforms in just a couple of clicks.

5. Increase your site speed using ShortPixel.

Websites today load at lightning speed. We’ve become so conditioned to this quick delivery of information that if your site doesn’t keep up, users are more likely to leave. Image files can have a huge tax on your site’s load time. But with the free ShortPixel plugin, images are automatically compressed when uploaded, meaning smaller file size and a speedier website.

5. Write your first blog post.

Once your blog is set up, we can finally get to the exciting part (and the part that makes you money): writing and publishing content.

The difference between starting a blog as a hobby and starting one to make money is that you can’t just write about whatever you want or think or feel. You have to be intentional about the topics you choose, how you structure your articles, and optimizing your content for traffic and conversions. But before you even put fingers to keyboard, you need to figure out how you plan to make money.

Decide on a monetization strategy.

If your goal with starting a blog is to make money, then each article you publish should have a purpose. For example:

  • Selling your own products
  • Advertising for other companies (i.e. display ads)
  • Sending readers to affiliate products (i.e. companies you work with that pay you money for sending them new customers)
  • Capturing easy organic traffic to get their attention and send them to a monetized article.

If you don’t have a strategy behind an article, then what happens if it blows up or goes viral on Pinterest and you get a ton of traffic? You may gain some new email subscribers or readers, but your bank account won’t notice the difference.

One of the easiest ways to make money blogging as a beginner is through affiliate marketing, and the one we recommend starting with. As an affiliate marketer, you’re the middleman between companies and their potential customers. Your goal is to match a company’s products and services with people who could benefit from them.

You can find relevant products in services in your niche by signing up for affiliate networks. These networks offer programs from many different companies in the same place so you don’t have to sign up for them individually. (Oftentimes the program is only offered through a network, so you couldn’t sign up for it individually if you wanted to.)

If you already have some tools in your niche that you use and love, then you can Google “[product name] affiliate program” to find out if they work with affiliates.

If your goal is to eventually create your own products, affiliate marketing can help you determine what types of products and services sell the best among your audience.

Sign up for a few affiliate programs in your niche, ideally for products you use, like, and would recommend to others. Starting with monetization in mind, you can use your affiliate programs to determine what articles you write first.

Choose a topic idea.

Now that you’re signed up for some affiliate programs, the next step is to brainstorm a list of article topics.

Some of the best affiliate-focused types of articles are:

  • How to/instructional (that’s what the article you’re reading is)
  • Listicle (e.g. top 10 best ____)
  • Reviews, comparisons, and alternatives

Take a minute to brainstorm some article ideas based on the affiliates you’ve come up with.

Outline and write your first blog post.

It may not seem necessary at first, but outlining your article before writing is crucial. It’ll help you:

  • Write faster because you don’t have to stop to research every section.
  • Understand search intent for your keyword so you include all the information your reader wants and needs.
  • Organize your article in a way that makes sense rather than rambling and jumping around.

You can create your outline in a Google Doc or directly in your WordPress draft. I prefer to create mine in WordPress so once you’re finished researching and taking notes, all you have to do is fill it in with your content.

Polish and publish your article.

The last step before publishing your article is to fine-tune your content. I highly recommend creating a blog post checklist to use for each article. This will help keep your content consistent and make publishing easier and faster. A few items to consider for your checklist:

  • Ensure keywords are used throughout the article (headers and body). (This will help improve your blog SEO and get your content seen by more people.
  • Add affiliate links.
  • Insert a featured photo and high-quality images throughout.
  • Make and add social media graphics.
  • Schedule social media posts.

And that’s it! Once you’ve marked all the items off your checklist, you can publish your new article and start driving traffic to it.

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