How to Start a Blog That Makes Money

 

how to start a blogOn this page I’m going to show you exactly how to start a blog, as well as a little bit of theory behind online business in general. These days a blog is the foundation of an online business, and it’s quickly becoming the foundation for any business. People do everything online now, especially product research.

If your blog or website is in front of the customer at the time of purchase, you get the sale… whether you’re an affiliate or the actual vendor.

Why An Online Business is so Awesome…

Let me illustrate my point with an example… a vacation should be fun, right? Well, for the average person who has a regular job… it can be, but it can also be stressful.

Why?

Because that person is only making money when they are physically at their job… so besides the actual costs of the vacation, that person also lost a week of wages.

Then take someone with an online business… the business(your blog or website) is always open, and is generating revenue around the clock.

That means it doesn’t matter if you’re on a vacation or at your desk… you’re still making money.

The benefits to an online business are as simple as that.

That’s awesome, right?!

But… there’s a caveat.

What Most People Do Wrong When They’re Starting Out…

90% of people that want to make money online go about it completely wrong.

Here is what the average “newbie” does wrong:

  1. They get interested in making money online somehow
  2. They end up purchasing a training course that promises to make them a lot of easy money fast
  3. They try it for a few weeks and get discouraged
  4. They buy another “program” promising they’ll get rich quick
  5. They keep doing this, and they never approach it as actually “building a business”

Number 5 is the biggest mistake, and is what keeps most people from ever making real income online.

Before I show you how to start a blog…

… I just want to give you a brief overview of what Strayblogger.com is about. If you’re reading this page, then you’re probably interested in some form of internet marketing.

Internet marketing is a broad term, and can mean a lot of different things. At it’s core, internet marketing is just that: marketing on the internet.

If you are promoting your business online, whether you have products or a service to sell, then you’re engaging in internet marketing. That can be done through the use of blogging, social media, search engine marketing, email marketing, forum marketing, or any other sub-category of internet marketing.

My goal with Strayblogger is to provide a resource that will help you accomplish your internet marketing goals.

 

Regardless of what your business is, my overall approach to online marketing is that your blog acts as your base where you monetize, or make money from the traffic coming to your blog. That makes your blog the most important aspect of your online marketing plan.After your blog, all of the other methods that I’ll show you here on Strayblogger are aimed at getting traffic to your blog, which you then send through your “sales funnel”.


First, I want to give you a few reasons why starting a blog is a great idea:

  • A blog is the easiest way to start an online business
  • A blog is the most newbie-friendly way to start an online business
  • A blog is an excellent way to spread the word about your current business
  • A blog is an excellent way to reach your target market
  • A blog let’s you be seen as the “thought leader” in your market
  • A blog is your piece of online real estate that you can grow and cultivate
  • A blog is search-engine friendly
  • A blog has the “sticky-factor”- meaning it makes it easy for you to interact with your readers
  • A blog becomes your springboard for your future online ventures
  • A blog is the best way to impress and engage your target audience
  • Those are just a few reasons why you should start a blog… I’ll spare you the rest for now

Decide What You’re Going to Blog About…

When it comes to starting a blog, there are usually two groups of people:

  1. People who have something to say, and want a platform to say it
  2. People who want to get into blogging, and need something to say

The first group of people are usually business owners who want to increase exposure to their business, or someone who is passionate about something and wants to start blogging about it.

The second group of people are usually individuals that want to start a blog to make money, and don’t yet know what they are going to blog about.

It doesn’t matter which group you fall into… this page will help you get started.

Deciding Between a Free Blog, or a Hosted Blog

This is a decision that people agonize over… sometimes for weeks or months. A free blog would be something like a Blogger.com or WordPress.com. This means that if your blog name was prettyflowers.com, the web address would actually be www.prettyflowers.wordpress.com, or www.prettyflowers.blogspot.com.

The Upsides to Free Blogs

The upside to free blogs, is that they’re free and easy to setup. Actually there’s not even really a setup process… you just create an account.

The Downsides to Free Blogs

There are actually many downsides to free blogs… here are some of the main problems:

  • You don’t own anything… the site or the domain name
  • It’s common for free blogs to get erased… Spammers will setup hundreds or even thousands of these free blogs to promote their spam, and so sometimes the hosting companies delete big sections of their servers to clean up, which can sometimes include legitimate blogs that someone(you) has worked hard on
  • It’s a lot harder to get ranked highly in the search engines from free blogs
  • People don’t take free blogs as serious… it’s hard to establish that you’re a professional if you don’t have your own domain name
  • Very limited customization… this means limited everything from blog design to plugins to overall functionality
  • This list could go on, but that’s enough for now…

Actually, there’s one more, and this is the biggest problem with free blogs…

Let’s say you tell yourself that you’re going to start with a free blog and then upgrade when it starts getting traffic or making some money… What happens is that when you do get it built up, all of your content is on that free blog… You’ll be completely starting over when you setup a hosted blog with your own domain name.

And any search engine rankings you might have had will be gone and will have to be earned again from scratch.

So, it’s pretty obvious that if you’re even half serious about starting a blog, you’re way ahead to go the self-hosted route from the beginning.

How To Start A Blog: Setting Up Hosting

Before you can setup hosting, you need to choose a domain name. You might already have one picked out, especially if you are going to be blogging about your current business.

Here are a few tips to consider when choosing your domain name:

  • Exact match domains are best for SEO purposes. If your business name is Green Candy, then you should try to get www.greencandy.com
  • If your blog is for any commercial purpose, then you should only consider a .com, .net, or .org domain name. These three are by far the best for SEO purposes, as well as for coming across as professional
  • If your exact match domain is taken for .com, .net, and .org, you can add a hyphen such as www.green-candy.com, or you can add one word to the domain, such as www.greencandystore.com
  • Another thing to consider, is that you might want to go for a highly searched keyword phrase instead of your business name. For example: if have a window cleaning business in Dallas, it might be more beneficial to use www.dallaswindowcleaning.com than your business name. The reason is, if you rank in the top 10 Google search results when someone searches “Dallas window cleaning”, you’re going to get a lot of new business… a lot more than you’ll get from your domain name just being your business name.
  • If you’re starting a blog to target a niche market online, then you definitely want to use a keyword phrase for your domain name, because the lifeblood of your blog will be search engine traffic.

