How to Start a Blog and Make Money (Step-by-step Guide)

how to start a profitable blog

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For me, blogging is something that has totally changed my life. I discovered it on the cusp of an ending career where I was working 60 hour work weeks, struggling with work life balance and stressed out up to my neck. I rediscovered blogging through Pinterest.

I always thought bloggers were poor and I figured they were blogging to vent about their life and using their website like a diary.

Boy was I wrong!

The Pinterest pin I found was from a pro blogger who had made $69,000 that month from her blog!

Yes, I said that month.

Jaw drop.

I wanted a career change. I wanted to achieve freedom financially. There were a bunch of reasons I decided to go for it. I wanted to make money online.

I envisioned a life where I could work a regular full-time work week 40 hours or less, while getting to travel, write, and continue reaching for financial independence. Today, over 5 years later, I am so thrilled I made that decision.

You see, blogging helped me become a six figure entrepreneur.

It helped me discover passions I never knew I had, like a passion for writing. It’s a fun job that doesn’t feel like work. I’ve made a ton of friends and learned a lot and if you’re reading this then you might be considering blogging yourself.

My advice to you is go for it!

how to start a profitable blog

You are going to LOVE blogging. I’ve been doing it for about over 5 years now and it has totally changed my life. It’s an incredible way to share what you know and be an expert to others in a field of your choosing.

In this post, you will learn how to start a blog and make money.

What is a blog?

Before we get into the guide, let’s talk about what a blog is.

A blog is a type of website that features regularly updated content, typically in the form of written articles or posts.

The word “blog” is a shortened version of “weblog,” which was originally used to describe online journals or diaries. Today, blogs can cover a wide range of topics and serve many different purposes.

Blogs are typically organized chronologically, with the most recent post appearing at the top of the page. They often include a comments section where readers can leave feedback or engage in discussion about the content.

Some blogs also include social media buttons that allow readers to share the post on their own profiles or pages.

There are many different types of blogs, including personal blogs, business blogs, and niche blogs. Personal blogs are typically written by individuals who share their thoughts, experiences, and interests with their readers.

Business blogs are used by companies to share industry-specific information, news, and updates with their customers or clients. Niche blogs focus on a specific topic or theme, and are often written by experts or enthusiasts in that particular area.

Blogs can serve a variety of purposes, including providing a platform for self-expression, sharing information and ideas, promoting products or services, and building a community of like-minded individuals.

Many bloggers also use their platforms to earn money through advertising, sponsored content, or paid subscriptions.

If you’re interested in starting your own blog, there are many platforms and tools available that make it easy to set up and manage a blog. Popular options include WordPress, Blogger, and Squarespace.

With a little bit of planning and effort, you can create a blog that reflects your interests, values, and goals.

Why should you start a blog?

Your blog can be a place to…

  • Educate
  • Share
  • Vent
  • Share your passions
  • Be an online journal

There are a lot of good reasons to start a blog. You can make money, find connections with other people who share your interests, and become a better writer.

And yet… there’s one big question that keeps coming up: Why should I start blogging?

After all, it seems like such an intimidating thing to do! Whether you’re just starting out as a new blogger or have been at it for years, let me show you why it’s worth your time (and maybe even get you excited).

It’s cheap.

You don’t need to spend a lot of money to start a blog. In fact, you can have your own domain name and hosting for free! There are many blogging platforms you can use for free as well, such as WordPress and Blogger. Once you’ve chosen your platform, there are plenty of free themes (the design or look of your blog) and templates that won’t cost anything either.

You can make money.

Your blog can also be a moneymaking machine. You can make money in five ways:

  • Advertising (AdSense, Amazon Associates)
  • Affiliate marketing (Amazon, Wayfair)
  • Selling your own products (an ebook, a course)
  • Selling other people’s products on your site (in an affiliate program called “affiliate marketing”)
  • Offering services to readers (lending tools and resources)

You’ll have a great professional tool/resource.

You’ll have a great professional tool/resource.

You can use your blog to showcase your expertise, build your personal brand, and even create a portfolio of your work.

Whether you blog about design or food or fitness, having a site where people can find out more about you is always useful when it comes time for a job interview or internship application.

It’s fun.

You get to write about things you enjoy.

If you love writing, or if you’re just itching to try something new, then blogging is a great way to express yourself and share your interests with others.

