How To Start A Blog And Make Money In 7 Easy Steps + Free Checklist (2017)
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How to Start a blog? Create Your Money Making Blog in 7 Days or less!

Step by step guide to start a blog and make money from it (For bloggers)

Are you wondering how to start a blog and make money online?

First off, kudos to you for taking this good decision. ? (We’ll talk why so in a minute.)

Starting a money-making blog isn’t as daunting as it seems. You don’t need to be a technical person or shell a huge load of money. You just need to follow the right guide to start your own blog.

I have been blogging since 2012 and am thankful to my blogs for helping me clear off my study loans, making me financially independent and ultimately living a life, the laptop style.

And, in this article I will walk you through the exact steps you need to follow to get your first blog up and running.

This free guide has helped nearly 2874 people to start a successful blog online and nearly 4000 people have shared it across their social platforms.  

Ready to create your own online money-making blog?

Let’s start!

Quick Navigation

What is a blog/site? The definition

A blog or weblog is an online diary or website where you publish blog posts with your audience in aim of sharing some information, solving a problem or interacting with them via comments/shares and views on your entries. Most blogs these days play an active role in informing the readers, shaping their opinions and earn a handsome revenue in the process.

Before diving into the step by step guide to starting a blog and making money from it, let’s have a look at why to make a blog in the first place.

Why to start a blog?

You can do a lot of things with blogging apart from starting a blog and making money from it. There are numerous benefits of having a blog of your own. Here are some of the advantages of starting your own blog:

  1. Express yourself; showcase your talent: Through blogging, you can get a way to express yourself, share the talent you have in you. This can be anything like health tips, productivity lessons, kitchen or gardening, business strategies and everything in between.
  1. You can help others: With your talent, you can help others succeed in their business, get more sales and even lead a better life. This is incredible because you reach to an audience worldwide and help them.
  1. Earn money from home (or anywhere): The best benefit of starting your own blog is making money from it. Blogging gives you financial freedom. You don’t need to have a brick and mortar shop neither you need a 9-5 job, with blogging you can make money right from your bedroom/basement.There are 1000s of bloggers making 6-figure income from blogging and to talk about me, I owe everything to blogging.Blogging helped me clear my debts. I recently gifted my father 1 million INR ($15,000 approx.) to renovate his (offline) grocery shop.  And let me tell you, his smile and pride in his eyes was something I will rejoice my whole life.
  1. Get fans and followers: Blogging, if done right, can earn you name and fame in addition to money. You can create a personal brand and grow your fan following.

I can go on and on with the benefits of blogging but that’s not why we are here. We are here to show you the process of building a blog online and earning money from it.

Now let’s discuss how you can start a blog and make money from it? 

How to Start a Blog And Make Money In 7 Easy Steps (2017 Edition)

In this step by step guide to starting a money-making blog, I will walk you through the 7 steps you need to get started with blogging.

To sum up, here are the 7 steps to start your own blog in 2017:

  1. Choose a niche (topic you’ll blog about),
  2. Choose the right domain & blogging platform,
  3. Choose the best web hosting for your blog,
  4. Installing WordPress and the initial setup (themes & plugins etc.),
  5. Writing your first blog post,
  6. Driving initial traffic to your blog, and
  7. Making money from your blog.

Step 1: Choosing a niche for your blog

What is a blog niche? A blog niche is a category or topic that you will write about in your blog. Choosing a niche is important because your whole content strategy will revolve around your chosen niche (topic) and will attract the right audience to your blog.

Choosing a niche depends on what your end goal is, if you are a wedding photographer you need to write about topics that potential couples search often on Google (like best destination wedding tips, bridal/groom makeup etc). This will give you visibility in front of your potential clients and thus you can get hired.

Here are a few tips to help you choose what to blog about:

1) Choose a topic that you are passionate about

Blogging is all about passion. If writing about something can keep you up even at 4 in the morning, I think that’s a good topic to start. On the other hand, if you are writing about a topic that doesn’t interest you, you will not be able to pull it off.

2) Choose a topic you are familiar with

You don’t need to be an “expert” to get started with blogging, start a blog on something you are well versed with can give you instant recognition.

  • Are you famous in your family for making delicious cookies?
  • Do your friends need you when they have a social media doubt (like how to block my ex on Facebook?) or a techy thing (like how to make ringtones on iPhone?)
  • Are you interested in movies and latest music releases or gossips?

