The moment when you decide to start a blog can be the most thrilling time in your life, but it also can be awfully scary and overwhelming. I know I felt like I was drowning with all the choices and things I had learned.
Whether you’re a complete beginner or if you have some web design and coding knowledge – anyone can create a successful, money-making blog.
I truly believe that if I can do it, absolutely anyone can.
So, you have decided you want to start a profitable blog, and you want to make money doing so. Maybe you hope to turn this into a full-time income, or perhaps you just want to blog part-time to supplement your income a little bit.
Either way, it’s entirely possible. If you want to start a blog and begin monetizing it straight away, you’re in the right place.
I’m going to give you a step by step guide showing you exactly how to start a profitable blog.
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. I ONLY promote products that I use, love, and trust. This means that at no cost to you, I will receive compensation if you purchase something through one of those links. This helps run The Beautified Life – so thank you! 🙂 Read more on my disclaimer here.
1) Choosing a Blogging Platform
Selecting the right platform is the most crucial step in starting a profitable blog. Your blogging platform becomes your foundation, which is why you should spend your time researching and deciding on the best platform for your blog and business.
There is conflicting information out there, so it can become quite confusing.
There ARE pros and cons to each blogging platform, but when you are looking to start a profitable blog, you need to think long-term.
If you want to create a blog to share your personal thoughts with your family members and friends, then sure, you could go with a free option. But if you are reading this post, something tells me you are a driven, ambitious women who wants to start a money-making blog.
There are many reasons why I recommend self-hosted WordPress for new bloggers. I explain in depth why self-hosted WordPress is the superior choice in this post.
Not only will it be a major inconvenience down the road if you decide to switch to a better platform like WordPress, but you could lose all of your hard work in the process (SEO, followers, etc).
The bottom line is this: If you want to be a successful blogger with a money making blog, you must invest in yourself and your business. That means paying the few dollars a month to have a proper self-hosted blog.
I will dive into what that all means below.
The most common options out there are WordPress.com, Wix, Weebly, Squarespace, and WordPress.org.
Wix, Weebly, and WordPress.com are all very similar, in the fact that they are free to use. However, since they are free, you are very limited in what you can do and how you can customize it to fit your brand.
Also, your domain will include ‘’wordpress.com’’ at the end of it, which is not professional, and it means you do not own your website.
So that means, it CAN be shut down at random, and you could potentially lose all of your content.
You also don’t have the freedom to monetize your site how you like. And even with ”free” platforms, you end up paying loads of fees down the road.
So they are not even really free.
You’re VERY limited if you want to start making money from your blog with any of these options.
If you want to make money after you start your blog, you NEED to be self-hosted, period.
Squarespace is a suitable platform I have been told, but you are still limited with customizing (if you’re not a Squarespace designer), and you don’t have the freedom to change certain coding in your theme. You also only have a handful of themes to choose from, and with self-hosted WordPress, you have endless amounts. Then there are the monthly fees to use Squarespace, whereas self-hosted WordPress.org is free to use (you just have to pay for hosting, which is a few bucks a month.)
Also, in SquareSpaces’s terms of service, there are some pretty freaky things. You can check that out here.
If you want absolute control over your website, the ability to change or customize anything you want – self-hosted WordPress (www.wordpress.org) is definitely your only choice. You’ll have access to thousands of plugins that allow you to customize your blog to your heart’s content. It’s also easy to monetize your blog and even add a shop on your website.
WordPress does have a slight learning curve, but girl, is it ever worth it! If you’re still unsure, check out this post where I explain in detail why I believe self-hosted WordPress is the only choice.
For the sake of this guide, I will assume you’ve made the choice to go with self-hosted WordPress.org. Good choice. 😉
Click here to start a blog on self-hosted WordPress.org and then below I will show you exactly how to do so.
2) Choosing a Name For Your Blog
Choosing a name for your blog can be very overwhelming. I know for me, it took ages to decide on a name. The easiest way to come up with a name is to sit down and do some serious brainstorming. Think of your blog’s niche, and then write down some descriptive words that are related to your blog.
A few things to consider when choosing a name for your blog:
- It’s easy to remember and relatively short
- The domain is available
- The social media handles are available
- It reflects the tone of your blog
And, of course, you need to make sure that domain is available. (Your domain is your web URL – mine is www.thebeautifiedlife.com)
When you sign up for web hosting with SiteGround, you get your domain name absolutely free, forever. This is a major bonus because when you purchase your domain separately you end up paying an additional $15-20 a year.
It’s also critical that your blog’s name is something that you could write about for years and years. For example, if your blog is a lifestyle blog that covers many topics, then you would not want to name it something too specific like makeuptips.com. As that would not allow you to write about varying content as most lifestyle blogs do; you would be confined to writing about only makeup tips.
So make sure there are several topics that you can write about, that stem from your domain name.
You could also just do a random name that has nothing to do with your niche – or make it your first and last name. For example www.aleeking.com. A very successful blogger who does this is Melyssa Giffin of melyssagriffin.com
SIDE NOTE: You can write about whatever you like of course – however, I would suggest narrowing down your topic (your niche), as much as you can. This makes it easier to know who your target audience is. This makes it easier to make money when you know who your target audience is.
3) Purchase Web Hosting
Deciding on a name can be one of the most time-consuming tasks of starting a profitable blog. The hard part is over. Now it’s time to buy web hosting and a domain. The hosting company I recommend is SiteGround. They are fabulous. Their customer service is out of this world, and their website speed is impeccable. Not to mention they are a 99.99% uptime and 24-hour support. Which is why bloggers all over the place are switching hosts to SiteGround.
