Free guides to start, manage, and grow new websites for beginners.

How to Start a Blog (and Make Money)

A Simple, Step-by-Step Guide to Starting a Blog in 2021

quick creation website guide

If you’ve been looking to learn how to start a blog and make money, this article shows you the easiest and most straightforward way to do it.

Skip to the first step here.

How to Start a Blog and Make Money in 7 Steps:

A blog is a type of website that features casual, conversational style writing and informative content. They are typically made to promote businesses, answer questions, and build communities. 

Bloggers make money by monetizing their traffic through different methods, including advertising, affiliate marketing, sponsorships, online courses, podcasting, and more. 

Read further in this guide to see some different ways you can start a blog and monetize it.

If you follow the instructions laid out by my guide, you will see that starting a blog will cost a minimum of around $35 – $125 for an entire year. Of course, the price depends on the blog hosting plan you choose to get your blog online.

Opting for an affordable shared hosting plan costs less than $3 a month to start a blog (including a free domain name if you sign up with Bluehost).

However, full-time bloggers can see their expenses reach up to $1,000 if they need to use the best hosting plans, software, and hardware.

Yes, WordPress is the best platform to start a blog because of its open customization features and growth potential. This guide will go over all the steps you need to take in order to get set up on WordPress with a reliable web host and catchy domain name.

Updated on July 27, 2021 by Yiming Xuzhou for How to Start a Blog

Our guides include affiliate links that may generate commissions at no extra cost to our readers.

How to Start a Blog and Make Money

Follow these steps to see how to start a blog in less than 30 minutes:

Do you want to learn how to start a blog and make money with passive internet income strategies?

Let’s get started with the first step.

1. Pick a blog niche and name

First, it’s important to think about the type of content you’ll be publishing on your blog, and what your audience will be searching for.

Use this information to pick out a name and niche for the blog (like

When deciding on a blog name, pick something that represents either the general topics you’ll be writing about. Alternatively, some bloggers choose to pick their own name or that of their business.

It’s important to pick a niche for your blog and stick to it, as well as choose a name that highlights that niche. Some examples of niches you can blog about include the following:

  • Travel
  • Food
  • Photography
  • Marketing
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Technology
  • Lifestyle
  • Fitness

The best practice for naming your blog is by coming up with a list of niche-related phrases that are memorable. 

Don’t use more than 15 characters for your name and try to keep it simple. 

You can also use a domain name generator tool to generate a blog name based on niche keywords.

Even if you can’t decide on your blog name at this very moment, you should still get started anyway! 

Taking action is a great way to supercharge your brain and open up more ideas in the future. 

Instead of worrying about what your blog’s name will be, get started with creating it and let the idea come to you later.


If you decide on a name but you want to change it later, you can absolutely do so. It will cost between $10 – $15 to purchase a new domain name.

A good idea is to start your blog with a web host like Bluehost because they let you choose your domain name later (after starting your blog). This way, you don’t have to worry about how you name your blog at the beginning.

Adding words to your blog name that clearly signal what your content is about will help users find that content in search engines. For example, if you want to make a math blog you could name it something like—

Once you have an idea for a blog name, run it through the domain name checker to see if it is available.

2. Get your blog online (with a web host)

Next, you need to actually get your blog online. A web hosting company will do that for you. You’ll also pick the blogging platform and web hosting plan you’ll use to get your blog online.

Web hosting companies hold all the files that make up your website. Their job is to keep your files safe, secure, and accessible online (when people search for your site). 

Essentially, your web host get’s your website online so people on the internet can search for you and find your content.

Web hosting can range from around $3 a month to over $100, depending on what company you stick with.

We recommend sticking with a high quality host provider like Bluehost to reap the benefits of secure, reliable hosting without paying an overly premium price.

The single most popular choice for a blogging platform and web host is a WordPress blog hosted by Bluehost. WordPress is an open-source free blogging tool that’s been around since 2003 and now powers more than 64 million websites on the Internet. Bluehost is one of the most trusted, reliable web hosts in the industry. This is why we’ve selected them to host many of our blogs (and most other bloggers too).

For less than $3 a month, Bluehost will also provide you with premium support, extra perks (like a free domain name for a year), and everything you need to start a blog using WordPress.

So if you want to start a blog and make money now, click on the button below to set up your web hosting and then press “Get Started”. 


