How To Start a Profitable Blog This Year

In this post, I want to share how to start a blog and make money so that you can start earning an income from your blog right from the beginning. This is a very detailed step-by-step blog post with close to five thousand words, so you should bookmark this page so that you can come back it for future reference.

I know you’ve probably read a lot of “How to Start a Blog and Make Money” articles, but I want to encourage you to take your time to read this post word for word. If possible, print it out, highlight sentences, take notes and really study this article.

The reason is that I will be sharing all that I’ve learned in the past few years that I’ve been blogging. This means that every thing I share in this post are tried and tested from my personal experience, so no theory here, but straight facts on what works.

*This blog post contains a few affiliate links, which means that I made a small commission from every purchase you make from my blog, at no additional cost to you.

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Quick Story

I started blogging in 2011, while I was teaching English in Beijing China. Before that point, I didn’t really know much about blogging, aside from the fact that it’s an online journal for people to write their feelings and stuff.

So when a colleague told me to start a blog, on my last day at work, while preparing to graduate from university and go off to teach English in China, I said sure!

So after living in China for a year and reading other travel blogs, I decided it was time for me to start my own blog. Except that I will blog about my experiences as a Black woman with natural hair living in China!

After two years, I came back to Canada and I had nothing to write about anymore for my travel blog. So I decided to start a natural hair blog in December 2012.

At this point, I was watching so many hair videos and reading so many hair blogs, that I thought I might as well start my own, since I had so much to say in the comment section of those blogs.

It’s been over eight years now since I started blogging, and I have to say that I’ve come a long way! I’ve learned a lot of things when it comes to the online world and making money online!

Some of the skills that I’ve learned along the way includes blog writing, email marketing, graphic design, social media marketing, pay per click ads, affiliate marketing, creating courses, video editing, creating landing pages and sales pages, e-commerce businesses and pretty much everything else in between!

I’ve also met many friends online and was even invited to join a private mastermind group with other women who are building their online businesses.

I am so glad that I started blogging because it has opened me up to a whole new world I wouldn’t have known about.

Now that you know about my story, let me now get into the step-by-step guide on how to start a blog today.

But before I do that though, I want to clarify these details.

Pinterest for bloggers

Why You Should Start a Blog

From what I’ve shared in my story, you can see that blogging can open you up to so many opportunities and allow you to meet people you wouldn’t have the opportunity to meet in person. This is very crucial if you live in a foreign country or in a distant land. For example, I’m based in Canada and I’ve met amazing women from all over the place through blogging!

Blogging also allows you to learn new skills you wouldn’t have the opportunity to learn at your day job. These skills can be turned into a profitable side gig which can then become a full time business, that replaces your daytime job.

Why I Believe It’s Not Too Late To Start a Blog and Make Money From It

If you have a full -time job and are looking for something else to do with your time that doesn’t involve getting a part time job, I suggest starting a blog. I know there’s a big controversy out there that says that blogs are dead and you should be doing videos instead.

I’m here to throw that crazy advice out the window by proofing why blogs will always be relevant, even well into a century from now!  Let me share these popular examples of things that are still in existence, despite rapid changes in technology.

1. People are still buying newspapers and magazines, even though they can read the news for free online or watch a YouTube video about their interested topic.

2. The post office is still open, even though you can send emails.

3. Book stores are still selling books, even though you can read books on kindle or listen to them on audible.


4. Text blogs are still receiving daily traffic, despite the availability of YouTube videos.

5. People learn in different ways, so some of your readers might prefer to read about a topic, rather than watching a video about it.

6. Blogs are great for someone with a photographic memory.

7. You can print out a blog post to read and highlight. This is great for someone with a tactile learning style. You obviously can’t do that with videos.

8. Depending on where your readers live, they might not have a strong internet connection to watch a YouTube video, but a blog post loads up much faster.

9. YouTube is blocked in many countries and companies, but blogs are usually open and accessible over many networks.

10. It’s much faster and cheaper to start a blog, than a YouTube Channel.

RELATED POST: How To Create a Profitable Blog Business Plan You Can Actually Follow

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Let’s now get into this how to start a money-making blog.

How to Start a Money Making Blog 

1. Choose a Niche

The first thing you need to do is to decide on a niche you will be blogging about. An example of a niche could be Fashion. You can also do some research on Amazon categories to see what categories/niches are performing well on Amazon.

Another thing you could do is to choose a niche based on your interest or a passion you’ve always had. However, since you’re starting a profitable blog, you want to make sure that your interest or passion is a profitable one. This is why I suggested going to Amazon to check out what product categories you’d be interested in writing about.