How to Setup Hosting for Your Blog

The nice thing about hosting these days is that it’s cheap. High-quality hosting is less than $10 a month, and pretty much every host now has one-click WordPress installation.

Here is a complete walkthrough video that I made for you: (open Hostgator in another window so you can follow along)

I recommend that you use Hostgator for your hosting. There are a few reasons:

  1.  They are the biggest hosting company and have the best support.
  2. They offer everything from shared hosting up to a dedicated server… This is crucial in a host because with hosting companies that are only “shared” hosting, when your site(s) starts to get any real amount of traffic, they’ll kick you off their hosting- this happened to me. With Hostgator, when you outgrow your shared hosting account you can seamlessly upgrade to a VPS and then a dedicated server without having to transfer your entire site and all your files to another host.
  3. They’re one of the only companies with a monthly payment option- most hosts show you a low monthly fee but you have to pay for one or two years in advance.

Click here to open Hostgator in a new window so that you can follow along.

  • Tip: When you signup for Hostgator, use the coupon code “1cent” and your first month is only one penny.

How to Choose a Domain Name

I’ve always just registered my domains through my host because it’s easier, and for dot com’s it’s a dollar less than GoDaddy. To choose your domain name, you simply pick the best of your money keywords that you’ve found, and then add a word that makes it sound like a brand. This way, you get the benefit of some main keywords being in your domain, but you also have the brand-thing going on, which is getting more and more important in the eyes of Google. For example, if you are making a site about homemade dog treats, a good domain would be: dogtreatschef.com or dogtreats101.com. You can also use .net or .org- they’re just as effective as .com.

If .com isn’t available, .net or .org is just as good, but don’t choose any besides those three, because they’ll be harder to rank for. If those three aren’t available, then try your domain with hyphens in between each word, such as: www.organic-dog-treat-recipes.com. If none of those are available, then try your second best keyword phrase, and so on. Once you’ve got your domain, you just go through the checkout process.

Now, I’m just assuming that you’ll want to use WordPress. That’s all I ever use now, and it is the perfect fit for this type of site.

If you haven’t yet, go to Hostgator and setup your hosting account.

Choosing a Theme for Your Blog

WordPress blogs use what is called a “theme” that dictates how the blog looks and functions. There are free themes, and paid themes.

As expected, paid themes are usually superior to free themes, and the best paid themes provide amazingly convenient features.

The appearance of your site is extremely important. If it looks crappy, people instantly exit… they don’t even give your content a chance.

As far as free themes, you can look through all of the examples here.

As with anything else, there are things that are free, and things that are paid for a reason… the paid things are usually a lot better.

The best blog theme out there is definitely Thesis, both for design and SEO reasons. Check out their site and blog for examples of who uses it and why.

This blog is currently run on Profits Theme, but I plan on moving this blog to Thesis in the near future. Profits Theme is a great them for niche sites and sites where you’ll be selling your own product, as it allows you to setup a Membership site within your WordPress site and create landing pages and sales pages. You can do all that with Thesis, but you’ll need a third party script to protect your members area.

 

142 Comments

  • Trung Nguyen

    Reply Reply April 6, 2012

    I agree with you that we should start a hosted blog instead of free blog because we will freedom to do anything with our blog in the future.

    • Nate

      Reply Reply April 6, 2012

      Yeah definitely, the free blog route is too limited.

      • Trung Nguyen

        Reply Reply May 1, 2012

        most thing I don’t like to create a free blog is we can’t 0r hard to make it goes professional

  • Holly

    Reply Reply May 3, 2012

    I’m interested in starting a blog. Just about my passions etc. i found your post very helpful. Was wondering do I need to subscribe to WordPress before install?

    • Nate

      Reply Reply May 3, 2012

      Hi Holly- glad you liked the post. You don’t need to have a WordPress.com account at all- that doesn’t matter. WordPress the self-hosted software and WordPress.com are two different things… WordPress.com lets you setup a free blog like Blogger but then your domain is http://www.mysite.wordpress.com instead of having a real domain name.

      Did that answer your question?

  • Holly

    Reply Reply May 3, 2012

    Oh I see, thanks!!!

  • Hamdard

    Reply Reply May 7, 2012

    Thanks Nate.
    i found this post helpful.i have already created a domain so almost done with creating a blog but i have a problem with selecting a theme because i don’t want to pay for it at the first and i want to try a free theme.

    so can i have some suggestions regarding free themes? :)

    • Nate

      Reply Reply May 10, 2012

      The free theme that I used before I ever bought a theme was called Atahualpa. I know it has a whole community behind it and is frequently updated, so it’s a good one.

      • Hamdard

        Reply Reply May 15, 2012

        Hi, Nate , as you suggested the free theme Atahualpa i downloaded that but don’t you think that its resolution is quit large?

        :)

        • Nate

          Reply Reply May 15, 2012

          Resolution? You can change the site’s width if that’s what you mean.

  • Garnet Barcelo

    Reply Reply May 9, 2012

    Nate, I started the above free blog back in September 2008 when my Thai wife returned from Thailand on a trip to fetch her two sons to join us here in Canada.

    It was initially started with good purpose — a family journal. But it wasn’t long before I found it to be a place to bitch and vent. I have done so much of that these past few years! And eventually, it also became a heavily monetized venue where I ramble on about practically anything that has my fancy.

    I set myself up with a HostGator account later that same year (2008), but because I was lazy, I never tried to transplant the content of my free blog over to HostGator.

    And now there is just too much there to be able to successfully do it, for it contains hundreds of photos that are hosted on Picasa Web Albums (and now Google+, too). These images in the blog would not migrate.

    So I just carry on with it. It’s too much to lose. Thus, your comment that free hosts like Blogger.com sometimes permanently erase a blog came as a disturbing read!

    I eventually used HostGator to get four automated blogs going, and I have another at Super Green Hosting. All have free themes or templates.

    The hope has always been to try and make an income, but I have yet to actually receive a payment. The likes of Amazon or Google’s Adsense do not release payments bound for outside of the U.S. until the account reaches $100, and that has not happened in the three years or so that I’ve been doing this.

    Blogging can certainly be disillusioning as a money-making process. If I did not have the passion for blogging, I would have abandoned it long ago. It’s all that sustains me…and some hope that just won’t die.