These all can be good starting point to think about a topic that you actually know very well.


If you don’t find anything, simply create a blog and start writing whatever you like. One or 2 months down you will find your flow and start getting audience/readers that connect with what you share. That is what I did when I started. I wrote on random things like tech, news, kitchen tips and everything in between. After a time I found my audience responds when I share social media tips and that’s how it all began.

3) What type of audience you want in?

To get the right people read your blog you have to write posts they are looking for. Are your ideal audience (buyers/readers) having a problem? What do they search on Google? What type of lingo they talk and what products they use in their business.

These are basic things you have to think before starting a blog.

For example, if you have a dog grooming product to sell you could start a blog online and write about how to groom your dog, how often to cut nails of your dog etc. This is when your blog will come up on Google when someone searches for the above questions and you will get exposure plus sales.

Step 2: Choosing The Right Domain Name (A Beginner’s Guide)

A domain name refers to the location of a website on the internet. It is found on the address bar of the browser and helps you access the desired website/blog on the internet. In simple language, a domain name can be explained as the address of a house you want to visit.

If I tell you to find my house then how will you react? You probably will ask me my address and then you will reach me, right?

Similarly, every website or blog has its own unique address on the World Wide Web. The address of the blog is in a format called URL (Uniform Resource Locator). Let’s check this with my domain URL ( as an example:

  1. http://(Hypertext Transfer Protocol)
  2. www (the sub domain)
  3. DigitalGYD (The domain name)
  4. .com(Top Level Domain).

In whole, it looks like in which example is your domain name which is subject to availability that means you can register only for those domain names which are available and not registered by anyone before.

Looking for domain selection best practices? Here are some tips for choosing the right domain name before getting started with blogging:

  1. Make sure your domain name is short and memorable.
  2. Choose a domain name that reflects your brand or business.
  3. Choose a domain name that gives you full scope to expand your content scope. Like if you choose a domain name like you will be restricted to content revolving abs fitness.
    After a while you’ll run out of blog ideas and monetization opportunities. Even if you try and write about toned thighs on the blog it will be a mismatch.
  4. Always go for a .com version unless it is previously taken.
  5. Avoid choosing fancy domain names since they are hard to remember.
  6. Avoid numbers, hyphens and symbols in your domain name. They cause a lot of confusion and make it impossible for your readers to communicate your URL with others (like via phone).
  7. Check here for a lot of fashion & beauty blog name ideas

Ready? Check If Your Domain Name is Available Using The Tool Below:

Where to start a blog? Choosing A Blogging Platform

Wondering, I have bought a domain what?

Well, now, let’s now look at the best sites for blogging.

What is a blogging platform? A blogging platform (often referred to as a content management system) is a platform that delivers your raw data into a human readable form (blog) where users can read your posts, shop products and interact with you.

PRO TIP: Don’t fall prey to lucrative tutorials like how to create a blog for free. Most of them have huge limitations like you cannot monetize them. They are mere collection of text (like a journal) that isn’t a full-fledged website. Free blogs do not have any SEO value, meaning you cannot rank a site on Google or get visitors to them no matter what On-Page SEO tactics you follow.

The main demerit of making a free blog using free blogging platforms is that you don’t own your content. They can delete your site permanently without having to inform you.

There are many blogging platforms out there but the most commonly used is WordPress. WordPress is the most used CMS in the world because it is robust, easy blog builder (requires no coding knowledge) and feature-rich (you can create a website on almost any topic with WordPress). This diagram shows why WordPress is one of the best blog sites to use.

WordPress Market Share As Compared To Other Blog Sites And CMS market share when we compared the top 1 million blog sites.

NOTE: WordPress also is divided into 2 versions, the free and self-hosted To make it easy for you, is free and a very basic blogging platform that reduces your blog to a online diary only.

You cannot add themes/have the other WordPress futures and you cannot monetize it either. helps you to start a blog for free but it is hobby focused and cannot be monetized or used as a business blog.

This tutorial is focused on creating a self-hosted WordPress blog. This is what I use and any other blogs you know use. 
Let’s head over to choosing a web hosting for your blog now.

Step 3: Choosing The Right Web Hosting For You

Now that you have chosen a domain name for your blog you’ll need a web hosting account to host your website.

