Are you wondering how to start a successful blog and make money in your first month as I did?
You’ve definitely come to the right place! Keep reading because I’m going to tell you exactly how to start a successful blog!
Whether your blog is a side hustle or a hobby, you can become successful at it. It doesn’t matter if you have prior experience or not.
When I first started blogging, I had no idea what I was doing. I felt overwhelmed and stressed out quite a bit. I read so many articles about how to start a successful blog when I first started my blogging journey.
That’s why I wrote this blog post – to address any of your questions or concerns you may have when it comes to starting a successful blog.
Last month, I made $78,000 from my blog. You could say that I know a few things about blogging. 🙂
By the end of the post, you’ll have a better idea of how to create a functioning blog and the basic knowledge of how to increase blog traffic, make money blogging, email marketing, creating graphics, and social media marketing!
If your goal is to make money blogging, it’s important that you start off on the right foot. The foundations that you lay down in your early blogging career will determine your success and will carve the pathway for future success.
Ready to learn how to start a successful blog? Let’s get started!
What Is a Blog?
For those of you who do not know, the term “blog” originated by combining the words “web” and “log,” and the name today can be used as a verb as in “to blog” (i.e., submit posts online), you get the idea!
One morning I was watching some YouTube videos, and I stumbled upon a YouTube video of two six-figure bloggers.
I got intrigued and kept watching one video after another because their success from blogging was so inspiring!
They were making $100,000 from not just one blog but two blogs!
I watched a lot of YouTube videos that day of successful bloggers and read several blogs online.
In today’s world, someone has already done what you want to do, and if you are smart, you will use your time wisely and follow their techniques rather than re-inventing the wheel yourself.
Let’s face it, time is money, and as it is, working full-time as a lawyer, I do not have the luxury of time on my hands to start from scratch.
I have learned over the years how to work “smart” by maximizing my limited time.
I loved Alex and Lauren at Create and Go because I found them VERY REAL and trustworthy.
I took the time to study their websites along with other bloggers but kept finding them more professional and trustworthy than the others.
I read their blog posts and watched their videos the entire day (excluding working hours), but I was so passionate and eager to learn that if I couldn’t read, I had their videos playing in the background when I showered, during my drive to work, and certainly during my lunch hour.
This truly provided a lot of valuable insight into the blogging world and got me excited and motivated to start my own blog!
How to Start a Successful Blog
Step 1: Choose Your Niche
Not every blog has to have a niche, but niching down will not only help you to be seen as an authority in your niche, but it will also help you with making money blogging.
When selecting your niche, think about your passions. What is a topic you could write about for a long time that will continue to pique your interest?
When learning how to start a blog, keep in mind that if you aren’t passionate about your niche, you will eventually burn out, so take your time when researching and choosing your niche.
Here are some niche ideas:
- Real Estate
- Digital Marketing
- Social Media Management/VA
- Interior Design/Home/DIY
- Relationships/Personal Development
Now that you have chosen a niche, let’s move on to the next step of how to start a successful blog.
Step 2: Choose a Blog Name
Before you start your blog, you will need to choose a name. Don’t rush into this decision. Take some time to do research as well as a trademark search. Changing your blog name, later on, can confuse your audience and cause broken links.
To help gain authority in your niche, try staying with the same name and brand to help people recognize you.
Step 3: Set Up Your Host and Domain
Bluehost is a great web hosting company for beginner bloggers, and this is what I use!
They are super affordable, and I’ve never had any issues with them. Their customer service is excellent as well.
Here’s what you will get:
- FREE Domain Name for the 1st Year
- FREE SSL Certificate Included
- 1-Click WordPress Installation
- 24/7 Support
- 30-day money-back guarantee
As a beginner blogger, the basic package is most likely to fit your needs. As your blog traffic increases and your blog grows, you can always upgrade plans.
Getting started with Bluehost is done in four easy steps!
1.) Get Started
Go to Bluehost.com and click on the “get started” button.
2.) Choose Your Plan
As a beginner blogger, the basic plan is most likely to fit your needs. As your blog traffic increases and your blog grows, you can always upgrade plans.
3.) Set Up Your Domain
Now it’s time to choose your domain, or if you already have one, you can enter that as well. If you’re not sure right now, you can skip this and complete it later.
4.) Create Your Account and Pay
Continue with the registration process by confirming your plan, choosing add-ons, and entering your payment.
Another excellent option for hosting is Hostgator.