Whether it’s books, movies, food—you can make your blog look like whatever type of outlet you want it to be! You’ll also have the chance to experiment with different types of writing styles: maybe try some creative nonfiction posts once in a while (I’m partial), or maybe dive into strictly humorous articles; either way is fine!

In short: blogging can be fun because it’s up to YOU.

You can connect with other people.

You can connect with other people.

There are so many reasons why you should start a blog, but the most obvious one is that it’s a great way to connect with others who love the same things as you.

Blogging gives you the opportunity to meet new friends—and sometimes even make money from your blog!

If you love makeup, for example, then there may be other people who share your passion for beauty products and cosmetics. If food is your thing, then there could be tens of thousands of passionate home cooks out there looking for some good recipes.

In fact, if there’s something that interests or excites you enough to get off your butt and do something about it—blogging could help achieve this goal!

You’ll learn a ton of new things.

You’ll learn a ton of new things. Blogging is a great way to learn about the tools you use, content marketing and search engine optimization (SEO), writing and editing techniques, design principles for your blog’s look and feel and much more. You may even find yourself becoming an expert in something that you didn’t even realize was interesting before.

Some people might think this sounds intimidating—it’s not like you’re going to start off being an expert at everything! But trust me: there are so many benefits from starting this hobby now that it doesn’t really matter if it takes months or years before getting good at any particular skill set.

Blogging is good for you, no matter who you are.

As a blogger, you’ll have the opportunity to be more open about your personal thoughts and ideas. It’s not just about writing; it’s about sharing what you love with others.

You don’t have to be a writer or an expert in anything! You can blog about whatever you want, as long as it interests you. A blog is an outlet for creativity and exploration; there are no rules or limits on what topics are appropriate for blogging.

You might also make some money from your blog if others find value in what you’re writing about. Blogging has become more than just something people do for fun—it’s become something they do to make money, too! You can monetize your content by selling ads or products on your site (and still remain true to yourself).

Starting a blog is SO MUCH EASIER than you might be thinking.

Using the tools and resources we share in this article (like WordPress and Siteground), you’ll be able to create your hub for creativity, helping you earn up to thousands of dollars (or more) every month doing something that you love!

Here’s our easy guide on how to start a profitable blog in just 20 minutes:

How to Start A Blog and Make Money

how to start a profitable blog

This process start to finish will take you about 30 minutes.

Just follow these steps:

  1. Pick a niche
  2. Build your Blog
  3. Tackle design and pick a theme
  4. Add Content

Step 1: Pick a Niche | How to Start A Blog and Make Money

The best way to choose what you will blog about is starting with your interests and passions.

Think about how you spend your day, what you do for a living, hobbies you do after work or on weekends, etc. And, don’t worry, you can always change your mind with this later so don’t stress out too much about picking the perfect niche.

Some examples include:

  • Baking
  • Food and nutrition
  • Fitness
  • Travel
  • Knitting
  • Homeschooling
  • Budgeting
  • Career
  • Wellness
  • Spirituality

You can even pick a very specific niche like raw vegan or parenting a special needs child, etc.

From here, it’s time to build your blog (the fun stuff)!

Step 2: Building Your Blog | How to Start A Blog and Make Money

Start by thinking of a name for your blog.

You can make this simple, a play on words, your name, really anything you’d like.

You can try this free tool

how to start a blog

Once you decide on your blog name, move onto the next step, your blogging platform, WordPress.

You may see that there are a ton of platforms available for blogging but WordPress is the ABSOLUTE BEST!

It’s great for all blogging levels, user-friendly, easy to navigate and our top recommendation. Plus, it’s free! Can’t go wrong with free.

Head to Siteground (Siteground partners with WordPress) and pick your hosting plan.

start a blog in just 20 minutes

We recommend the Grow Big plan. And, you can change plans in the future, no problem so don’t feel stuck in your choice you make today.

Why Siteground?

They are incredible. I’ve had dozens of blogs and many different hosts and Siteground is by far the best. I like them better than Godaddy, Hostgator, Bluehost and others. I’ve tried all these guys too.

Siteground shocked me with their stellar support. They are super knowledgeable, friendly and have uber-fast response times. I like that I can chat with support conveniently from my computer or cell phone and get all my questions answered.

They have a streamlined dashboard that lets me manage my hosting plan, email accounts, and even my affiliate account!

Plus, all this and more…

YOU will LOVE SITEGROUND! Click this link to learn more about them and sign up.

Go through the steps for setup, apply WordPress and you got yourself a blog!