    • Nate

      Reply Reply May 10, 2012

      Garnet- Yeah there’s a fine line between the idea of blogging about something you’re passionate about and choosing a topic you know people are spending money on… But, writing a personal blog like you mentioned is much easier, even therapeutic, to just sit down and write on each day and you don’t have to plan any strategy either… the bad news is it might not always be a big money maker.

  • Mary C

    Reply Reply May 10, 2012

    Hi Nate – thanks for the info on the reasons for having
    a blog, the video, etc. I wish I had these basics when
    I first started trying my hand at IM, but better late than
    never.

    All the best,

    Mary C.

    • Nate

      Reply Reply May 10, 2012

      Thanks for reading Mary.

  • gabriel daalmans

    Reply Reply May 10, 2012

    Hello Nate,
    Thanks for a very useful post. Allow me one question and one remark.

    Q: You are stating that Welly Mullia’s Profits Theme is very useful in order to generate a membership site with WP. Why is that? I am living in the believe that you just need to integrate a plugin – wish list or something like that – into the WP installation and that’s it. Do I am wrong?

    Remark: I do not understand the question about starting either with a self hosted blog or a free blog hosted by blogger.com or wordpress.com. I would take both using the free blogger.com and wordpress.com to get free visitors to my paid blog. What’s wrong to that model?

    Gabriel

    • Nate

      Reply Reply May 10, 2012

      Gabriel- No you’re not wrong… it’s just that Wishlist costs $297 and then you need a theme as well. Profits Theme does both for $97 and it’s an unlimited license.

      And as far as using free blogs for buffer pages- that’s valid, I do the same thing myself.

      • gabriel daalmans

        Reply Reply May 11, 2012

        Thanks a lot Nate,
        Still one Question; Does the Profits Theme already include the membership plugin?

        • Nate

          Reply Reply May 14, 2012

          Yeah it’s just built-in… it will integrate with Paypal or Clickbank.

  • Rinchen

    Reply Reply May 11, 2012

    Hi,

    This has been very informative for me since I am planning to try my hand at blogging…I , basically, want to share my travel experience with all my friends and family…and write a bit about food too!

    thanks for the info

    • Nate

      Reply Reply May 11, 2012

      Glad you liked it- thanks for reading.

  • Lauren

    Reply Reply May 11, 2012

    Hello,

    I have always wanted to start a blog, a website for a future online business and I am currently working on a ebook. Though I am internet savy I am not familiar with building my own website or blog and I would prefer to not go the free blog route. As I mentioned I am writing an ebook and would like to have a blog that could be used for advertising and later selling my ebook. What I got from your article about not going the free blog route is that if you decide to create your own blog you will have to pay for web hosting. I also got that if I want to sell on a site or blog that I should look into Profit Themes now does purchasing this also cover the cost of web hosting for my blog and site. Or do I still have to pay for that seperately if so where would I go? I know I probably sound like I dont know what Im doing at all but I learn quickly and I want to learn to do all of this myself that way I know it will be right and the way i want. All help and addiditional information you could provide will be appreciated. Thanks

    • Nate

      Reply Reply May 14, 2012

      Profits Theme is separate. You need hosting- which costs the $7 or $8/month, then in your hosting account you would install the WordPress software- which is free, then you need a theme to install inside your WordPress site.

      It’s all easy to figure out, especially if you’re a fast learner, and Profits Theme has very detailed support videos and tutorials.

  • crystal

    Reply Reply May 16, 2012

    Hi Nate
    I want to start a blog just about my everyday life as a mother of twins, share recipes…basically typical, domestic stuff. I read a lot of other blogs similar to the 1 I want to create and see that they have tons of links to advertisements that relate to what’s being talked about in the blogs, for example: diapers, books on sex advice,disney family trips, recipes, food, shampoos…you get the picture! When I do create my blog- how do I get to that level where it’s not just simply a place where I share my everyday life, but to make it profitable to me? When I typed in the google search’how to start a blog” You’re website was the first and only 1 I’ve been to so far and very informative! I’m not very computer savvy- expect for Facebook and uploading pictures, so this is going to be a challenge for me for sure! Thanks so much!

    • Nate

      Reply Reply May 16, 2012

      Crystal- There are mom blogs just like you’ve described that do very well… and the best thing about them is that type of content is very social friendly- meaning it gets shared, liked, pinned, etc… which brings you more traffic.

      As far as making money from it, you just add affiliate links where they make sense, for example when you mention a product or service you’ve used.

      If you don’t know, an affiliate link is a special link you get from a company or affiliate network that has your affiliate ID coded into it- so when someone clicks the link on your blog and makes a purchase, you get paid whatever the affiliate percentage/amount is for that product.

      Blogging is like anything else… just a skill you get good at over time, but it’s easier than ever to get started. Let me know if you have any other questions.

  • Allysa

    Reply Reply May 30, 2012

    Nate –

    Just want to say thanks for this awesome advice! I have been searching for months and months on blogging and this was broken down to all the most important points/advice needed! Great job!!!

    • Nate

      Reply Reply May 31, 2012

      Allysa- Glad you liked it and found it useful. Thanks for reading.

  • A. Danielle Adams

    Reply Reply May 31, 2012

    Hi Nate,

    I am a small business owner in the city of Detroit, I am looking to blog about my journey on making my business successfull in this struggling city, as well as market my company. I am looking to have a professional start my blog page along with my company website. Is this necessary? Should I link the 2?

    • Nate

      Reply Reply May 31, 2012

      Danielle- I think you could definitely join the two; it would make the marketing part much more personal and easy for your customers to connect with you.

  • Allysa

    Reply Reply May 31, 2012

    At Danielle Adams –

    How ironic, I am from Detroit as well and recently moved to Chicago and will be starting a blog for my upcoming magazine on major cities (including Detroit of course) and struggling businesses and artists/ etc. If you are interested in being in an article, you can reach me at allysam416@yahoo.com and maybe we can work on something together!! Good luck!

    Allysa

  • Sonia Ohwode

    Reply Reply June 2, 2012

    I have always wanted to start my own blog so i can share some ideas of mine with my friends in college all over the world and also to give updates on my magazine publication. I have found your post very useful, although i have started a blog with blogger.com but you scared mε̲̣̣̣̥ε̲̣̣̣̥ε̲̣̣̣̥ε̲̣̣̣̥ when i got to know that i might loose some info in the free blog, thanks all the same. Keep it up.