How to Set Up a WordPress Blog with Bluehost

Choose your hosting plan

After you hit on “Get Started”, the next step is to select a hosting plan. Entering your blog name comes right after this.

Although the Plus and Choice Plus plan may seem attractive, I would recommend choosing the Basic plan. For your first blog, the Basic plan comes with everything you could possibly need and you can always get the additional features elsewhere.

Plus, its the best choice for saving your money. 


As I said, choose the plan all the way to the left. It saves you the most money and still gets you reliable hosting and extra perks.

Next, we’re going to choose a domain name for your blog. Select the Basic plan to move forward. 

Pick a domain name for your blog

After you select your plan, you will get directed to this page where you can create a new domain for your blog. 

set up domain

At this step, all you need to do is to type in a domain name for your site (for example, this one is

If you want to check if the domain name you’re interested in is available, use this tool from earlier in the article:

Let’s say you can’t find a good domain name that’s also available. You can either try new options—or (this is what I would recommend) opt to choose your domain name later after finishing the setup process.

This way, you will have more time to think and use the resources I talk about later in the guide to learn how to come up with a good blog name.

Next, let’s finish setting up your Bluehost account.

Create your Bluehost account

In this step, all you need to do is fill out all your account details. That includes your name, your most-used email address (this is important because they will send you your login info via email), and your home address. You can also use Single-Sign-On with Google to speed up the process.

account info

Select the right web hosting package

This part is important so pay close attention.

If you want to save the most money and get the best deal, make sure to choose the Account Plan that runs for 36 months.

Notice that Bluehost doesn’t offer monthly payment options (web hosting companies tend to charge more for that) but choosing a longer plan means you won’t have to worry about doing this process again for a long time.

Then, note how two “Package Extras” are already checked:

Codeguard Basic and SiteLock Security.

bluehost packages

Skip the package extras (except for Domain Privacy and Protection)

You want to UNCHECK BOTH of these options (Codeguard Basic and SiteLock Security).

Better options exist elsewhere and you don’t need to spend the extra money to get these features.

The only extra you need is Domain Privacy and Protection. It will be available after you submit your information. 

Enter your billing information

Lastly, enter your payment information at the end of the screen. Press “Submit” when you’re done.

payment info

Congratulations! You successfully got through the hardest part of starting a blog and making money.

For many people, getting past this hump can be very difficult. Take a few moments to enjoy your progress, and then keep reading this guide to learn how to design your new blog.

In the next segment, we’re going to go through a step-by-step guide to installing WordPress on your blog website using Bluehost. Later in the article, we’re going to talk about all the ways you can design and monetize your blog to become immensely powerful (using free plugins and themes).

Head here to sign up for Bluehost and register your blog name if you haven’t done so.

The next segment is for bloggers that have already registered their web host and domain name—so if you haven’t done that, take a few minutes and get it set up. 

Ready to move on to the next step? Before you learn how to make money with your blog, make sure you finished all the steps to hosting your blog online. 

Let’s keep going.

3. Personalize your blog with a free WordPress theme

Now, let’s move on to the fun part—designing and personalizing your new blog. Before we get into the details, let’s review some important terminology so that you understand what WordPress is and why it’s so powerful for starting a blog. 

WordPress is the most popular CMS (content management system) in the world. It powers over 60% of all the blogs on the internet and it lets you organize your content, upload pictures and videos, and design your blog from the ground up.

Your WordPress dashboard works as the backend of your blog, where you can make edits before publishing it for your readers to see.

Although there are definitely other CMS platforms you can use (like Medium, Squarespace, Joomla, and Wix), none of them offer the unique open-source tools like WordPress does. I highly recommend setting up your self-hosted blog on WordPress if you want to keep growing your blog for years without any sort of limitations.

If you don’t want to use WordPress to build your blog, some other options include:

WordPress started as a platform specifically made for blogging. Since then, it has evolved into a CMS superpower that lets you make anything from an eCommerce online store to a community website like Reddit.

One thing that a lot of people get confused about is how there are two versions of WordPress—there’s and Although their names are nearly identical, the two are very different:


  • Is a hosting provider
  • Free-to-use with lots of restrictions
  • No custom domain name (instead it’s
  • No plugins
  • You have to pay to remove ads and you can’t run your own ads to make money
  • Limited theme support
  • Limited analytics features and SEO tools

  • Is the open-source software that lets you build any website
  • Fully customizable with themes and branding
  • Total control over monetization (run your own display ads)
  • Unlimited plugin options
  • Powerful analytics and SEO tools
  • Costs a small monthly fee (from the cheap web hosting plan)
  • Create an online store or membership site

Although using isn’t a bad choice for hosting and starting a new blog, using is the best option by far. gives you total customization over your blog and all the tools you need to grow, monetize, and make money with it. In fact, the blog you are reading right now is using to bring you this information. 