You can also check out the kindle section for various topic ideas.

The reason for this is that if there’s a product category that gets a lot of sales, you won’t have a problem getting people to read your blog and making money from your blog.

RELATED POST: How To Define Your Profitable Target Audience

2. Choose a Profitable Topic

After deciding on a niche, the next thing you have to do now is to choose a topic that you can actually make money from. This is where a lot of bloggers go wrong. They choose a random topic and then hope they can make money with it. They spend months or even years creating content and then wonder why they’re not making any money with their chosen topic.

To determine what topic to blog about, check out Amazon best seller list to see what products are selling well, e.g. Home & Garden Tools. You can also go through the books or kindle category to see the different topic ideas that may inspire you.

You’re probably wondering, “shouldn’t I blog about what I’m passionate about?”

My question is, “Do you want to be passionate or profitable?”

Besides, once you start making money in your chosen topic, you will quickly become passionate about your topic.

Also, there are so many categories on Amazon that I’m sure you won’t have a problem finding at least three topic ideas that you’re already passionate about and you can easily make money out of.

3. Decide on Your Monetization Strategies

I purposely put this topic towards the beginning because you aren’t only creating a popular blog, you’re also creating a profitable blog. So it’s crucial that you start with the end in mind. This way, every decision you make regarding your blog will be determined based on your monetization strategy or blog business plan.

Also, think about it this way, if you have a business idea in mind, the first thing on your business plan will probably be about how you’re going to make a profit from the business. Once you’ve figured this detail out, you can then move on to the next steps in the business plan.

Starting a profitable blog isn’t any different.

Now, there are many ways to make money with a blog. Popular methods include placing google adsense on your blog, writing sponsored posts, promoting affiliate products, selling digital products or physical products, or offering services to your readers who will become your clients.

Many beginner bloggers often start with ads and affiliates because they are easier to start with and you don’t need a special skill to start placing ads on your blog or earning a commission on product purchases made from a product you recommended on your site.

Eventually once you’ve increased your readership, you can add other revenue streams such as offering services and/or selling physical or digital products on your site.

You can also add all these revenue streams at the beginning because you can still make a sale or gain a client from a small blog. Especially if you have a very targeted blog or an established customer base outside of your blog. .

4. Decide on Your Domain Name and Buy Your Domain

Now that you’ve chosen your blog topic and decided on how you intend to make money with it. You’re now ready to claim your domain. I recommend choosing a domain name that relates to your blog topic, so that it’s easier for your audience to remember your blog name. It also helps with search engine optimization.

You can purchase your domain name from your hosting company, because it’s easier to set everything up under one roof.

bluehost domain

If you’re going to be hosting your website with Siteground, you can buy your domain name from them as well.

siteground reviews

Web Hosting

5. Choose Your Hosting Company

A hosting company is sort of like an utilities company that supplies your blog with power, electricity, water, gas etc. They ensure that your business stays up and running. For hosting, I recommend either Bluehost or SiteGround as these are the two hosting companies that I have an experience with.

Majority of “how to start a blog” blog post will recommend Bluehost since they’re so popular. And that was the hosting company I was with for close to five years before I made a switch to Siteground.

Both hosting companies are great for beginner bloggers. So instead of offering you just one type of hosting, I thought it’s best to provide you with an option. But if you must choose one to start with, I recommend SiteGround.

Web Hosting
Bluehost have hosting packages that starts from $3.95/month for the first twelve months, while site ground currently have a $3.95/month promo price going on as of the time that I’m writing this email. I’m on the Grow Big package as I have multiple websites and i’ll recommend that tier level if you plan to have more than one blog.

If you need my opinion on the hosting company to go with, I recommend Siteground, as they’re my current hosting company and they’re highly rated amongst advanced bloggers.

If you’re looking for another highly recommended hosting company, I recommend checking out WP Engine. It’s another hosting company that’s used by popular bloggers and companies.

To host your blog with Bluehost, please GO HERE.

For SiteGround, please GO HERE.

For WP Engine, please GO HERE

6. Choose Your Blogging Platform

There are many blogging platforms to choose from. The most popular one is WordPress and that’s the blogging platform that I use for all my blogs. It might seem daunting to a newbie, but you’ll eventually get the hang of it. You should also check out YouTube tutorials for beginner WordPress tips and easy tutorials.

There are two WordPress platforms. WordPress.com and WordPress.org. However, if you want to start a profitable blog, you’ll need to use WordPress.org which requires hosting and a little bit of investment. The other free option is mostly for beginner bloggers who are hobby bloggers with no monetary goals for their blog.