If you don’t like Siteground, the second best host I can recommend is Bluehost.

I’ve used Bluehost many times and they’re great too but I like Siteground a little better.

Step 3: Design and Theme |How to Start A Blog and Make Money 

In this step you get to apply a pretty theme to your blog.

You can go with one of WordPress’s many themes or you can pick a premium theme from a provider like Studiopress.

Studiopress is known for Genesis Framework which is THE framework for helping you get your blog tons of traffic and helping you make money faster than other themes.

They have integrated, built-in tools with the theme that help you with virtually every aspect of SEO on your blog.SEO is search engine optimization and it’s the stuff that helps your website get found on Google and other search engines.

Studiopress themes have built-in SEO tools to help you with that so it’s hands off for you, as the blog owner.

Pick a StudioPress theme if you go the Premium route, then apply it in WordPress.

Head to Appearance>Themes>Add New

Step 4: Add Content

In this step it’s about adding content.

This is where you can let your personality shine and start writing blog posts about whatever your heart fancys. 

Don’t forget to add your Navigation menu and other critical pages for your blog like About and Contact.

The About page tells the reader all about you. Get detailed here and talk about yoruself. Share why you started blogging, what your goal is for the blog and anything else you’d like your audience to know about you.

The Contact Page is a way for readers to reach out to you if they need to ask questions, etc. You can use the Contact 7 Plugin for this page, which is an easy contact form, or feel free to use the contact page/plugin that comes with your theme.

How to write your first blog post?

Writing your first blog post can be intimidating, but it’s also a thrilling opportunity to share your thoughts, ideas, and experiences with the world.

Whether you’re starting a blog for personal or professional purposes, the process of crafting your first post is an important step in establishing your online presence. Here are some tips for writing your first blog post:

  1. Choose a topic: Before you start writing, it’s important to decide what you want to write about. Consider your passions, interests, and expertise, and think about what you want your blog to be about. If you’re having trouble coming up with ideas, try brainstorming or making a list of potential topics.
  2. Determine your audience: Consider who you want to read your blog and tailor your content accordingly. Are you writing for a specific group of people, or do you want to reach a wider audience? Knowing your target audience will help you choose the right tone, style, and language for your blog.
  3. Plan your content: Once you have a topic in mind, it’s helpful to create an outline or plan for your post. This can help you organize your thoughts and ensure that your post flows logically. You can also use your outline to decide how long your post should be and what subtopics you want to cover.
  4. Write your post: Now it’s time to start writing! Begin by introducing your topic and explaining why it’s important or interesting. Use headings and subheadings to break up your content and make it easier to read, and include examples, anecdotes, or quotes to illustrate your points.
  5. Edit and proofread: After you’ve written your post, it’s important to go back and edit for grammar, spelling, and clarity. Read your post out loud to catch any errors, and consider having someone else read it over as well. Don’t forget to proofread for typos and other mistakes before you hit “publish.”

Writing your first blog post is an exciting milestone, and it’s a great opportunity to establish your voice and share your ideas with the world. With a little bit of planning and effort, you can create a post that reflects your unique perspective and engages your readers.

Recommended reading:

How do blogs make money?

  • Ads
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Brand deals
  • Selling products and services

How do bloggers make money with ads?

Bloggers can make money by running ads on their blog. When a reader clicks on one of the ads, the blogger gets paid a small amount of money.

This is called pay-per-click advertising.

Bloggers can also make money through affiliate marketing, which involves promoting other people’s products and earning a commission on any sales made through their blog.

Some bloggers also make money by selling their own products or services.

Examples of ad networks:

How do bloggers make money with affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts.

In simple terms, affiliate marketing is a way for businesses to earn money by partnering with other companies. The business (also known as the “merchant”) will pay the affiliate (also known as the “publisher”) a commission for each customer or visitor that the affiliate sends to the merchant’s website.

The affiliate uses various marketing techniques, such as social media posts, blog articles, email newsletters, and search engine optimization, to promote the merchant’s products or services. When a customer clicks on one of the affiliate’s links and makes a purchase, the affiliate earns a commission.

Examples of affiliate networks:

Benefits of affiliate marketing

One of the biggest advantages of affiliate marketing is that it allows businesses to only pay for results. Since the affiliate only earns a commission when a customer makes a purchase, the merchant doesn’t have to pay for marketing efforts that don’t result in sales.

This makes affiliate marketing a cost-effective way for businesses to reach new customers and increase their sales.