How to Install WordPress with Bluehost

If you set up your new blog with Bluehost, then installing WordPress is a very simple process.

Here is a step-by-step video tutorial on installing WordPress by Ryan Robinson:

Don’t be afraid to dig into the WordPress admin area. You’ll start to understand more about how WordPress works, and that will help you make changes to your site in the future.

How to Design Your Blog Using WordPress Themes

When you’re just starting to learn how to start a blog and make money, I don’t usually recommend buying a paid WordPress theme. Once you have some traffic and can justify paying for a premium theme, then it’s worth considering the investment. There are literally thousands of free themes for WordPress, and you can start with any of the top-rated ones by navigating to Appearance > Themes > Add New Theme > Popular. You can always switch to another theme later. Now, let’s take a deeper dive into the best themes you can choose from.

At the start, I would recommend choosing a theme that is fast, free, and upgradable.

Some options you should check out are Divi, Astra, and Hello Elementor.


Divi is an especially great option because it also comes with a page builder tool that makes it easier to design different elements on your website. 

Further down the road, we’ll take a look at other WordPress themes and compare them with the best page builder tools too.

Why is designing your blog so important?

You should make sure to take some time and really consider the theme and overall look of your site. Especially when you’re just starting your blog.

But why is so important to focus on the design of your blog?

People can form judgments about a website’s credibility within just a few seconds, and this can set the tone for the rest of their experience with the brand. According to a study curated by, it takes only 50 milliseconds (that’s 0.05 seconds) for a viewer to decide whether they like your site on the first visit. Their opinions are heavily influenced by the overall look and feel of your website. 

When it comes to building trust, one well-designed page is worth a thousand words. The best designs are simple, clear, and easy to read. This doesn’t mean you need a lot of fancy animations or crazy fonts.

Top 10 Premium WordPress Themes for Blogs

If you want your website to really stand out, here is a list of the 10 best customizable WordPress themes:

  1. Divi
  2. Astra
  3. Extra (Theme for Magazine Blogs)
  4. Blogosphere
  5. OceanWP
  6. Kadence
  7. Uncode
  8. Hazel
  9. Soledad
  10. Avada


When you’ve settled on the right theme, it’s time to get down to business with WordPress plugins to help you customize even more and ready your blog for actual business.

4. Add essential plugins for your website

Next, let’s look at how you can increase the functionality of your new blog with the use of plugins. 

What is a WordPress Plugin?

Plugins are small pieces of software that act as add-ons for your website. They give extra features or functionality to your WordPress blog, including sharing buttons, image optimization, SEO tools, widgets, email opt-ins, and more.

The issue with plugins is that… there are so many of them! 

Choosing which plugins to add to your website can be difficult due to the huge selection. To save your time, these are the best plugins you need to install for your blog today:

Best 6 Essential WordPress Plugins for your Blog

How to Create the Main Pages of your Blog

When you start a new blog, it’s important to let people know who you are, why you’re qualified to talk about the subject, and how they can connect with you.

For starters, you need to create your own About page.

If you want to create a new page, navigate to your WordPress dashboard.

For blog posts, head to Posts > New Post.

For pages (like about page, contact page, newsletter page, etc.), navigate to Pages > Add New Page.

You can either have your homepage display a static page (like a newsletter opt-in page) or a list of your recent blog posts. 

To set your homepage, navigate to Settings > Reading.

The options will appear at the top.

When you are reading to make a header or footer menu (you will need a few unique pages on your site first), navigate to Appearance > Menus.

You will be able to use a simple editor to structure your menus. Then, you can assign locations where you want your menu to appear in Appearance > Customize.

Step 1. Write an About Page

Contrary to what you think, the point of this section is not about you. While you get to talk about who you are and what you bring, this segment is about your audience and your readership. For this reason, the example above is not something you want to replicate for your blog. This was my about page for a personal portfolio website.

Step 2. Write a Contact Page

For many bloggers, the contact page is the most visited page on the entire website. You need to make sure your contact page is simple, straightforward, and easy to find.