    • Nate

      Reply Reply June 2, 2012

      Sonia- The chance of your Blogger blog being deleted is small… but it has happened. At the same time, a self-hosted blog can be hacked and have other problems… so you just have to weigh those different things. Overall you’ll have more control over a self-hosted blog but free ones are fine for a lot of people depending on what the project is.

      Thanks for reading.

  • Nevin

    Reply Reply June 6, 2012

    Hey Nate this is a great tutorial. I had thought about starting a blog for a while now about my hobbies (for the site primarily music and fashion with maybe a couple extras) and a little about my everyday life. I was curious on how to start making money with it, how long that could take to actually start accumulating and a rough figure you think is achievable in a given months time. Thanks again!

    • Nate

      Reply Reply June 6, 2012

      Thanks Nevin, glad you liked it.

      As far as making money with a blog… there’s no hard numbers I can give you. Some bloggers start and hit a nerve with people and might get thousands of visits overnight, and then for some people results might not come for months and months of consistent blogging. There is skill involved when it comes to creating a blog that attracts and keeps new readers, and those skills are acquired like anything else… through time, effort, and experience.

  • HostPapa

    Reply Reply June 7, 2012

    It seems that creating a website is an easy task to do. This is the reason why many people are very interested in putting up their personal website without a deep knowledge and understanding about how websites work. It is really important to have at least the knowledge about the components of a website for you to avoid wasting your time in creating your own website. Also, creating a website also needs a little knowledge on search engine optimization or SEO if you want other people to visit and interact with the information you have provided in your website. Thank you for sharing this excellently written article. (SHARED TO SOCIAL NETWORKING WEBSITES)

  • J. Carma

    Reply Reply June 7, 2012

    Nate,

    I can’t express how helpful I found your content has been. I do have a question. I want to start a blog not to sell a product at this time , but to be like a e-zine of sorts. How do I obtain the affiliate id for myself and for others so I can make money . My hope is to draw enough readers to make advertising possible ?
    Again thanks for all your help.

    • Nate

      Reply Reply June 13, 2012

      Do you mean be able to recruit affiliates so that they can get paid for selling your product?

      To do that, you just list your product in a marketplace such as Clickbank which has a built-in affiliate program.

  • Jennifer

    Reply Reply June 8, 2012

    Hi Nate,

    Thanks for so much great advice. You have encouraged me to move forward with my blogging plans. One question, when you use the affiliate links, do you have to notify the affiliate first or will the simple act of using their link on my blog be enough to intiate per click payments?

    • Nate

      Reply Reply June 13, 2012

      Jennifer- You’re welcome. For most affiliate programs, you’ll have to be approved. For some affiliate programs, such as Clickbank, you can instantly grab affiliate links. But no, just linking to another blog is just a regular link… to be tracked and get credit for it, it has to be an affiliate link.

      Most sites that have an affiliate program will have a link in their footer navigation that says ‘affiliates’- click on that and it will give you instructions on how their specific affiliate program works.

  • Erica

    Reply Reply June 13, 2012

    Hi Nate,
    Very useful info thanks. I’m so entirely at the beginning so could u explain a little more about how u get teamed up with companies that are relevant to the blog? I read the earlier reply about how the company gives u an id when someone clicks on the link but how do u get started with that. I’m wanting to blog about my struggles with motherhood/career. Im a hairstylist and mom of one. I know there are tons of companies that might want to advertise but just wanted to know how to make that connection?

    • Nate

      Reply Reply June 13, 2012

      Erica- before you try to go out and either get advertisers or affiliate partnerships, work on your content first. Basically, you need people reading the blog before any advertisers would be interested. Once you have a readership, even if it’s fairly small, your monetization options will be much easier to come by.

  • Gabby Parravano

    Reply Reply June 13, 2012

    Thank You very much nate! Like everyone else I have wanted to start a blog about my passion for current fashion and style, and you really helped me realize what to do and what not to do! Thanks for your help!

    • Nate

      Reply Reply June 13, 2012

      Gabby- You’re welcome. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  • Erica

    Reply Reply June 13, 2012

    Thank you. This is an awesome place for info. I’m not terribly worried about the money but just curious how it all works;-)

  • John

    Reply Reply June 15, 2012

    I think you hit the nail on the head with all of these points. The key one is that free blog sites are not the best way to get traffic, especially for SEO purposes. In my case, I’m not trying to monetize off my blog, I’m using it to get advice out there and keep my mind busy. I think you have some great ideas, and hope to see more posts like this in the future!

    • Nate

      Reply Reply June 15, 2012

      John- thanks for stopping by and commenting. Glad you liked the post.

  • Farah

    Reply Reply June 27, 2012

    Hi Nate,

    I’ve been thinking about starting a blog about my passion for food. Your comments were SUPER helpful. So many things I had no idea about.

    I am hoping to avoid the free blog options. As I am in Australia, do you suggest I choose a hosting service that is based here? or does that not really matter?

    I also read somewhere that a database is needed? Will assume the host will have the DB, but do I have to think about all the ‘tables’ and ‘fields’ before starting the blog content?

    Thanks heaps for your advice :)

  • Jim Skoda

    Reply Reply June 27, 2012

    Hey Nate, I have a passion for politics, and would like to start a blog about politics and life itself. Im not worried about making money, but if that could happen, that would be great also! Which of the routes that Gator offers would you suggest for someone like me?? Thanks, and enjoyed reading/listening to your material. Jim Skoda

    • Nate

      Reply Reply June 27, 2012

      Jim- If you’re positive you only need one site, then go with the Hatchling plan. It’s a little bit cheaper, but if there’s any chance at all that you’d want to start other sites in the future use the Baby plan because gives you unlimited sites within your one account, and we’re talking about a difference of a few dollars over the course of a year.

      Hope that helps-

  • José

    Reply Reply June 28, 2012

    One thing that was not mentioned is that with HostGator you have to send them a scanned copy of your Passport and the credit card you used. And if you don’t they won’t be able to confirm the purchase but you do get your money back.

    THanks for the other info though, was extremely helpful…

    Cheers

    Jose

    • Nate

      Reply Reply June 28, 2012

      Jose- That seems to be on a case-by-case basis, but thanks for mentioning it.

