Want to know how to start a successful blog in 2023 that makes money? Keep reading!
One common misconception that I think has been thoroughly debunked (especially if you’re reading this post) is that you can’t make money blogging. And that it cannot actually become a successful job and business.
But before I get into all of that, let me actually tell you how I stumbled across this whole blogging thing and how it is now slowly becoming a fully fledged business for me (one that makes at least $3000 a month for me at this point!).
So I’ve always been an avid reader and that naturally led me to looking for and reading tons of book blogs to find other people online who liked to read books as much as I did and to get book recommendations. At the time it seemed like such a natural thing for me to create my own book blog, just a simple thing that would let me express myself and gush about books online. That became my hobby for the longest time, writing super cringy fan fiction and book reviews (that little site’s been made private now because it was SO embarrassing!). During all that time (it was something like 3 years) it never even crossed my mind that blogging was something you could make money from.
You should probably also know that at the time I has also been going through the process of obtaining my bachelors degree in electronics engineering and let me tell you guys the process made me absolutely miserable! I didn’t love what I was studying and to be honest I has only picked that program because I thought it would make me the most money after graduating. I felt trapped picturing a career in this subject that I was really starting to lowkey hate, and blogging became this form of escape.
One day I stumbled across this post on pinterest and it was a picture that had something like “How I Made $10,000 blogging this Month” from a creator I can’t even remember now. But it shocked me, this was my first time realizing that blogging was something you could make money from. So I started doing tons of research. Firstly I found a lot of other income reports from bloggers and this was really motivating to me because it really solidified the fact that people were out there making actually real money from doing this thing that I actually enjoyed doing for free.
Once I saw that there were people online, normal people (college students and moms and just regular Joe’s) that were able to make money from blogging, I figured it couldn’t be that hard to start a blog of my own. And it really wasn’t! My mantra was if they can do it, why can’t I?! It took a few simple steps and I was all set up! But that was only the beginning…
Another common misconception that people have about blogging is that, once they’ve set up their blog and put out a few posts, the money will start rolling in. It really doesn’t work like that! Blogging is something that (if you want to be successful) should be entered into with so much patience. I won’t lie, when I first starting blogging with a business mindset, I was so disappointed by the fact that there were months in the beginning when I wasn’t seeing results, no one was reading my blog and I definitely was not making any money. But I doubled down and within a period of like 5 months, I had a ton of people visiting my site! You have to be willing to be consistent and patient and will see results!
That’s the thing I’ll always tell people who are thinking about starting a blog, you really have to be willing to be consistent and put the work in. Like any other business, the more love and attention you put into it, the more likely you’ll be to see results. When I first started my blog, I really buckled down on making it work. I was making posts three times a week (you don’t have to do the same, even one post a week is good as long as you’re consistently making posts). When I wasn’t making posts I was researching on how to make my blog better. I won’t lie to you blogging is work but it’s fun work!
Honestly you could not find a better “job”. You’re able to set your own hours, you’re in charge of your work and you get paid for doing all this! That is why I want to show you guy how easy it is to get started on your blogging journey…
HOW TO START A SUCCESSFUL BLOG IN 2023 THAT MAKES MONEY
STEP 1: CHOOSE A BLOGGING PLATFORM
The first piece of advice I would share when starting a new blog is to create a WordPress blog. WordPress is the platform that let’s you build your actual blog or website and post content onto it. Almost every blog you’ve seen on the internet probably uses WordPress, it is one of the best (if not the best!) platform for creating websites.
The most important thing you need to know if you want to use WordPress is that it comes in two forms. There is wordpress.com and wordpress.org. WordPress.com is the free version of WordPress, you’ve probably seen the people that use this version have domains that are something like “lifestyleblog.wordpress.com“. You definitely don’t want to use this version because it is severely limited with what you can do with it. Your customization options are limited and so are your monetization options. And the worst of all is that wordpress.com can delete your content if they want to, whenever they want to.
I would definitely recommend using wordpress.org. You can customize your site to your hearts content, you can choose your own domain name without being stuck with the .wordpress.com at the end and you’re free to monetize your site however you like. Your content is yours to do whatever you want with it and no one can mess with it without your permission!
STEP 2: CHOOSE A HOST
If you’ve chosen to use wordpress.org as your blogging platform then you’ll need a website host. Since with wordpress.org you’ll own your website and everything you’ll write, you’ll need a place to store everything right? A host is basically just a place that’ll store all your blog files and let people access them as well.