If you aren’t selling a service or product, then your contact page can just be a page with your social media profile links. On the other hand, if you are selling a product or service you should use your contact page as a way to give customer support and respond to inquiries.

Either way, consider using a WordPress plugin like WPForms to easily gather your reader’s email addresses and information so you can keep them in contact.

New to Building Profitable Websites? Get my Free Course on How to Start a Blog and Make Money

we never spam (I promise)

5. Write your first post

WordPress Blog

A blog is more than a marketing tool. It’s where you can establish your expertise and share your unique voice with the world. Some bloggers are mostly concerned about how their blog looks and how often they post. While this is definitely important, your blog will only be successful if you consistently produce high-quality content.

Writing about something you enjoy gives you a purpose and sense of community. It gives you an outlet to vent, reflect, and learn from others as you share your expertise in whatever medium you choose. When you start blogging, there is a lot to learn from others. The more you read, the more you realize how much there is to learn.

If you really want people to notice your blog and learn from it, your number 1 priority should be writing amazing content.

Before we talk about writing the content for your blog, let’s develop an overall content strategy—starting by finding a profitable niche.

How to discover profitable blog niche opportunities

If you already started your blog using Bluehost, you should have an idea of what your blog niche will be. 

On the other hand, think of a smart niche (that you won’t mind writing about for a long time) by asking yourself these questions:

  • Have you ever had any totally unique or unusual ambitions?
  • Do you have any hobbies you’re heavily invested in?
  • What is your proudest achievement in life?
  • What is your favorite pastime or secret interest?


It’s important to have a clear and concrete idea of what niche you want to write about. By asking yourself these questions, you should be able to narrow down a good one. 

Next Step: How to discover if your niche can be successful as a business

If you want to make money from your blog, you’ll want to do a bit of research first. This means that you have to find the answers to these questions:

Are people actively searching for your niche?  Can you add value to assist them in a way that makes your blog money?

For this step, it is helpful to create a spreadsheet where you can keep valuable data and analyze it. I use this template called the Niche Demand Analyzer.

Niche Demand Analyzer

By the way, you can grab a free copy of the template right here. Using this can help you pinpoint ideas for blog posts and make sure you create content that your target audience will love to consume.

The best way to determine if your blog niche is profitable is by following these steps:

  1. Take a niche you’re thinking about and come up with 5-10 search phrases within the niche—so if your niche is food recipes you might choose keywords like “how to stir fry,” “what is the best recipe for spaghetti squash,” and so on.
  2. Enter the keyword phrases into Google’s search engine to see how many results come up. The more search results there are, the more people care about the topic.
  3. Use a professional competitive research tool like SEMrush to get actionable insights on your keywords. I also like using the free tool Twinword Ideas to see the monthly search volumes (how many searches each keyword phrase gets per month).


If you follow these steps and record the results on Google Sheets, it will be a lot easier to see how profitable your niche can be. Generally speaking, if all of your top keyword phrases rack in monthly search volume numbers between 5,000 – 12,000, your niche is a good one to start with.

How to brainstorm blog post ideas (with tools)

Blog Post Ideas

After you’ve decided on the niche you’ll be blogging about, you have to do smart keyword research in order to generate blog post ideas that’ll actually get noticed by readers.

One of the major benefits of running your own blog is that you get to write whatever you want. The downside is that sometimes, you don’t know what to write about. When I find myself running out of ideas, I like to use these tools together to map out my content:

  1. Trend Analysis: I use Google Trends and BuzzSumo to discover what content is performing well.
  2. Content Planning: Use a editorial calendar like CoSchedule or to schedule your blog posts ahead of time and stay on top of your work.
  3. Publishing Content: I like using Wordable to write my blog posts on Google Docs and instantly transport it to WordPress when it’s ready for publishing.
  4. Creating Digital Media: The best tool for making graphic designs and images for your blog posts is Canva. I use it on a daily basis.


Still need more help? This article by Brian Dean helped me find new ways to generate content ideas.

Time to write your first blog post!

Now that you’ve done the planning, it’s time to write your first blog post.

Navigate to Posts > Add New from your WordPress Dashboard.

Add a new blog post

This will take you to a blank canvas where you can start writing a brand new blog post.

WordPress editor
Gutenberg Editor

By default, WordPress uses the “Gutenberg” editor for new posts. If you prefer using a drag and drop editor, download the Elementor plugin.