  • Jordan P Schultz

    Reply Reply June 29, 2012

    I have followed several of your tutorials, and I ended up creating a blog of my own. My only problem at the current time is I don’t have the time to update it due to my current full time job. I am handing in my two week notice in the next few days, and I will begin blogging full time as my career. My goal is to work 3-4 hours a day, 5 days a week. I am determined to make it work!

    • Nate

      Reply Reply July 1, 2012

      Jordan- You can definitely make good progress putting in a few hours a day- it will take awhile but you just have to keep plugging away.

  • Mary

    Reply Reply June 30, 2012

    I am looking to start a blog on products that I have tried and reviewing them for my readers. I think that the best way for someone to find out about a product is word of mouth. I love trying new things, look forward to finding ways to use products, and will be looking for free products and giveaways.

    • Nate

      Reply Reply July 1, 2012

      Mary- Those types of sites can work great- it will really come down to your personal touch and personality coming through your posts that will attract people.

  • cindy owens

    Reply Reply July 1, 2012

    My thirty-something son is absolutely a sports junkie and can tell you who knocked out who and in what round in a fight back in 1945!! I would like to see him start a sports blog for those who do not have the time to go to each sports/teams website and keep up with what’s happening in one place. He would make an excellent sports caster, but at his age he has no desire to return to school.

    • Nate

      Reply Reply July 1, 2012

      Cindy- The nice thing about blogging and the web is that the barriers to entry are gone. It’s not easy, but anyone can build a following through great content and hard work.

  • THillmon

    Reply Reply July 3, 2012

    I always post deals, jobs, community information, etc, on my FB page.. and people have suggested that I start blog and I should be getting paid, so here I am!!

    • Nate

      Reply Reply July 3, 2012

      That reminds me of my mom- she is such a busybody on FB that I’ve told her she should start a blog but she won’t listen.

  • taran

    Reply Reply July 3, 2012

    Hi Nate,
    I always love to read your post.Its a great info for me, thanks for sharing great info.You are a great blogger.Keep on sharing such nice posts.

    • Nate

      Reply Reply July 3, 2012

      Thank you- I appreciate that.

  • Stephanie

    Reply Reply July 3, 2012

    Hi, Nate. Thank you for all of the great information!

    Everyone who knows me keeps telling me that I should blog, and they wish I would blog.

    I’m a 51-yr-old homemaker. I don’t see what is so interesting about my life – homemaking mostly the old-fashioned way, local politics (I hold an elected municipal office), and pretty good cooking and baking, but nothing all that, really. Yet, every time I tell somebody how to get a stubborn stain out and save a garment; save money and go greener by cleaning with baking soda, lemons, and vinegar; use cloth rags & towels instead of so many paper towels; old laundry tricks; save money & time by using specific cooking techniques; save time & effort by returning to the old daily schedule for household chores done weekly; etc… people act as if I’ve just given them pearls of wisdom. lol All I’ve done is to teach them what their grandmothers and great-grandmothers knew; it’s really no big deal? I know a lot about saving time and money because I have very little of either, right now! lol

    Is this all really worth blogging about? Are there really people out there who don’t already know these basics? I’m nobody special. Believe me! Why would anyone want to read my ramblings? Okay – so I can teach someone to fix a toilet, or to give their car a tune-up or a brake job, or how to re-wire an old lamp they fell in love with at a yard sale or flea market, or how to spackle nicely before painting… is anyone really gonna read a blog to learn how to do these things? And lastly, is there any money in such a venture, or is it purely for the joy of helping to teach others how to get more out of life? (I’m good with the latter, too. Just wondering about the former…)

    This simple homemaker thanks you for your help! :-)

    • Nate

      Reply Reply July 3, 2012

      Stephanie- Some of the most highly-trafficked and profitable blogs are homemaking blogs on the topics you just described. I would focus on creating a lot of posts at first before you start worrying about trying to make money from it.

      But yes, even though you think those topics are common knowledge- that’s the exact type of stuff moms eat up and share like crazy across Facebook and Pinterest.

      The main thing is, there’s nothing to lose with starting a blog- even if it never makes money it’s a fun and rewarding hobby if nothing else.

      • Stephanie

        Reply Reply July 3, 2012

        Thank you, Nate.

        Two college degrees and allied medical careers meant nothing to my life, as it turned out. I married a man who wanted a homemaker wife. lol Once married, I retired from radiologic technology and from EMT, and spent my 3rd and 4th decades at home and traveling abroad; now I’m into my 5th decade and little has changed, other than I’m now a part-time politician (and our finances no longer permit much travel). Maybe it’s time I tried something new! Who knows, maybe my friends and family are right and I will end up successful at blogging?

        Thank you so much for your help, Nate. You gave me my start, and I’m thankful for it! Now to start looking at that Hostgator video…

        • Nate

          Reply Reply July 3, 2012

          You’re welcome. Good luck if you decide to start, and feel free to email me anytime with questions or anything.

  • Jasmine

    Reply Reply July 4, 2012

    Hi Nate!

    This is the most insightful information I have come across in regards to starting a blog. It’s easy to follow and the language is easy to understand, even for a beginner like me! I am surrounded by people who really respect my opinion in terms of fashion. So I know I’ll have a lot of immediate support. However, I had no idea that one could actually profit from a blog until I read this. That’s not my main priority, but I was still discouraged when I read about choosing a domain name that was searchable. The title I have chosen for my blog does not really contain key words as it pertains to full figured women. Can I keep my catchy title and just have a different name for the domain?

    • Nate

      Reply Reply July 5, 2012

      Jasmine- Thanks for stopping by, reading, and leaving your comment. I’m glad this post was helpful to you.

      I would definitely keep your catchy title vs. trying to use a keyword title. SEO results might take a bit longer but branded sites do better over the long term and are easier to build a following around.

  • Holly T

    Reply Reply July 6, 2012

    hey i asked a few questions when i first saw your post a while back. I had put my blog on hold and decided the other night to start up, without thought, and on a whim. i dont really have the extra $ to host a domain right now so i started a free blog on weebly. what are your thoughts on that site? i have no idea why i started there i honestly cant remember where i found it. i blame mom brain. :) does it matter where the blog is as long as i get a domain later? i guess i still dont completely understand how it works….domain, hosting site, blog site etc.