7. Choose a Beautiful Theme

how to start a blog

A theme is like an interior decor for your blog. A beautiful theme can set your blog apart from other blogs in your niche. It can also make your new blog look more professional and established.

Instead of spending an unnecessary amounts of money hiring a developer to build a custom website for you, you can save yourself all the stress and expense by buying a ready-made theme from places like StudioPress or Elegant themes.


You can choose a theme that fits your blog topic, audience and that goes with your blog brand. All you have to do after buying your theme is to customize it to your brand. That includes changing the colors, fonts styles and other aspects of the theme. You can also start using the theme as is and customize it as you go along.

Sometimes it can be hard to customize a theme to look like the demo theme when you don’t have a lot of content on your blog yet. So don’t worry too much about about the tiny details at the beginning. You need to get enough content out there first.

To get an elegant theme for your blog, please go HERE.

To get a studio press theme for your blog, please go HERE.

8. Create an Email Address With Your Domain Name

After you’ve set up your blog and done everything above, the next thing you want to do is to create a blog email. Your email address will be used to connect with brands, businesses, clients, customers and readers. You can also use the email address to send emails to your email subscribers once you’ve set it up.

A blog email address looks more professional than using a gmail account. You own a profitable blog after all, so it only makes sense to have a professional email address.

I always use myname@blogdomain.com email address format. For example, if your website name is www.fashionista.com and your name is Fanny. Your email address can be fanny@fashionista.com.

I like to use my name because it adds to the personal branding of my blogs. This is better than admin@fashonista.com or info@fashionista.com. Using your name helps to create a know, like and trust factor with your audience, which is what you want from the start. You can use a general email when you eventually hire someone to help you with your blog.

It’s easy to set up your email address in the cPanel of your hosting account or you can check out YouTube tutorials on how to set this up with your hosting company.

Where to set up your email address on Siteground.

9. Set Up G-Suite, So Your Emails Go Straight To a Gmail Inbox

how to start a blog gsuite promo code

After creating your memorable email address, you’ll need a convenient way to access your mailbox. It can be very inconvenient logging into your cPanel all the time just to read your emails and send emails.

So for convenience and professionalism sake, I got myself a G suite account.

G Suite gives businesses the tools to get more done with professional email, online storage, shared calendars, video meetings and more. You get all the features that comes with a Gmail account, and on top of it, you get 30GB of google drive space for the basic plan or unlimited space for the business plan.

The additional storage was a huge selling point for me, because as a serial blogger, I store a lot of large files online. Aside from sending emails from a gmail panel which I’m very comfortable with, I also use my G suite account for everything that relates to my blog. This includes my YouTube channel, sharing files with clients and VAs with G drive, creating documents and pretty much everything I would use my personal gmail account for.

To sign up for a G suite account, please GO HERE. You can try it out for free for 14 days.

You can also save 20% off if you sign up for a year. Enter promo code G9QTUXTVQDTPCVY for the basic plan and MAFEQTECYCX3MNW for the business plan

10. Plan out Your Content For at Least Three Months on Your Content Calendar


Now that you’ve set up the technical stuff, the next thing you want to do is to start writing, As a new blogger, it can be daunting to figure out what your first blog post should be about.

This is where planning comes into place. Before you publish your first blog, it’s a great idea to know what your first ten blog post will be about so that you won’t run into writers block or feel stuck afterwards.

I recommend planning out your content calendar for the first three months. For example, if you plan to only blog once a week, you only have to think about twelve blog posts to write about.

To get ideas on what to write about, visit your top five favorite bloggers and check out what their most popular blog posts are. Then, input the blog topics into your content calendar.

You can also hop into Facebook groups where your audience hangs out to see the kind of questions they ask in the group and what they’re struggling with. Then input those questions into your content calendar as blog post ideas.

Another method is to ask members of the Facebook group what they’re struggling with and what they need help with the most when it comes to your blog topic. Then, simply input their responses on a google sheet from your G-suite account and start writing.

To get more content ideas for another three months, just hop into your other Facebook groups where your audience hangs out and ask them a similar question. This is the best way to come up with blog post ideas that will drive loads of traffic to your website. Because your audience just told you what they’re searching for online and a reason to read your next blog post.

Easy right?

I like to plan out my content calendar in my G suite google sheets or google doc. If you like to put pen to paper, you can order a blog planner such as Regina Anaejionu’s Epic Blog. It’s a very detailed blog planner that helps you to plan out your blogging strategy in more detail.

Here’s a video that I created about how to create your blog content calendar.