What Is A Web Hosting & Why Do You Need It?

A web hosting is the storage space where you will host (or store) your website database (like text articles, images and other media files) for others to access. Think of web hosting like a brick and mortar house where you will store/showcase your products for others to view and purchase.

You need a web hosting for your domain because anything you want to do with it like create a portfolio website or simply a blog you are going to need to store that data somewhere, right?

For example, this very article you are reading has all its images and text stored in the Bluehost’s (my hosting provider) servers from where it is delivered to your computer.

Got it?

There are dime a dozen hosting companies out there but you have to choose the one that is:

  1. affordable,
  2. reliable, and
  3. has a good customer service.

Bluehost stands tall in all these parameters and I have been happily using them since quite a long time. Started in 1996 (that’s before Google!) Bluehost is officially recommended by as the preferred web hosting.

FREE OFFER: If you haven’t already bought a domain for your blog, don’t buy. You Will Get a FREE domain for lifetime with Bluehost!

To get started, click here to open Bluehost as a new window tab. Don’t worry this tab will stay open for you to refer the steps.

Step-by-step Guide To Start A Blog On Bluehost Hosting

1) Once the page loads, click on the big green “get started now” button to get started with hosting for your blog.

Step 1: Getting started with Bluehost

2) Select your pricing package. Be sure to choose the basic plan (1st column) in the image below to avail the cheapest hosting offer. This plan is enough for you to get started without any issues.

Bluehost enables you to lock your hosting for 3 years at a very cheap price ($3.95).

P.S. You can also choose the hosting for 1 year but then you have to pay $7.99/month. So, it is a better choice  to get hosting for 3 years instead with a little more spend.

Remember, Bluehost is the cheapest hosting you can get (which meets the customer satisfaction) and you can recover your investment because your blog will be making money by the end of the first year itself (I was making $350 per month by the end of my first blogiversary!). So go ahead and choose the first basic option.

3) Select your domain name (or enter the one you have finalized in step 2 above)

Selcting a domain name for your blog

4) After that, you will be asked to fill your account details. Don’t panic this is just for billing process and involves full privacy protection.

Enter your billing details on Bluehost

On the same screen re-check your package information. Make sure to uncheck the things I have marked they are not necessary and simply add to your price.

Further below on the same page, enter the bank details and hit the green ‘Submit’ button to complete the process.

Enter payment information on Bluehost

Congratulations! You have successfully purchased an hosting account for you.

Once done,  you’ll receive confirmation email and information to login to your cpanel (short for control panel or dashboard). This is where you have to install WordPress.

Login to your cpanel using the info in the welcome email. Now is the time to install WordPress on Bluehost. This takes little to no time so be patient and you’ll be done!

Once in the cpanel, you’ll see the the following screen. Choose the icon that reads Install WordPress (ideally under the website builder tab)

Install WordPress from Bluehost cpanel

In the next screen, you’ll be asked to choose the domain; enter the domain you just bought and then click on the big green NEXT button.

Finally, enter your site title (you can change it afterwards) and other details asked.

After you hit the next button, your installation process will be started and you will be greeted with success message.

Please note all your essential info (They will be sent to you via email also).

Congratulations! Your WordPress blog is ready and running.

Once you have installed WordPress on your Bluehost hosting we have literally completed creating a blog for you.

Step 4: How To Initially Setup Your New WordPress Blog?

Now that you have started a blog, are you wondering how do I set up my blog?

Don’t worry, in this section I’ll show you initially setup of your blog including important setting configurations, theme changes and getting it up and running for the public launch of your dream blog site.


Let’s start!

To be able to change or edit anything on your blog you have to access its dashboard.

How To Access Your WordPress Backend (Dashboard)?

To be able to write posts/change the appearance of your blog or any other setting, you need to access it’s backend through the dashboard. To access your WordPress dashboard you have to head over to

1) How To Install A WordPress Theme And Set It Up?

A WordPress theme is what decides how your blog looks and feels on the outside. Themes are what makes every website you visit look different from one another.

The default theme of WordPress is pretty basic and useless when it comes to setting up a money-making blog. It has limited or no features that themes should have. You can feel it when you see your newly-setup blog and compare it to mine (the page you are reading now).

To change your WordPress blog’s theme, head over to dashboard >> Appearance (on the left hand option panel>> themes. Click on the Add theme button on the upper left corner of the new screen (screenshot below).