Here’s what you will get:
- 1-year free domain registration on shared annual plans
- Free SSL certificate
- 1-click WordPress Installs
- Free Migrations
Getting started with HostGator is done in three easy steps!
1.) Get Started
Go to Hostgator.com and click on the “get started” button.
2.) Choose Your Plan
As a beginner blogger, the Hatchling Plan is most likely to fit your needs. As your blog traffic increases and your blog grows, you can always upgrade plans.
3.) Set Up Your Domain, Choose Your Plan, and Pay
Choose your domain, continue with the registration process by confirming your plan, choosing add-ons, and entering your payment.
What most of my blogging friends love is Siteground.
So definitely check them out and any of these 3 options we discussed would be a great start!
Don’t get too confused with different options or waste too much time researching because it’s just the beginning and you can always upgrade things when you start making money from your blog.
Step 4: Set Up WordPress
Each company also offers excellent customer service and can help you with setting up WordPress if you get stuck!
Step 5: Customize Your Blog
Now it’s time to choose your theme and design your blog!
Divi, part of Elegant themes, is the most popular theme nowadays! I have used Elegant themes and started with Divi but then switched to their Extra theme, which is perfect for bloggers! But honestly, I love both Divi and Extra themes because they both are very easy to customize and use.
I did not have to spend more than a day creating my website layout and all my pages because there was no coding needed whatsoever. Everything was easily laid out for you, and I have not taken any training either.
I also do not come from any technical background. So for all these reasons, I love this theme and highly recommend it for a beginner blogger.
Want some more options? Check out these themes too!
Bluchic is ANOTHER excellent option if you are looking for a feminine theme!
Here are two that require no coding skills and are simple to install and design!
Showing off your products is essential for making those sales & convincing your visitors to buy. With the ChicShop WordPress theme, you can do just that!
Start attracting your dream clients with a stunning, professional-looking DIY website thanks to the gorgeously designed ChicServe theme by Bluchic!
Plugins are essential for your blog. They each serve a purpose in helping your blog run smoothly.
Here are some of the plugins you should have installed:
- Akismet Anti-Spam
- Pin It Button On Image Hover And Post
- Shareaholic – Grow and Engage Your Audience
- Wordfence Security
- WP Super Cache
- Insert Headers and Footers
- Yoast SEO
There are some necessary settings that you will want to change immediately.
- Permalink- Go to settings, then permalink, and choose the “post name” option.
- Site Title and Tagline: Go to settings, then general. Make sure to add your site title and tagline.
- Comment Moderation- Go to settings, then discussion. It’s a good idea to moderate your comments since there are so many trolls out there!
Step 6: Make Your Blog Legal
Part of learning how to start a successful blog includes making sure your blog is legal.
This is my best selling Legal Bundle trusted by thousands of bloggers and entrepreneurs! It is the only Legal Bundle you need to comply with the law and protect yourself and your online business legally! It comes with 3 legal templates + 9 bonuses you’ll need for your website!
Here are the 3 Legal templates that are included in the Legal Bundle:
- Disclaimer Template Click here to read more about what a Disclaimer is and why you need it!
- Terms and Conditions Template Click here to read more about what Terms and Conditions are and why you need them!
If you have no idea what LEGAL PAGES are or why you need them, then I’ve put together a blog post to answer all your questions! Read it here.
Here’s a helpful video guiding you through all your legal requirements: (don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to my channel)
Increase Blog Traffic
One of the big challenges with learning how to start a successful blog is learning how to diversify your blog traffic.
Many new bloggers complain that they are not getting enough visitors to their website.
More visitors to your website = more sales, whether affiliate sales or sales from your own products.
Just imagine if you were getting 1 million visitors to your website. What kind of impact would it have on growing your blog?
Let’s find out.
Use this tool to create high-quality blog posts faster, which in turn will increase your blog traffic.
Pinterest is an excellent way to increase traffic to your blog.
It’s the one platform that can give you phenomenal viewership growth from the very first day. That’s truly from your day one….with zero followers and a curiosity and desire to see your blog and business grow!
When you start to engage Pinterest as a marketing tool, you will see a big difference, almost immediately, in the number of your daily views, blog interactions, and overall subscribers!
If you don’t know anything about Pinterest, it’s ok! I knew nothing about Pinterest before taking the Pinterest Traffic Avalanche course, but within weeks, I became a PRO and learned everything about how to use Pinterest to drive traffic to my blog.