Picking the right host is super important because it’ll determine peoples experience when they visit your site. There are probably hundreds of website hosts out there and I know I was really overwhelmed when I was first trying to make my choice. I was a broke college student so I was looking for a host that would be cheap but also have good service.
One hosting website that kept coming up as I did my research was Bluehost, it’s the number 1 recommended hosting site for WordPress users. If you’re a broke college student like I was or you’re just someone wanting to start a blog for an affordable price (because hosting like any other service can get expensive expensive!) then Bluehost is the way to go! Their service is really great and you can host your website with them for as low as $2.95 a month.
STEP 3: CHOOSE A HOSTING PLAN
When you go to the Bluehost website, the first thing you’ll see is the “Get Started” button.
Once you go ahead and click that you’ll be directed to the page that will allow you to pick your plan. The $2.95 a month plan for 12 months is great if you’re just starting out, but you can definitely still pick another plan if you feel that it suits your needs more.
STEP 4: CHOOSE A DOMAIN NAME
Your domain name is basically the address that people will type into the search bar to go to your website, for example my domain name is maytheray.com.
You’ll want to pick a domain name with a .com at the end because that is just the industry standard and it’ll definitely make your blog seem more professional. Your domain name should be short, easy to type and remember! If you have an idea for a domain name you can type it into box under create a new domain to see if it is available.
Once you have chosen a domain name that is available for you to use, the next step is to officially set up your Bluehost account by filling in some basic information.
STEP 5: SET UP YOUR ACCOUNT
The next step will be choosing what extras you want to add on to your hosting package. I recommend unticking all the options except for Domain Privacy Protection. When registering a domain you’re required to fill in some information such as your address, phone number and email and domain protection makes sure that no one will be able to see this information. The rest of the extras are unnecessary for a beginner and will just add to your total cost.
After you choose your extras and confirm what you are going to be paying for your package, you’ll need to fill in your credit card or PayPal information. Once your payment is complete you’ll be taken to a page where you will be asked to create a password for your account.
STEP 6: BUILD YOUR DREAM SITE
After choosing a password, you can now officially use it to log into your Bluehost account. Once you’re past the create a password page, you’ll be directed to a page that will tell you to pick a theme. A theme is basically what is going to be the layout of your site.
At this point you can pick any theme, it doesn’t matter because you’re going to end up changing it anyways. This is because the themes you see on this page are super basic and limited, you’ll want a more custom and personalized theme for your site. You’ll see where to find these in a bit.
Click the start building button to be directed to your brand spanking new WordPress dashboard! Your WordPress dashboard is where you’ll control everything about your site’s content and layout so you’ll want to familiarize yourself with it pretty quickly. Don’t worry it’s not as complicated as it looks, once you get used to the layout of everything you’ll be making your way around the dashboard pretty easily!
You can access your dashboard through two main ways, the first one being that you log into your Bluehost account and then you can easily log in from there. The second way is to type in your domain name into the search bar and then add a /wp-admin at the end, for example my domain is maytheray.com so I would simple add it at the end so that it becomes maytheray.com/wp-admin/.
STEP 6.1: INSTALLING A NEW THEME
Like I said before you don’t want to be using those free WordPress themes because of how limiting they are in terms of customization. And since you probably want to create a blog that ends up being successful and making money, you’ll need a professional looking website design. There are so many places where you can find premium, professional looking websites that offer you so many more customization options to make a website your own. Check out these sites that allow you to buy gorgeous themes for WordPress: (I personally use 17th Avenue Designs, the theme currently installed on this site is from them and I really love it!)
Once you’ve picked out your dream theme, you can go ahead and install it to your WordPress. All you need to do is head over to your dashboard, click Appearance and then Themes and then Add New.
Once your theme is installed then you’ll officially have an up and running a gorgeous new site to get started your blogging journey!
Just a Quick Last Tip!
Before you put any content out into the world an important thing to do is set your permalinks up correctly. A permalink is simple a web address that links to a specific post on your site. WordPress automatically sets your permalinks to have dates in them (like the date you made a post), for example maytheray.com/2023/03/17/sample-post/. In the blogging world this looks super unprofessional and it hurts your chances of ranking high on search engines like google. You’ll need to set your permalink to a format that will only have your domain and the title of the post, for example maytheray.com/sample-post/.
To change your permalink formats, you simple need to head over to your dashboard again, then click Settings and then Permalinks, then click the option that says Post Name.
And that’s it, you’re all done!