Write an eye-catching headline first

The first thing a reader sees before they decide to click (or not click) on your blog post is your headline. If you want to attract more readers, you definitely want to learn how to write a headline that will draw in readers and provide them with valuable content.

It may be helpful to look into other bloggers in your niche to see what type of headlines tend to rank on the search engine. Search them up on Google, observe their headlines and note the following:

  • Do their headlines start with numbers?
  • Are there list articles?
  • Do the majority of headlines use parentheses?
  • Is the current year included in the headline?
  • Do they capitalize the first letter for every word?


Look through some of the headlines in my blog to see how I choose to structure them. Once you have an idea for a headline you want to use, run it through a free headline analyzer tool.

Craft a perfect blog post introduction

A great blog post introduction should hook a reader’s attention, grab their interest and make them want to keep reading.

As someone like Brian Dean from Backlinko would put it, your blog post is only as good as the first 5 lines. 

Here is a sample blog post introduction that I wrote for my list article of business ideas.

I limit my intros to 4 – 7 lines because (in my experience, at least) I hate reading lengthy intros with confusing language. 

I also like using a formula invented by Brian Dean of Backlinko to write my intros.

He calls it the PPP formula.

In his How to Write a Blog Post article, Brian talks about his 3 line introduction formula.

First, there’s the preview.

This is the part where you tell the reader exactly what your post is about.

Next, there’s the proof.

In this line, you prove your credibility using statistics, personal anecdotes, number of clients, years of experience, etc.

Lastly, you have preview… again. 

Unlike the first preview (which was an overview of the entire post) the second preview is for getting specific about something in your new blog post. 

Take a look at my How to Go Viral on TikTok article on Content Creator Institute for an example of the PPP formula in use.

New to Building Profitable Websites? Get my Free Course on How to Start a Blog and Make Money

we never spam (I promise)

Publish your first blog post

After you’ve written your first blog post and revised it to the 1,000-word range, you’re almost ready to publish! First, quickly check to see if it’s SEO-friendly. The easiest way to do this is by using the Yoast SEO plugin—Yoast SEO will tell you if your page is optimized for Google Search and give you tips on boosting your SEO score. 

Yoast SEO

Yoast will give you a frowny face, neutral face, or a smiley face based on how optimized your SEO and Page Readability is. Then, it will give suggestions on how to improve.

Next, make sure your permalink is properly set up. You can check out some of the best practices for blog permalinks here

If your SEO settings are dialed in, all you have to do is choose the category of your new post and then publish it.

Blog Post Settings

Congratulations! 🎉

If you’ve followed these steps and added your own creative touches, you should’ve successfully written and shared your first blog post with WordPress!

However, you might want to make sure your blog post is optimized for viewership before you hit the publish button.

According to Social Media Today, content with relevant images gets 94% more views than content without. Take some time to add visual elements that will enhance your blog post and promote shares. Personally, I love using Canva to find and edit graphic design elements for my posts.

When I need to find new stock images (that are free to use under the Creative Commons license), I like looking through Wikimedia Commons, Unsplash, and

Creative Commons

In the next section, we’re going to focus solely on how to get more traffic to your blog.

Bonus: Get more traffic by planning your blog content

Having a content strategy is vital to getting consistent growth for your blog. If you start missing your goals, it can be easy to give up entirely. In 2009, the New York Times cited information that suggested 95% of blogs fail because the owners gave up. It’s overwhelmingly the biggest reason blogs fail to begin with.

If you’re having trouble crafting a blog content strategy, try out a tool like CoSchedule’s Marketing Calendar.

This is my go-to tool for staying on task and meeting my blogging goals—even ahead of schedule!

6. Promote your blog and get traffic


In this section, I’m going to share a few of the most effective ways to share your blog posts and draw attention. After all, your blog can only become powerful (and make money) if you know how to promote it. 

Promote your blog with social media

One of the best ways to gain readers is by using social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat, Reddit, and TikTok. While these networks all have millions of users, they cater to different niches and different demographics, so it’s important to choose the one that best fits your audience.

The key is to focus your efforts on the few social media platforms that your audience spends the most time on.