This course is quite comprehensive – it taught me everything from how to set up a Pinterest profile, how to automate blog traffic with pin scheduling, how to design your beautiful custom pins, collaborate on group boards, how to use Pinterest for email collection, how to use Tailwind to save tons of time, and much more!
I am going, to be honest; when I first started using Pinterest, I did not like it! It was too much work for me – making pins, pinning, repining, and that also on a daily basis! I would easily spend 4 HOURS in a day doing nothing but Pinterest.
It got addictive and was a huge time suck.
Same thing when I started with Instagram! It was also time-consuming and not easy to post through your phone, worrying about saving the best hashtags, etc. Tailwind has really solved both of those problems for me!
Now I can use my time wisely doing other things for my blog and business because all my pinning and posting are on auto-pilot!
Want to make your pins stand out? Check out these 20 click-worthy Pinterest templates!
Another essential thing to learn is SEO. SEO stands for search engine optimization. It is a way to bring organic traffic to your website through search engines such as Google, Yahoo, etc.
I wish I had started learning SEO from day one!
You have to learn what people are searching for on Google and focus on this from day one. No, Yoast SEO plugin is not enough!
You should definitely use it, but it is not enough if you want your blog to rank high on Google and for people to find you quickly in its search results.
Unfortunately, it’s an additional course you have to take to learn the basics of SEO, and if you don’t, then you will waste time writing and publishing blog posts that most likely, nobody will find on Google. Then you will wonder why your blog posts are not performing well!
But here’s the good news, this is an excellent SEO course for a beginner! Even if you are not a beginner, it’s still a great comprehensive course that will teach you things you didn’t know about before!
SEO books you need when learning how to start a successful blog:
And if you are like me, then get these two SEO books instead because I was able to complete these in a couple of hours!
They are very easy to digest instead of going through a course which takes much longer!
- This is an excellent book for getting backlinks
- Learn how to write SEO optimized blog posts with this book
There are lots of pro bloggers that have purchased these SEO books and courses and are now going back and fixing 100+ blog posts they had published during their years of blogging!
Read this post to learn SEO basics before you start writing blog posts.
Make Money Blogging
When learning how to start a successful blog, most bloggers want to know to make money from their blogs.
Here are three ways I made money as a beginner blogger:
- Affiliate marketing which is recommending other people’s products and making money through affiliate commissions
- Writing sponsored posts and
- Selling my legal templates that all entrepreneurs need!
Let’s take a closer look at each one!
Affiliate marketing is when you recommend other people’s products and make money through affiliate commissions.
Affiliate Marketing, Simplified is an awesome course that teaches you everything you need to know about making thousands in affiliate income! BUT it is so reasonably priced as compared to other courses I’ve taken, so definitely take advantage of this special price before it goes up!
It’s also so important to create your own affiliate program from day one; otherwise, you are losing money.
Just like you promote other people’s products and earn commissions, you want to set up your own affiliate program from the beginning where your buyers can become your affiliates and promote your products for you.
My affiliate program is open to all (not just my buyers), and you will make a very generous 40% commission on each product.
It’s free to sign up as my affiliate in Kartra (another reason, I love Kartra because it made it so easy to have the affiliate program already part of it).
All the legal templates in my legal store are set at a 40% affiliate commission.
Making Sense of Sponsored Posts is a great course I took to learn all about making money from sponsored posts. Blogging can be challenging, but with this course, you will discover a new way to make six figures without millions of visitors to your blog.
The creators of this course, Michelle and Alexis, earn more $10,000 from sponsored posts EVERY month! And in this course, they both share their best tips to help you earn that first $1K or $10K from sponsored posts too!
I loved the course, especially the 5 modules and bonus lessons, including a list of all the networks where you can sign up for sponsored posts.
I wasted a lot of time trying to find this information for free, and I know I’d have wasted some more MONTHS if I didn’t take the course. Even then, I doubt I would have gotten everything I did from this course!
Some of my favorite parts of the course include:
- What are sponsored posts and how they work
- Why sponsored posts are a fantastic source of blogging income
- How to pitch brands
- How to build trust and not lose followers
- Required disclosures that you need to know about
I created 4 digital legal products that every blogger, coach, and online entrepreneur needs for their website within 2 weeks after launching my blog.
This included setting up everything like:
- creating valuable content and products,
- creating the sales pages,
- product bonuses,
- product images,
- sales sequences,
- configuring payment integration,
- getting testimonials and
- even setting up an affiliate program!