Now you have to upload a theme (zip file) that you’ve previously purchased.


Never go for a free WordPress theme or a premium one that is available for free or has been shared with you via a friend. Free themes are the #1 cause for site hacks & you wouldn’t want your site to get hacked. I have been there, I have done that and trust me you feel broke because it is ultimately your decision that caused your site to get hacked.

It is always recommended that you invest a little money and get a premium theme. The advantages of having premium themes are:

  1. Full security from hacks
  2. Clean coding to make your site load fast
  3. SEO optimized to help your site rank on Google
  4. You get premium support from the theme developers when you get struck with something.
  5. Premium themes give a branding to your site and signal your readers that you are serious and are here to be in business.
Recommended Places To Buy WordPress Themes

Since I am here to tell you the correct way to start a WordPress blog, I want you to save money on your journey too. There are a plethora of brandable themes and AdSense Optimized high CTR WP themes.

But, if you want value for money you should definitely opt for Elegant Themes (read my complete Elegant Themes Review 2017) which are beautiful, feature-rich and affordable and trusted by 401,000 users. You get 87 different themes for only $89 which is a great deal. Click the button below to get your copy of Elegant themes and proceed further.

Click Here To Get Elegant Themes Now! ➜

2) How To Set Up Your Permalink Structure?

Setting up the permalink structure for your new blog is important because it defines the URL structure after “/” of your blog address and it heavily helpful in SEO (as well as user-experience) if it is optimized well.

Here are a few examples of WordPress permalink structures:


To change your blog’s permalink structure,  go to your blog’s dashboard >> Settings >> permalink settings.

I recommend setting as your blog’s permalink structure. 

This is the simple, neat and the most SEO friendly URL structure. Additionally having an uncluttered URL format can help in user experience and be in the mind of your readers.

Delete the unwanted things:

Often, WordPress blogs come with default posts like “hello World” and plugins like “Hello Dolly“. These are usually crap and add no value to your blog. Make sure you remove them by going to post section and deleting the post and plugin section to delete the plugin.

3) Installing Essential WordPress Plugins

WordPress has 1000s of plugins that help you in different purpose. You can install any plugin but you shouldn’t do. using more plugins will eat up your server resources leading to slow site and downtime. Here is a list of best WordPress SEO plugins that you can refer and use.

Using Yoast SEO (free), the first plugin on that list is essential. So click here to know the step by step process to configure your Yoast SEO.

4) Installing Akismet and How To Get FREE Akismet Key

Akismet is a free WordPress security plugin that keeps your blog safe from spammers & fake commenters. Akismet comes added to WordPress by default. In case it isn’t there in the plugins section (dashboard>>plugins>>installed plugins) you can add it by clicking the Add New option in the same section.

Then search for Akismet >> Click on Install >> Activate.

To get your Akismet API key, simply click on the Get API key button on the next window.

setting up akismet for WordPress

This takes you to the Akismet for WordPress page where you again have to click on the big Get An Akismet API key button.  In the resultant page, you need to signup for a free WordPress account.

steps to get free akismet API key

After you click signup, you are taken to the pricing page. Make sure to sign up or choose the first (free basic) option.

Now, get the API key and insert in on the Akismet plugin page on your dashboard.

5) Installing A Backup Plugin

You should always make sure to install a backup plugin for your WordPress blog. This protects your data and stores the whole site as a backup. In case your site gets hacked or gets deleted by you accidentally or is attacked by spammers, you can use this handy backup to get started with blogging again for free.

I use the BackWPUp plugin which is free and has options to upload automatic backup schedules to your dropbox or desktop hard drive.

6) Installing Social Sharing Plugins

The aim of blogging is to get more and more people to read it so you can help them and get revenue. The more the traffic to your site the more the money flowing in.

Installing social sharing plugins helps people to share your blog posts to their social profiles and email or bookmark them for future use. The benefits of adding social sharing plugins is:

  1. They bring social media traffic in for free
  2. They help your blog become popular
  3. A good number of social shares increases credibility of your posts and hence boost authority and trust.

Check the left-side of this article, nearly 4200 people have shared it across social channels thus bringing in even more people to the article. They also show that 4000 readers have actually liked this step by step tutorial on how to start a blog and make money from it and thought that their friends and followers will like it too.