    • Nate

      Reply Reply July 9, 2012

      Holly- I not super familiar with Weebly, but if you can buy a real domain down the road and keep your site and content intact then it’s fine.

      If you’re planning on blogging for a long time and making it a serious endeavor, then yes I would definitely recommend going through the process of getting your own hosting and WordPress. I think you’ll be better off in the long run that way. There will be a bigger learning curve upfront but a lot more benefits as well.

  • Holly T

    Reply Reply July 6, 2012

    also, would you recommend since i just started to, stop and move it all to a hosting site and wordpress?

    • Nate

      Reply Reply July 13, 2012

      If you’re planning on making it a serious project, then yes I would.

  • Joyce

    Reply Reply July 13, 2012

    Wow Nate!

    I feel like a million$ asset right now. Jokes:):):)

    Thank you very much for willingly sharing your practical knowledge with us and with me in particular. This has really openned my eyes and given me new insights into blogging.

    My Interests for a blog was purely to share thoughts, ideas, encourage and uplift downcast and hopeless people. I have been doing this for a few years on FB. I have a lots of fans. Iam naturally captivating, and attract many readers in whatever topics. I enjoy writing , reading and sharing practical knowledge and experiences like no one’s business. In social, spiritual and intellectual aspects.

    I live to make a difference in whatever i undertake. Iam creative and so forth.

    Thank you once again for sharing the most helpful and practical knowlege on blog.

    Money is not my only top priority- making a lasting impact / difference in a person’s life is. However, “WHEN LUCK ENTERS: GIVE HIM A SEAT. ” Nicky Cruz

    So what is your advice to me dear Nate. Given that iam in Africa lol:):):)

    Thanx a big time.

    • Nate

      Reply Reply July 13, 2012

      Joyce- I think a blog is a great medium for what you’ve described. Whatever you motivations are, there are a lot of blogs out there along the same lines with huge followings… a lot has to do with injecting your own personality into your blog.

  • Shirley

    Reply Reply July 15, 2012

    In answer to why I want to start blogging and what I would like to blog about, it comes down to this. I have been employed by the pharmaceutical industry for the last 20 years (primarily in R&D) and now find myself on unemployment.

    I would like to use the internet to provide a stable income for me and and my family. I am hoping that it will enable me to spend more time with my family by working my own hours instead of the 8 to 5 (or longer) required by industry.

    I would like to blog about a variety of topics, primarily I am interested in nutrition and the role it plays in creating a healthier person. I have Celiac and am on a gluten free diet, in addition my son has ADD/ADHD, and my partner shows signs of ALS. I do my best to research what food, supplements, and exercise will help relieve the symptoms of each condition. Due to my years in the pharmaceutical industry, I shy away from prescription medication and rigorously research the supplements we do take in addition to evaluating the manufacturers of the food we eat.

    I am currently researching how to set-up and maintain a blog so that I can have a good foundation from which to build. Your site has been the most helpful so far.

    • Nate

      Reply Reply July 15, 2012

      Shirley- That type of blog has big potential, as more and more people are getting interested in a more natural approach to health.

      I’m glad my blog has been helpful so far, there’s a lot of good info here to help get you started.

  • Santhosh

    Reply Reply July 16, 2012

    I am passionate about electronics and robotics.I need a platform to show my work and invite discussions.I have no idea to sell or buy merchandice.What approach would you suggest a website or a free blog?

    • Nate

      Reply Reply July 16, 2012

      I would definitely start a hosted blog if you’re serious about creating a profitable website. There are way more advantages than the tiny cost of your own hosting.

  • Andrea

    Reply Reply July 16, 2012

    I am looking to start a blog on about how to save money with everyday living. Thanks for all the info and tips.

    • Nate

      Reply Reply July 16, 2012

      You’re welcome Andrea, glad it was helpful.

  • Chritie

    Reply Reply July 20, 2012

    I would like to start a blog about kid and family activities in my area. I’d like to make some income from it…do you think that would be possible since the audience may be limited. Could I use a free blog site since its really only for a local area?
    Also could I get local advertisers to pay for ads that I put on the site as well as affiliates,etc. Any advice you can give would be so appreciated!!

    • Nate

      Reply Reply July 21, 2012

      Yes- any topic can work if enough effort is put into it. If you plan to really try to make money with the blog, you don’t want to use a free one. It can be done, but it’s just one more thing that makes your blog seem less professional.

  • Adam

    Reply Reply July 22, 2012

    Hi, I’m interested in starting a blog, and I want to have extra money as well, is it possible to start a blog without a penny?I’m still a college student and I don’t have a credit card nor money in my Paypal account. Thanks!

    • Nate

      Reply Reply July 23, 2012

      Adam- You can start a blog that’s free and it can earn money… it’s not impossible to do it with a free blog, I just think it’s much easier to with your own hosted blog in the long run.

      • Adam

        Reply Reply July 23, 2012

        Alright, thanks for the advice!

  • Mauro D'Andrea

    Reply Reply July 24, 2012

    Hi Nate, I agree with you: it’s much better to start a hosted blog.

    The first time I started a blog, I used a free blog thinking that “when I’ll make some money, I’ll shift to a hosted blog” and that was a really big mistake!
    I went to a blog on Blogger to a hosted blog and that change was really painful…I lost a lot of backlinks.

    Now that I Know this I prefer to spend some money at the beginning to avoid to lose some money later.
    As you say, blogging is about building a business, so spending on hosting is like doing an investment.

    • Nate

      Reply Reply July 24, 2012

      Mauro- Yep, that’s one of the biggest reasons to just start with a hosted blog.

      And yes, hosting is such a small investment- especially compared with the start up costs of a traditional business. Thanks for reading.

  • Kathryn

    Reply Reply July 24, 2012

    Hi Nate,
    I am very new to blogging but actually want to start two blogs; one is more for me. I have just started my 6th decade – Ugh! I want to make sure I appreciate the next 10 years and would like to invite others to join my journey in this chapter of my life (how about those cliches!). I also feel I have learned a few things over the years and would like to share.

    My second blog is more informational in nature. I unexpectedly became caregiver for my mom, who recently passed. Caregiving was both a blessing and a challenge. I would like to offer information and support for others who are in this situation.

    Your information was very helpful. Do you think that as a newbie, it makes sense to start with 2 blogs. If not, any thoughts about which one to start first.