Creating my own products certainly meant I had more control over my income. So take the time to create products that solve a real problem. If you need help, this is the course I used to create all my legal templates in my first-month blogging!
Every blogger needs an email list from day one! Social media is a great way to connect with your audience, but what if you get banned from any of the social media platforms temporarily? It happens sometimes.
If you have your own email list, you can continue to keep in contact with your audience, and that’s super important!
There are so many other reasons an email list is essential, and this email marketing bundle is packed with tons of valuable tips you need to build your email list quickly and start making money as an online entrepreneur!
I loved the email marketing templates provided as part of the bundle, which saved me time, and there’s also a list building checklist to keep you on track and focused, which I found to be quite helpful!
This email marketing bundle has everything you need. Check out the bonuses!
When I started blogging, just like most people, I signed up with ConvertKit for my email marketing needs but luckily within my first month, I learned about Kartra and how it’s an all-in-one business platform that allows you to do EVERYTHING you can think of!
To learn more about why I switched from ConvertKit to Kartra, read this post.
Creating Graphics for Your Blog
Learning how to create graphics for your blog, emails, and social media is another essential task for a blogger. It’s part of how to start a successful blog because having visually appealing images will make people more likely to click on your pins or notice you on social media.
A great photo editing tool for graphics is Picmonkey!
I love Picmonkey for all my creative work- photo editing, graphic designing, collage making, edits, and touch-ups! It’s excellent for making your Pinterest pins and editing all your images. I use it for both Pinterest and Instagram images. Try it for FREE here and let me know how you like it! I am sure you will be hooked.
Social Media Marketing for Your Blog
When you think about how to start a successful blog, you also need to think about your social media presence.
Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are all great platforms to grow your audience and grow your blog!
Social media allows you to connect with your audience and share your posts and affiliate links, which is essentially a free way to market your content and products!
The Micro-Influencer Handbook will help you learn how to build a strong social media following, create a significant impact, and make a living as an influencer! Become a micro-influencer in no time with the proper training and tools you need to succeed.
Learn how to work with brands, create high converting content, advertising, and successfully monetize your online presence.
Want to learn how to create your own Facebook group? Grow Your Facebook Group, Grow Your Business, is an excellent course that will help you learn how to create an engaged and energized Facebook group to help you grow your online business!
Join Our Blogging Community
My Facebook group will definitely help teach you how to be a successful blogger! You will love being part of our friendly and supportive Facebook community of talented entrepreneurs! We’re a group of go-getters, bloggers, and entrepreneurs supporting each other with legal, business, and blogging tips.
You should now have a functioning blog and the basic knowledge of how to start a blog, increase blog traffic, make money blogging, email marketing, creating graphics, and social media marketing!
Blogging Mistakes to Avoid When Starting a Blog
Part of learning how to start a successful blog is learning how to avoid the common blogging mistakes I see new bloggers make.
Blogging is a great way to communicate and connect with people all over the world. It’s also an opportunity to meet new friends and share experiences or ideas in a public forum. However, blogging isn’t without its pitfalls and it is important to know about them so you can avoid them. Here are some blogging mistakes to avoid.
First of all, if you plan to start a blog, you should rely on your own ideas and words. Don’t copy someone else’s work or try to pass it off as your own. This is considered plagiarism and it can get you into serious trouble with search engines and other people who read your blog. Learn more about how to prevent content theft in this blog post.
Learn the 7 Worst Blogging Mistakes Beginners Make in this video:
10 Important Things to Do BEFORE starting a blog
Make sure you do these 10 things before starting a blog!
These are things I wish I knew before starting a blog as my side hustle while working full-time as a lawyer and turning it into a seven-figure blogging business.
Get my free blog launch checklist, FREE legal guide to make your blog compliant, and many more blogging tips on how to grow your blog and make money blogging!
RELATED POSTS ON HOW TO START A SUCCESSFUL BLOG
These blog posts will teach you how to start a successful blog:
- How Bloggers Make Money: 7 Ways to Monetize
- 18 Serious Blogging Mistakes (And How to Fix Them)
- 5 Blogging Tips Every Blogger Should Remember in 2020
- How I Made $44,000 a month Blogging
- 8 Easy Ways to Get Your Blog Noticed as a New Blogger
- How I Made $35,000 a month Blogging
- How I Made $20,000 a month Blogging
- 7 Blogging Lessons I Learned After Making $10,000
- Blog Income Report: How I Made $60,000 From My Blog Last Month
Do you have any questions about how to start a successful blog? Let me know in the comments below!