11. Write Your First Blog Post

Now that you’ve planned out your content ideas for the next three months, you can now write and publish your first blog post. For search engine purposes, it’s always recommended to write long and detailed blog posts. Always write at least 1,000 word blog post that goes into detail about the specific topic.

12. Set up a Pinterest Account For Your Blog to Start Driving Traffic

Now that you’ve written your first profitable blog post and you have a few more in the pipeline for the next three months, the next thing to do is to get as many readers to your site as possible. For this, I recommend using Pinterest to start driving traffic to your blog. Pinterest is a great platform for bloggers because you can quickly and easily grow your blog traffic within a matter of a few months.

For a full tutorial on how to set up a Pinterest business account, please check out THIS blog post. 

how to Use Pinterest for Bloggers

13. Set up Tailwind to Schedule Your Pinterest Posts

use tailwind with pinterest

My Tailwind dashboard

I know you won’t have the time to be posting manually on your Pinterest profile every single day, because you’ll be very busy writing blog posts and doing research for your blog. So you’ll need a way to schedule and automate your Pin activities. To do that, I recommend using Tailwind. I use Tailwind to schedule out months worth of blog posts and content to my Pinterest profile.

You can also use Tailwind to schedule Instagram posts and have those posts be posted to your Facebook and Twitter page. So if you’re looking for a scheduling tool that helps you stay consistent with your business, I recommend Tailwind.

To signup for a Tailwind account, please GO HERE. You can also try it for FREE for 30 days. 

Here’s an infographic that shows the amazing results other Tailwind users are getting on their Pinterest account, just by using Tailwind.

14. Set up Your Chosen Social Media Accounts

As a blogger, you’ll probably need to build an online presence outside of your blog. Most bloggers will set up an Instagram page, Facebook page, Twitter profile and/or LinkedIn, depending on your blog topic and where your audience hangs out.

You have to decide what channels to set up and immediately claim your blog name on those platforms as soon as you buy your blog domain.

15. Set Up a Scheduling Tool For Your Social Media Accounts

There are so many social media scheduling tools out there and you might need to shop around to get the best one. I’ve use a lot of tools over the years for different social platforms and here are the tools that I recommend.

Tailwind for Pinterest and Instagram, Later for Instagram, Buffer for LinkedIn, and Hootsuite for Twitter. These scheduling tools also post to other platforms. For example, you can use a tool like Tailwind to schedule your posts to Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter!

16. Set up an email management account to start capturing email addresses

ConvertKit

I placed email marketing towards the end because it’s a little bit more advanced than social media marketing.

If you want to have a profitable blog, you’ll need a way to start collecting leads for your business. The best way to do that is through email marketing. Social media is great, but the algorithm is always changing, which can make reaching your audience more difficult.

I like to send emails to my audience because it can be personalized and it feels like sending a letter. Your audience also feels special because the email goes straight to their inbox, which feels like receiving a letter in the mailbox. How fun!

Help grow your website with Constant Contact email marketing

There are so many benefits to email marketing, that’s beyond the scope of this blog post.

All you need to know right now is that you’ll need an email management service to store your readers email addresses and to send emails to your email list. I recommend ConvertKit, which is a very popular email management software among famous bloggers such as Pat Flynn of smartpassiveincome.com.

Another popular service that I recommend is Constant Contact. This is great for bloggers with an e-commerce business because you can connect it to your Shopify store to convert abandoned carts into sales.

To sign up for ConvertKit, please GO HERE. You also get a free 14 days trial. 

To sign up for Constant Contact, please GO HERE. You can also try them for free for 60 days. 

17. Set Up a Lead Capture and Landing Page To Capture Emails

Now that you have an email management software that you can use to start sending mass emails to your email list, you’ll now need a tool to automatically collect email addresses on your blog or on social media.

To do that, you’ll need to set up a landing page where you will offer something free such as a checklist, worksheet or PDF guide in exchange for your readers email address. You can also set up a pop up that will pop up when your reader click on a link on your blog to get your free offer.

For an easy and cost effective way to collect emails on your blog, I recommend Leadpages. I use Leadpages for everything mentioned, including setting up sales pages for my courses, webinar registration pages, coming soon page and a whole bunch of other stuff that’s also beyond this blog post.

Leadpages is a popular tool amongst major influencers such as Mariah Coz.

To sign up for Leadpages and try them free for 14 days, please GO HERE.  

18. Join Facebook Groups Where Your Blog Readers Hangs Out

Earlier in this blog post, I recommended how to get blog post ideas in Facebook groups. Being an active member in Facebook groups where your audience hangs out is very crucial for your blog because it means that you will never run out of content ideas.