    Thanks in advance for your response.

    • Nate

      Reply Reply July 24, 2012

      Kathryn- You can definitely start two blogs. However you decide to divvy up your time between them, whether it’s one hour a day on each, or two hours one day on one, and two hours the next day on the other… just stay consistent.

  • Kathryn

    Reply Reply July 24, 2012

    Thanks, another question for you. I followed your link to Hostgator and see it as an avenue for developing a website. Actually, this is something I want to do too – for editing services, but is this the same format that is used for a blog? It was not what I expected. Sorry, told you I am a total newbie.

    • Nate

      Reply Reply July 24, 2012

      Kathryn- Yes, it is. With one hosting account with Hostgator, you can host unlimited websites. You need at least the “baby” plan for that.

      But, once you open an account, within your cPanel, there’s a one-click install of WordPress, which is free software that let’s you run a blog or a regular static website… or even a combination.

      Just watch the video towards the end of this page and I walk through a WordPress installation.

  • Crystal

    Reply Reply July 25, 2012

    Hello Nate,
    I followed your video everything went smoothly until the last step of clicking on my link. It did not take me to the wordpress login. It gives me an error saying “Oops! could not find website”. What do you think went wrong?

    • Nate

      Reply Reply July 25, 2012

      Crystal- Did you register your domain name with Hostgator or somewhere else?

      • Crystal

        Reply Reply July 25, 2012

        I registered with hostgator. After waiting a bit I was able to login, I guess it needed time to set up. Now I am getting this message after looking around on my dashboard-

        Fatal error: Call to undefined function wp_get_theme() in /home/cmetcalf/public_html/wp-content/themes/hatch/library/functions/utility.php on line 119

        Now I cant get into anything.

        • Nate

          Reply Reply July 25, 2012

          It looks like you uploaded the ‘Hatch’ theme?

          I’m sorry… when it comes to code I don’t know anything, but there’s probably a support forum for the Hatch theme, or post that error on the actual wordpress forums and some code guru will tell you exactly what to do.

  • christie

    Reply Reply July 27, 2012

    What is your recommendation on web sites that pays you to blog for them? How does that work?

  • Awakening

    Reply Reply July 29, 2012

    Great Work Nate!!

    Enjoyed every single word of it. Good work and in good direction thanks for enlightening so many brains including mine.

    You have literally motivated me in a great way to start writing. Keep up the good work. God bless you :)

  • jenn

    Reply Reply July 30, 2012

    What are the legalities for a blog? Do you need a copyright, any disclaimers, etc…thx

    • Nate

      Reply Reply August 1, 2012

      Jenn- it depends on if you’re recommending products as an affiliate, and what kind of offers they are.

      You should at least have a privacy policy, and there’s a several sites out there that will auto-generate one for you. Profits Theme also generates the different legal pages you need, you just enter your website name or business name.

  • Gina McCumiskey

    Reply Reply July 31, 2012

    I want to start blogging to share my experiences and finds with others. Right now I do Pinterest and Facebook and I think having one place (with more space to vent) would be ideal.

    • Nate

      Reply Reply August 1, 2012

      Gina- sounds good. Your facebook and pinterest accounts can drive a lot of traffic to your blog, especially if you’re active on them like you said.

  • Melissa C

    Reply Reply July 31, 2012

    I really want to start a blog about DIY, home decorating, and recipes. I would love to make it a source of income! That way, once we start growing our family, I will have more time to spend with them rather than being at a 9 to 5 job every day. :)

    • Nate

      Reply Reply August 1, 2012

      Melissa- blogs like that can do great. Just don’t sacrifice the quality of your content to try and earn faster… it takes time but better quality will produce better results in the long run.

  • JBanister

    Reply Reply July 31, 2012

    I want to write a blog on my journey of reading the bible. And becoming closer to god..

    • Nate

      Reply Reply August 1, 2012

      There’s blogs out there about religion that are huge… that’s the nice thing about the internet, there’s an audience for almost anything.

  • Natalie

    Reply Reply August 1, 2012

    I want to start blogging because I have a lot to say and a blog is the best way to share it.

  • Sarah

    Reply Reply August 1, 2012

    Hi Nate,

    I followed your video on how to setup a blog through Host Gator and, subsequently, WordPress. Everything went smoothly until I clicked on the link. Instead of going to my new blog, I get the following error message: “Safari can’t find the server. Safari can’t open the page “http://whattodowithcancer.com/” because Safari can’t find the server “whattodowithcancer.com”.”

    Do you know what I did wrong? Any help would be much appreciated. Fair warning though, I’m very new to this, so you may have to break it into baby steps.

    Thanks for your time!

    • Nate

      Reply Reply August 1, 2012

      Sarah- it does take some time to propagate on the servers. Is it working now or are you getting the same error?

  • Nicole

    Reply Reply August 1, 2012

    Hi Nate. I followed your tutorial step by step, but it didn’t work. Everything went fine setting up hostgator. The problem was with installing wordpress. When I get to the last part where wordpress is already installed, I click on the url like you did in the video and a google page comes up saying that site can not be found. Any clue what went wrong or what I can do to fix it?

    • Nate

      Reply Reply August 1, 2012

      Nicole- it does take some time to setup on the server. Give it about an hour and then check, or has it already been that long?

  • Linda

    Reply Reply August 1, 2012

    Great tutorial. Thanks :)

    • Nate

      Reply Reply August 1, 2012

      You’re welcome.

  • Jenn

    Reply Reply August 2, 2012

    Can I first set up my blog free on wordpress then later move it to bluehost or hostgator once I see some activity?

    • Nate

      Reply Reply August 6, 2012

      Jenn- You can, but if you’ve gotten any search engine rankings you’ll most likely lose them when you move your content to another domain.

  • Christie

    Reply Reply August 2, 2012

    Hi, i posted this question earlier – not sure if you saw it so here it is again: What is your recommendation on web sites that pays you to blog for them? How does that work? thx

    • Nate

      Reply Reply August 6, 2012

      Christie- I don’t really know anything about that… I’ve never done it.

  • Navdeep

    Reply Reply August 3, 2012

    Hi Nate,

    Indeed a good write-up.
    Where is the information about “that Makes Money”; which is part of your blog title!
    or Am I missing something?

    • Nate

      Reply Reply August 6, 2012

      I didn’t get too deep into monetization strategies in this post, but there are other posts on this blog that do.