Another advantage of affiliate marketing is that it allows businesses to reach a wider audience.

By partnering with multiple affiliates, a business can gain access to a large network of potential customers.

This can be especially useful for small businesses that may not have the resources to reach a wide audience on their own.

If you’re a business owner looking to expand your reach and increase your sales, consider partnering with affiliates through an affiliate marketing program.

By offering commissions to affiliates for promoting your products or services, you can tap into a vast network of potential customers and only pay for results.

Drawbacks of affiliate marketing

While affiliate marketing can be a highly effective way for businesses to earn money and reach new customers, it also has some drawbacks that should be considered.

One of the main drawbacks of affiliate marketing is that it can be difficult to manage.

Since affiliates are essentially independent contractors, it can be challenging for businesses to keep track of their activities and ensure that they are promoting the merchant’s products in an appropriate and effective manner. This can require a significant amount of time and effort on the part of the business, which can be a burden for small businesses with limited resources.

Another potential drawback of affiliate marketing is that it can lead to a lack of trust between the business and its customers.

Since affiliates are not employees of the business, customers may not trust the recommendations of affiliates as much as they would trust the recommendations of the business itself. This can result in lower sales and a negative impact on the business’s reputation.

Additionally, affiliate marketing can be risky for businesses.

Since affiliates are paid based on the number of customers they refer, some affiliates may use unethical or spammy tactics to drive traffic to the merchant’s website. This can result in a flood of low-quality leads, which can be costly for the business and can damage its reputation.

Overall, while affiliate marketing can be a highly effective way for businesses to earn money and reach new customers, it is not without its drawbacks.

Businesses should carefully consider the potential drawbacks before implementing an affiliate marketing program.

How do bloggers make money with brand deals?

A blog brand deal is a collaboration between a blogger and a brand to promote the brand’s products or services on the blogger’s platform. This type of partnership is a win-win situation for both parties. The brand gets exposure to the blogger’s audience, and the blogger gets paid for promoting the brand.

Blog brand deals can take many forms, from sponsored posts and product reviews, to sponsored giveaways and affiliate marketing.

In a sponsored post, the blogger writes about the brand’s products or services and includes a link to the brand’s website.

In a product review, the blogger tries out the brand’s products and writes about their experience using them. In a sponsored giveaway, the blogger offers the brand’s products as a prize to their audience.

And in affiliate marketing, the blogger includes a special link in their posts that tracks sales and gives the blogger a commission for every sale made through that link.

Blog brand deals are a great way for bloggers to monetize their content and for brands to reach new audiences.

However, it’s important for both parties to be transparent about the collaboration. This means disclosing that the post is sponsored and clearly stating any biases the blogger may have towards the brand.

Blog brand deals are a popular way for bloggers and brands to work together and benefit from each other’s audiences. These collaborations can take many forms and can be a great way for both parties to achieve their goals. However, it’s important for everyone involved to be transparent and disclose any biases to maintain trust with their audience.

Are brand deals lucrative?

Whether or not brand deals are lucrative for content creators depends on various factors, such as the size of their audience, the type of content they produce, and the demand for their content from brands.

For some content creators, brand deals can be a significant source of income and can help them monetize their content.

For others, brand deals may not be as lucrative, especially if they have a smaller audience or produce niche content that may not be in high demand from brands.

Even microinfluencers can make money!

Examples of sponsored post networks:

How do bloggers make money selling products and services?

Bloggers can make money by selling their own products or services on their blog. For example, a blogger who writes about fashion might sell their own line of clothing or accessories.

A blogger who writes about cooking might sell their own cookbook.

Bloggers can also make money by offering consulting or coaching services, or by teaching online courses.

There are many different ways that bloggers can monetize their blog, and the best approach will depend on the blogger’s unique skills and interests.

How to Start A Blog and Make Money | Final Thoughts

You just created your blog! This concludes our tutorial on how to start a blog and make money.

How do you feel?

Make sure to bookmark Millennial Nextdoor as we will be sharing more helpful info to help you with blogging and navigating your blogging journey.


Head to our Contact page and drop us a line! Or comment below and we’ll get back to you ASAP! Happy blogging!

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Jenn Leach, MBA

Jenn Leach is a Houston-based MBA with over a decade of experience in the banking industry. She writes at Millennial Nextdoor where she writes finance, money, business, and lifestyle content to help millennials create additional income streams online. Join her on Substack at

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