5 Easy steps to start a blog in 2020 (and make money from it)

Setup your blog in less than a week

Are you thinking about creating a blog but feels overwhelmed with the idea of building one?

In my previous blog, I shared five (5) reasons why parents should blog. If that’s not enough to convince you, maybe the hassle-free process of how I built mine would encourage you to start your blog today.

Blog or Website? Which one do you need?

A blog is a text-based platform.

Let’s clarify the difference between a blog and a website. If your focus is to share well-written content about your life with limited visuals, then you can call your online platform a blog. However, nowadays, blogs have become more and more creative and engaging thanks to those graphic design tools that you can get online. But the idea remains the same for blogs. It has to have your personal experiences and life stories to gain readers. On the other hand, a website is more multi-purpose, and it could also feature a blog page. Often, the blog page is more centred to talk about your products and services or industry news. Having a website is ideal for those looking for a platform dedicated to products and services. So that customers could learn more about you or purchase directly from your online store.

Now, how would you describe my ever-changing WordPress site?

My WordPress site started as a free blog that talks about my parenting lifestyle as a work-from-home professional. It has lots of images and videos to keep my blog engaging along with a ton of tips about freelancing. Later on, I included details about my professional work in digital marketing and coaching. So, from a blog, I am transitioning into a website that is flexible enough to adapt to my professional needs.

WordPress.com
Here’s how you can get started with your blog
Step 1: Think of a domain name that would best describe your blog or website.

Ideally, a domain name has to be short, unique and catchy. If you are just starting out, you can get a free domain with a WordPress.com subdomain. For example, when I started with my free domain, my domain was – https://elleanorma.wordpress.com As soon as I was able to save enough from my digital marketing consultancy, I was able to purchase https://elleanorma.com for free with WordPress hosting. Ultimately, my domain name has become shorter and looks more professional.

WordPress.com FREE site includes Jetpack Essential Features, Pre-installed SSL Certificate, 3GB storage space, and free themes.

Create a free account here.

Step 2: Choose a reliable web hosting platform that you can quickly set up on your own.

There are many hosting services to choose from based on your budget, needs and technical skills. When I started my two websites https://elleanorma.com and bornhappy.ph, I tested out two different hosting services. For my blog turned website, I got my domain and web hosting from WordPress. But with bornhappy.ph, I tried GoDaddy. The two sites worked well, and I was able to set up the two websites quickly. However, since I was new in the web development scene (and too lazy-busy to research), it was after a year ’till I discovered that I’m spending quite a lot with GoDaddy domain and hosting.

So, should you get GoDaddy or WordPress’s domain and web hosting service? It depends on what you need as a blogger or a website owner.

From an initial domain fee of P 1,749 on GoDaddy, the domain renewal had a 167% increase on the second year. Just this year, my bill was a whopping P 5,758.64 with GoDaddy’s domain renewal alone. And then I should expect to renew my GoDaddy WordPress hosting plan by next year with a bill of P 1,059/ mo from a previous monthly bill of P 389. I read somewhere that it was because some of the services like web hosting and initial registration were purchased at a discounted rate in GoDaddy, so the increase on the domain renewal was to compensate for those savings. For first time bloggers or small website owners, the cost to have a GoDaddy hosted WordPress website is way too expensive. Your best bet is to start a blog that has fixed renewal cost using WordPress.com domain and web hosting services.

Step 3: Decide on the look and feel of your online platform.

While having a unique-looking blog or website is essential to branding your online platform, letting it stall your progress would be the worst that you can do. There’s a way to make things easier for you. Start with the basics by listing down the purpose and topics that you want on your website. Search for visuals that represent the purpose of your blog. Select your blogs colour palette and collect images that best describe your blog. Put this all together in a presentation on Google Slides or Pinterest. What you will come up with is what designers would often call as a mood board. It will help you create the branding and identity of your blog. 

mood board is a collage of texts, images and other objects to represent a specific look of a brand.

Create your mood board on Canva

Step 4: Follow the 3 P’s – PLAN, POST and PROMOTE your content consistently.

Creating a blog or website has become easier these days. With the right website builder, you can have your online platform in less than an hour. We can agree that setting up is the easiest part of maintaining and growing your blog is another story. When I brought my blog from the ashes this year, I had to come up with a compelling blog post that would encourage my social media friends to read my blog. I shared the story about a summer beach trip, and ultimately I received excellent feedback from my write up. Since then, I created a content plan to keep me on track with my posting. I also run a social ad campaign to promote my blog. Today, from 0 views, I now have regular traffic coming in even on those busy days.

Use Google Sheets to write your content plan.
Step 5: Include monetization strategies to your blog.

There’s no better time to monetize your website, but the moment you created one and your WordPress site could help you with that. With my WordPress Premium Plan subscription, I’m able to explore at least four ways to earn passive income to sustain my WordPress hosted website. 

Start by exploring the Earn page on the WordPress dashboard under Tools. 

With WordPress Premium Plan (and a ton of hard work) you’ll be able to earn in 4 different ways.

4 Ways to earn on WordPress paid plans

  1. Sell digital goods, products and services with a Premium Plan on your WordPress website.
  2. Activate WordAds with WordPress by consistently posting and promoting high-traffic-generating content on your WordPress Premium website.
  3. Ready to introduce recurring payments? Request donations or collect subscription payments to your exclusive content with a Stripe account. Learn more about Recurring Payments here.
  4. Earn cash referral with WordPress Affiliate Program by sharing tips and advice about WordPress and its other products, i.e. Jetpack, WooCommerce and WP Job Manager.

Ready to set up your blog?

Start earning from your blog with WordPress Premium and Business Plan. Learn more.

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