You can also establish yourself as an authority in those groups by offering valuable tips to the group members. You don’t even have to post your blog post links on the group because it’s an easy way to get kicked out. Also, most of the members won’t click on your link. This is why I recommend Pinterest as your main traffic referral source.

I rarely share links in Facebook groups, unless I need to reference a video or blog post to answer somebody’s question.

I’ve also found clients and gained students for my course from being active in Facebook groups and establishing myself as an authority.

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19. Connect with other bloggers for guest posting or collaboration opportunities

Being a new blogger can make you feel small and irrelevant. This is why so many bloggers quit or never get started in the first place because they get caught up comparing themselves to other established bloggers who are making major money making moves in their businesses.

To overcome this loneliness and grow quickly, I recommend connecting with other bloggers who are around the same level as you. You can connect with other bloggers on Facebook groups, Tailwind tribes, Pinterest communities, Pinterest group boards, Instagram or just researching other bloggers in your niche.

It’s best to can start reaching out to other bloggers after you’ve written about five blog posts and you have something to show.

Also try to engage with them for about a week first before reaching out to them for collaboration or guest posting opportunities.

20. Stay Consistent and Promote, Promote, Promote

Having a profitable blog requires a lot of work at the beginning. You will also need to be consistent so that you can grow and see the results you’re looking for. Another skill you’ll need to master is your marketing skills. You can write an awesome blog post and have no one read it. Which means that it will be difficult for you to make money from your blog and have a profitable blog.

This is why it’s good to have a solid blog business plan you can follow and have a clear understanding of your target audience.

To avoid this tumble weed effect, I recommend sticking to a realistic blog calender and always promote yourself on Facebook groups, Pinterest and Instagram. You should have something going out on your social media pages every single day.

This is why I recommend using Pinterest to drive traffic to your blog and Tailwind to schedule your Pinterest post so that you won’t feel overwhelmed. For a detailed guide on how to set up a profitable Pinterest profile to drive serious traffic to your blog, please read THIS blog post.

Conclusion

Having a profitable blog requires time, dedication, research, great tools and a lot of consistency. As you can see from this detailed blog post of close to five thousand words, it’s possible to have a money making blog. You only need a strategy that works, along with a few tools that will help you to stay consistent and automate some of the work you have to do.

To summarize, here are the action steps to implement when starting your profitable blog.

1. Choose a Niche

2. Choose a Profitable Topic

3. Decide on Your Monetization Strategies

4. Decide on Your Domain Name and Buy Your Domain

5. Choose Your Hosting Company

6. Choose Your Blogging Platform

7. Choose a Beautiful Theme

8. Create an Email Address With Your Domain Name

9. Set Up G-Suite, So Your Emails Go Straight To a Gmail Inbox

10. Plan out Your Content For at Least Three Months on Your Content Calendar

11. Write Your First Blog Post

12. Set up a Pinterest Account For Your Blog to Start Driving Traffic

13. Set up Tailwind to Schedule Your Pinterest Posts

14. Set up Your Chosen Social Media Accounts

15. Set Up a Scheduling Tool For Your Social Media Accounts

16. Set up an email management account to start capturing email addresses

17. Set Up a Lead Capture and Landing Page To Capture Emails

18. Join Facebook Groups Where Your Blog Readers Hangs Out

19. Connect with other bloggers for guest posting or collaboration opportunities

20. Stay Consistent and Promote, Promote, Promote

To enroll in “Start Your Profitable Blog”, please go here.

start your blog course

Do you have a question for me? Please send me a message or email me at adeola@blogandearn.co.

start a blog to make money

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2 comments on “How To Start a Profitable Blog This Year

  1. These are some amazing tips. Thank you so much for sharing. I use blogger to blog. Been meaning to change over to WordPress but I feel like I would like to get money in so that the blog pays for it’s self, if that makes sense? I bought my domain name. You mentioned g-suite, so I have a Gmail account with my blog name but now all my social media is my name and I just ended up linking the accounts together.

    How would you suggest one promotes on Pinterest? I have a business account but I have no clue how to claim my website.

    • Hey Gillian.
      Thanks for commenting. You can actually move over to wordpress and invest in hosting. Siteground has a monthly hosting fee that’s the price of a Starbucks coffee. You only need about $10/month to get started. You can add the other stuff later on. But it’s worth the investment.
      I just did a quick google search and it seems like there are some tutorials out there on how to claim your blogger site on Pinterest. Let me know when you’ve done so. But in the meantime, you can start creating pins on Canva and upload them to your Pinterest account.

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