If you already have a host and are tired of the down time, sub-par customer service, or are just ready to take your blog to the next level; SiteGround is where it’s at.
They will migrate your site immediately; you don’t have to lift a finger. And it’s free.
They are also extremely affordable. They have the option to purchase a month at a time. But, I would recommend you sign up for at least a year or two, to get the best price.
To start your blog with SiteGround, click here, and then follow the instructions below. And if you have any questions at all while signing up – send me an email [email protected] But I promise it will be easy-peasy.
How to Sign Up For Hosting With SiteGround
Choose Your Plan
There are three different plans you can choose from. If you’re a new blogger, chances are the first plan ”Start Up” is more than enough. You can always upgrade later!
So, click ”GET STARTED” on whichever plan you choose.
Once you choose the plan you would like, just click ”ORDER NOW”.
choose and enter your domain name.
That domain name you just brainstormed? This is where you will input it.
If you already have a domain, just click ”I already have a domain”. If you don’t, then just click ”register a new domain” and you will get your completely free domain name.
put in your account information.
Fill in your account and client information.
put in your payment information.
Next, you input your payment information. I recommend going with the 12-month plan so that you can take advantage of the free domain for life!
confirm and pay.
Lastly, you will un-click any extra services you don’t want. Then hit ”PAY NOW”.
Woohoo! You now officially have web hosting for your blog! You are almost finished.
3) Install WordPress
- You will want to find your c-panel now, which can be found in the ”Accounts Tab.” Click the red button that says ”C-panel”. The C-Panel is basically your dashboard for your hosting site.
- Click ”WordPress Installer” (blue WordPress icon.) This is found under the section of Autoinstallers.
- Next, click the ”INSTALL” button. (It’s blue).
- After install, you will need to find your domain name in the little drop-down menu. (Likely the first one).
- Put in your blog’s name in ”SITE NAME”. Then put in your site description (you can change this later if you want to leave it blank).
- Choose your username and password. I cannot stress enough why you need to pick a unique username AND password. No ”ADMIN” for your username. Believe me, hackers can get in if you do this. Make your password very strong. (I suggest a combination of upper and lower case, and letters and numbers.
- Then enter your email address.
- Click ”INSTALL”.
That’s it! Congratulations, you are now the proud owner of a brand spankin’ new WordPress site!
When you are ready to log into your website (your dashboard), you will typically go to your site domain and add ‘’/wp-admin’’ to the end.
So it would look like this: http://www.YOURNEWDOMAIN.com/wp-admin (For example – if my site was called ‘Alee King’, I would go to http://www.aleeking.com/wp-admin
Just put in your credentials that you were given previously. Your dashboard is where you can customize your blog, create new pages and posts, and design your website how you like it!
4) Choosing a Theme
I’ll admit, it may look a tad confusing and intimidating when you first look at your dashboard. It isn’t difficult; you will pick it up in no time! You’re probably wondering… What now?
Pick a theme!
Now comes the fun part. Making your blog beautiful! A theme is a template for your website or the framework for it. This is how your blog will look, and the overall design of your blog. I don’t think I need to say how important what theme you choose is.
Go to Appearance > Themes in your dashboard once you’ve logged in, and you will see some free themes. However, the majority of bloggers (especially those who wish to monetize their blogs) choose to buy a paid/premium theme, because you’re very limited when using a free theme, and to be honest – they are all very plain and blah!
There are a few different paid theme websites that I recommend, and all for totally different reasons. Read on, to find out more.
With a paid theme, you get way more options, support, more features, and complete customization.
The theme I have for this blog is Boss Lady by A Prettier Web. It comes with snazzy landing page templates, lead page templates, different layouts, shortcodes, it’s e-commerce ready, and it’s fully customizable.
It’s ideal for any girl boss. And it’s extremely affordable.
Or you can take a look at other themes if none of these suits your needs!
I also have a post with 11 gorgeous and feminine themes for girl bosses you can check out here!
5) Writing Your First Blog Post
Another exciting part is writing your first blog post. This can seem intimidating in WordPress, but I promise you it’s straight forward. Just follow these steps, and you will be on your way to publishing your very first blog post.
- Go to ‘’Posts.”
- Then to ‘’Add new.”
- Now you will see an editor where you will write your blog post
- Select your ”categories” and your ”tags” for that post.
- If you have Yoast SEO plugin (which I highly suggest you do) you will input your keyword and meta description at the bottom of the screen before publishing. And don’t forget to use your keyword throughout your post, once in the intro, and once in the conclusion.
- Once you finish writing your blog post, you only push ‘’publish.”
- If you want to add pictures to your blog post (which I highly suggest you do!) You will go to ‘’Add Media’’ From there you will click ‘’Upload Files’’.
Well, there you have it.
Starting a profitable blog may seem like a daunting task at first, but don’t get discouraged. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. And thanks to all the helpful resources out there, I have learned so much about blogging in a short time, which is why I want to spread the knowledge and help other newbies follow their dreams and start profitable blogs.
If you need any help at all while signing up your self-hosted WordPress site with SiteGround, then don’t hesitate to comment below, or send me an email: [email protected] and I’ll be sure to help you the best I can. 🙂
Until next time,
- Ultimate Beginner’s Guide To Starting a Profitable Blog
- 4 Ways To Make Money As a Stay-at-Home Mom
- 9 Surprising Reasons Why You’re Not Getting Any Blog Traffic
- How I Plan To Make a Full-time Income Blogging in 2017 – And How You Can Too
- Ultimate Pinterest Tips To Explode Your Blog Traffic
- Expert Bloggers Reveal Their Best Tips For New Bloggers
- Choosing A Blogging Platform: Why Self-hosted WordPress Is Always The Superior Choice