How to find which social media channel to promote your blog on

In general, promoting these types of content work best on each social media platform:

  • Instagram: High-resolution photos, stories, quotes, influencer content, actionable advice, pictures of you engaging with the community
  • Facebook: Curated content, funny posts, live videos, contents and giveaways
  • Twitter: News, blog posts, GIFS, text and images, “how-to” and list articles
  • LinkedIn: Professional content, advice, career updates, news
  • Pinterest: Infographics, step-by-step photo guides, images, video series
  • Reddit: Niche commentary
  • YouTube: Videos and shorts
  • TikTok: Quick videos, attention grabbers

How to manage your social media promotion efforts

These days, there are lots of tools to help you create and manage your social media posts. With the right tools, you will be able to save several hours a week on your promotional efforts. Here are some of the best ones:

  1. Sprout Social: This is the best overall social media management tool due to the advanced analytics, publishing features, optimization tools, and excellent usability. The downside is that this is one of the more pricier tools on the market. We recommend signing up for the free trial (which is one of the longest in the business).
  2. SocialPilot: If you want a fully integrated social media manager tool, this is a great option. They also have a social monitoring and listening feature which is a great addition at a lower overall cost.
  3. Crowdfire: This is the ideal social media tool for individuals and small businesses. The free version has more than enough features to help you grow your social presence quickly.

Promote your blog on forums and message boards

If you want to reach specific audiences and get actionable advice, joining targeted forums or online communities is a good idea.

First, check out relevant Facebook Groups. There’s a group for almost anything, and it’s a great place to start interacting with your audience.

If you can’t find any Facebook groups with over 5,000 members, try searching for groups on LinkedIn, Reddit or standalone forum websites that will have members in your market. Another good idea is searching on Google for search terms like “your niche + forum” and “your niche + community”.

Here are some great Facebook groups for entrepreneurs:

Use the number 1 channel for marketing ROI (return on investment)


A blog’s email newsletter is one of the best ways to keep your audience invested in your work. It’s something that should be created from the onset.

You can build an email list by putting a signup form within your blog posts and on your main pages. I use a tool called GetResponse to manage 1,000’s of subscribers while creating automated actions (so I don’t have to spend extra time emailing readers by hand).

What are other email marketing tools to use for a new blog?

I also like ConvertKit and AWeber, two tools that are targeted towards small businesses and entrepreneurs. You can read my full review of ConvertKit here.

With a well-structured email newsletter update, you can reach thousands of people in an instant. I send my email list an update whenever I post new blog posts and resources. It’s the best way to keep my existing audience engaged with my blog content. 

Extra ways to promote your blog

Since I started this blog, I’ve used a variety of methods to grow my traffic, including social media promotion, guest posts on other blogs and writing in forums.

Here are some more strategies that can help you grow your blog at the start:

  • Blogger outreach: At the early stages of your blog, you want as many people in your niche to read your content as possible. One way to do that is to mention content from other bloggers from within your own. This is a great way to get results and build relationships.
  • Study other bloggers: If you’re not quite ready to connect with other blog owners in your space, try to watch what tactics they use and see how you can use it in your own blog. Studying top bloggers is always a good way to develop your skills.
  • Interview famous people in your niche: Interviewing well-known people in your niche is a way to build blogger relationships and attract more visitors to your blog.
  • Start a podcast: Podcasting is a great way to attract new audiences to your blog and repurpose your old content. You can learn how to start your own podcast using Buzzsprout‘s guide.


At this point, there aren’t that many “how to start a blog and make money” guides out there that go past this point. I’m going to show you how to go from starting your blog—to building a real small business around it.

Next, let’s talk about how you can make money by blogging.

New to Building Profitable Websites? Get my Free Course on How to Start a Blog and Make Money

we never spam (I promise)

7. Make money by blogging

According to Financial Samurai, you can make between $1,000 – $10,000 (monthly) off your blog with 100,000 page views per month. However, getting to this level is no walk in the park. 

Blogger Income

It’s important to remember that, when you’re first learning how to start a blog, monetization should not be your number one priority. There’s a reason why making money from a blog is near the end of this guide to starting a blog.

If you have no readers yet (which is normal when you’re just starting out), you can’t expect to make money right away. 

Instead, you should be focused on creating amazing content that will make building your audience a piece of cake. After all, promotional tactics like email marketing, social media promotion, and link-building work best when your content is top tier. 

That being said, here is a list of ways to monetize your blog and make money:

  1. Display Ads
  2. Affiliate Marketing
  3. Freelance Blogging Services
  4. Sponsored Content
  5. Online Courses
  6. Podcast Sponsorships
  7. eCommerce


Let’s go through each method one by one.