  • Gregory

    Reply Reply August 9, 2012

    Hey Nate.

    What kind of free blogging services do you recommend for starters? My wife is planning to open a blog, but she doesn’t know where. tumblr, wordpress or blogpost?

    • Nate

      Reply Reply August 10, 2012

      Probably Blogger… I use a free blogger blog for my personal journal/goals and stuff like that, and I like how it works.

    • Teemu

      Reply Reply August 19, 2012

      wordpress is quite good as well. Especially if you upgrade for few dollars… Just my 2 cents.

  • Gree

    Reply Reply August 25, 2012

    I’m getting ready to begin blogging soon, and this has been the most helpful site by far. There are so many things about blogging that I didn’t understand (especially the WordPress software vs. WordPress blogging site), but you have answered all my questions. I am really glad you talked about sites that promise to teach you blogging for so much money. I’ve come across that in my research. Thanks for all the free help, I really appreciate it! It’s nice to get pointers from someone who knows! :)

    • Nate

      Reply Reply August 25, 2012

      Thanks Gree- glad you liked the post.

  • Jill

    Reply Reply August 28, 2012

    Hi Nate, just came across this article and haven’t had my morning tea yet ~ so I’m not 100% but I do have a question about starting a page. Since I’m interested in people with visual impairments having access to my blog – do all of the hosting sites you mentioned run the test to make sure they are screen reader adaptable? And if not, can you recommend one who does? Thanks so much!

    • Nate

      Reply Reply September 2, 2012

      Jill- That’s something I don’t know anything about. I’ve got to assume that WordPress has something in place since it’s by far the biggest blogging platform. Sorry I couldn’t be more help.

  • Barry

    Reply Reply September 11, 2012

    Nate, what you think about Joomla. Why is wordpress better than Joomla? I know that WP has been downloaded million times, but still. Do you have any cons and pros to point out?

  • Capo

    Reply Reply September 15, 2012

    That are the exact reasons I don’t like free blogging platforms either. It’s also much cooler to show your friends your own domain with a great theme than a crappy free blog url that takes ages to write down.

    Guys, follow his steps, this guy knows what he is doing!

  • Nathaniel

    Reply Reply September 27, 2012

    Great article on starting a blog Nate! It’s good to be reminded of why we blog and the freedom it gives us to spend more time with our families, doing the things we love and not tied down to a 9-5. The best part is you can blog about a topic you really enjoy AND make a great income if you set things up correctly.

    Cheers!

  • Brittany

    Reply Reply October 18, 2012

    Hi…great post. I’m currently getting ready to start my own website and this was extremely helpful. I do have a couple questions I was hoping you could answer….

    Is the profits theme something you buy right away or can you switch over/upgrade to it?

    Do you have any helpful hints how to get more readers and throw yourself out there?

    And I’m looking to blog about my daily things..a little DIY, crafts, recipes, motherhood, you name it. But I also want to be able to sell some of the crafts I make on there. Does the profits theme support both including a shopping cart? That lets you pay with credit cards?

  • Taran

    Reply Reply November 13, 2012

    Its really a great stuff, you have such a nice post.Thanks for the post, so helpful for me.

  • Taran

    Reply Reply November 13, 2012

    This post will really help me start a blog.You have written such a nice post.Its really a great post to read for beginners.

  • Eko Dost

    Reply Reply November 15, 2012

    Everything starts with the right domain name. Bloggers and webmasters should spare enough time for picking the domain name that matches their needs the most.

  • Mark

    Reply Reply January 20, 2013

    Nate,

    Do you have any suggestions on which theme would work best for an authority Blog. Does it matter what the subject matter is?

    • Nate

      Reply Reply January 21, 2013

      Mark- Good question.

      If it’s going to be purely a blog- meaning just tons of content and you’re not going to sell your own info product or anything, then I Thesis is the best. If you want to be able to easily create different kinds of landing pages and sales page, then Profits Theme is the way to go. Profits Theme is what I use on this site. I will say I think Profits Theme is easier to figure out and customize- but, once you figure out Thesis it is much more customizable…

  • bernadine

    Reply Reply January 28, 2013

    So I’m going to jump in and attempt to swim at this Blogging thing, hopefully I don’t drown in the process. I am going to take all of your suggestions to heart and purchase a Host and the theme I believe Thesis you said was the best. Hopefully I can swim and don’t sink like a huge boulder. Wish me luck.

    • Nate

      Reply Reply January 28, 2013

      I wish you luck ;)

      My biggest tip is to take the learning process one step at a time. The tech stuff can seem complicated at first but once you get it it’s pretty simple stuff.

  • Mark

    Reply Reply January 30, 2013

    I agree with you.Evertime I run across a term that I am unfamiliar with I stop what I am doing and go look it up. I then read about it until I feel like I understand it. This makes the rest of what I am reading a lot easier to understand.

  • Peter Sunde

    Reply Reply March 4, 2013

    I just started my blog, thank you for these tips!

  • Ryan Smith

    Reply Reply March 11, 2013

    Excellent post. I had a friend that has just gone from using a free blog to a self-hosted blog and he lost his rankings in an instance. Luckily it wasn’t a very established site so he would quite quickly get back up to rank again.

    Loving your work Nate.

  • Sonia McIntosh

    Reply Reply March 14, 2013

    This is so informative thank you! I have blog powered by WordPress on my wedding site but not sure I like the layout. Also I have 2 other blogs on Blogger with just a few traffic. Can my contents transfer over without losing anything? How is this transfer done?
    Thanks!

    • Nate

      Reply Reply March 26, 2013

      Sonia- Yeah you can pretty much just copy and paste your contents over. I don’t think you can do it the “official” way from a blogger site.

  • Beto

    Reply Reply March 21, 2013

    Hey Nate!

    A long time ago, I was monitoring this post, because some course of yours.

    I opened my ranktracker And saw that proyect from 13-aug-2012.
    You had 3rd place for “How to start a blog” Now 53

    What happend? Penguine?

  • Craig Crawford

    Reply Reply April 4, 2013

    Hey hey!

    I find myself returning yet again, you do share some great info!

    I am venturing into blogging myself!

    Appreciate the shared info buddy,

    Craig Crawford

Leave A Response

* Denotes Required Field

Current ye@r *