1. Display Ads

Banner Ads

Putting display ads on your blog is first way that most big blogs monetize their content. Free informational sites like Healthline, WebMD, and Huffington Post all use this tactic to make money from page views and ad clicks.

However, if you want to make real money with Google Adsense, you’re going to need a considerable amount of traffic first.

Setting up display ads on a WordPress website can also be a tedious process. That’s why plugins like Adsanity exist—to help bloggers create and manage ads with useful admin tools and detailed analytics.

2. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a business model that makes big bloggers most of their money.

It basically work like this: You sign up and receive a unique tracking link from a company you’re affiliate marketing for. Then, you use that link to promote that company within your blog posts, email lists, and social media. If someone clicks on your unique link and makes a qualified purchase, you get a portion of the commission.

Basically, you get compensated for referring new customers to existing businesses.

What is Affiliate Marketing

Becoming an affiliate marketer is actually a very simple process. The difficulty comes from getting a reliable source of traffic that is ready to make purchases.

When you are just starting your blog, it’s smart to join some profitable affiliate programs and set up your links before you grow your audience. Here are some affiliate marketplaces and programs you can join right now:

  1. ShareASale: Affiliate Program Marketplace
  2. FlexOffers: Affiliate Program Marketplace
  3. Impact Offers: Affiliate Program Marketplace
  4. Fiverr Affiliates: Program
  5. Amazon Associates: Program


If you want to learn the fundamentals of affiliate marketing, take this business course on LinkedIn Learning.

3. Freelance Blogging Services

If you want to make money with your blog as fast as possible, consider doing freelance work for other businesses. This includes blog copywriting on other websites, doing writing gigs, or any other type of service related to blogging.

Becoming a freelance blogger can make you money while building your reputation as an online marketer. If you want to go this route, Ryan Robinson has a great guide on becoming a freelancer.

Once you have created a large enough audience for your new blog, you can start monetizing it by getting sponsored promotional contracts.

Sponsored blog content is when a company or business pays a blogger to present their sponsored content in front of their own audience. 

That being said, it will be difficult to get sponsors until your traffic reaches at least 5,000/month (preferably more).

5. Online Courses

online course

It is estimated that the online education industry will be worth over $300 billion dollars in the next 5 years.

Not only do domestic and international students rely on online education to learn their curriculums, but business professionals also use it to further enhance their skills in the workplace.

If you have a skill that others could benefit from learning, it isn’t hard to package your strategies, tips, tools, and advice into a paid online course that you can promote on your blog. Teachable is the best platform for making your own course with built-in marketing tools, a customer management system, and a proven philosophy. Learn how to create an online course with their guide here.

6. Podcast Sponsorships

Another reason why you should repurpose your blog content and start a podcast is this:

Podcast sponsorships will pay you to have casual conversations.

Even if you’re just learning how to start a blog, you can still secure podcast sponsorships with less traffic than it would take for say—a blog content sponsor.

If you want to learn how to start your own profitable podcast, read this guide here.

7. eCommerce

A great way to transform your new blog into a solid business is by offering a physical product or software. An eCommerce store is a type of website that sells products that are related to their specific audience’s needs.

With the advent of the dropshipping business model, bloggers can add an eCommerce store to their website like never before.

How to Start a Blog and Make Money in 2021: Last Remarks

At the end of the day, starting a successful blog and making money all comes down to your content and the heart and soul behind it. If you truly love what you’re writing about, day in and night out, your blog will grow eventually.

Currently, I have started a few blogs already. There’s this one—a free resource for learning how to create new websites. I also have a digital marketing blog for entrepreneurs, a content creator blog for social media influencers, and some more on the side!

If you got this far in the guide, I hope you feel ready to get out there and grow your blog too. When I first learned how to start a blog, it was a difficult process to wrap my mind around at the beginning. 

That’s why I created a free email course that goes in-depth on how to start, grow, promote, and monetize a new blog in 2021. I’d love to have you join it and reap the benefits of seeing the missteps and successes on my journey as a blogger. 

New to Building Profitable Websites? Get my Free Course on How to Start a Blog and Make Money

we never spam (I promise)

I really want to know what you think about my “how to start a blog and make money” guide! 

Please leave a comment with any questions, suggestions, ideas, or more!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * is a free guide for quickly creating and launching new websites in 2021.

New to Building Websites? Join the Newsletter