I use social warfare here on my blog ($29/year). They are lightweight, clean coded and have several features that help in getting more shares (like mobile optimized, preset tweet that can be tweeted in 1-click, different tall Pinterest image etc).

If you’re not in a state to invest in a feature-rich premium plugin, you can use the free basic sumome share plugin.

7) Writing Your About Page & Contact Page For New Blog

An about page is the most visited page of a blog since every new visitor that lands on your blog will be curious to know about you and your blogging journey (visions) etc.

To write your about page, head to dashboard>>pages>>add new.

Give your title in the nest screen.  This is the heading of the page. Here are some tips to write a killer about page:

  1. Make it about your visitors rather than you.
  2. Add what they can expect from your blog (type of articles you publish, tone of your blog etc)
  3. Show them how they can get benefited from your blog
  4. Add some social proof, like a testimonial from a reader who liked your blog (optional but important to boost your authority)
  5. Write in a personal yet clear tone. Don’t use third person.

After that, publish your very first page on the blog.

To add a contact page:

  1. Install the free plugin called WPForms (read my WPForms Review here)
  2. Follow the above guide to create a new page on WordPress.
  3. Add the WPForms contact form shortcode you get to the new page and hit publish.

8) How To Create A Privacy Policy Page & Disclaimer Page For New WordPress Blog?

To create a privacy policy for your blogs, simply head over to the free online privacy generator tool . You will be required to fill up a few simple questions like your name, do you use cookies for your blog (if you are going to use ads for blog monetization you are likely to use cookies) etc. After initial configuration you can export the generated privacy policy for free as text element.

Now, create a blank page on your blog and title it “Privacy Policy”. In the page editor, paste the text you generated from the above tool and hit publish. That’s it. You have created a working privacy policy page for your blog.

Similarly, to create a disclaimer page for your blog simply head over to free online disclaimer generator tool and fill up the info and follow the above process.

Why Do You Need A Privacy Policy & Disclaimer Page For Your Blog?

The privacy policy page and disclaimer page hold no SEO importance neither do they have any benefits for readers. They are the least viewed pages on your blog, however, you have to have them to avoid legal procedures and stay safe from potential breaches.

Similarly, other added benefits of having privacy page & disclaimer page on your website are they show you are a serious business and help you in easy approval for ad networks like AdSense.

Step 5: How to Write Your First Blog Post/Article On WordPress?

Wondering how to start a blog post?

To write your first blog post on WordPress, go to the WordPress blog dashboard >> Posts >> Add New.  Writing a post is as easy as writing a page in WordPress.

  1. Pick a topic and research on it (using Google scholar, Wikipedia, and other blogs that rank for the query. See what they are writing, how they represent and what they are missing. Check the comment section to see  the readers’ reactions and questions on the topic).
  2. Fill up the title.
  3. Customize the URL (auto-generates but customizable)
  4. Add content (paragraphs, sub-heads), images and videos.
  5. Make sure you follow all On-Page SEO techniques.
  6. Check everything in the preview mode.
  7. Hit publish.

Step 6: Driving Initial Traffic To Your Blog (Free Blog Promotion Guide)

Now that you have finished setting up your new blog, published essential pages and a couple of posts, your new aim should be to get traffic to your blog. Everyone likes to start a blog and make it popular but a blog isn’t popular by itself from scratch. Here is how you can drive traffic and make your blog popular in no time.

Getting traffic from search engines will take a couple of days but prior to that you can drive insane about of traffic by other means.

This referral traffic will help you get a boost, some user interactions and aid in getting your new blog indexed in Google (or other search engines like Bing) faster. Make sure you have at least 5 articles before publicly launching your blog. This will give your readers enough data to check out and gauge your blog and make them waiting for more.

To get your first 1000 readers, follow the following steps:

  1. Email your family and friends about your new blog. Give them the homepage link and ask them to leave their opinion as comments on the blog posts.
  2. Tweet out your posts with relevant hashtags.
  3. Go and leave comments on other relevant blogs (Feel free to comment here in this article and I will tweet and share your blog with my 30,000 followers!).
  4. Find out blog communities and forums (like 24×7 forum) to where you can answer questions in your niche and include a link back to your blog in the signature.
  5. Join communities like where you earn points by sharing others’ posts and invest those points to get shares for your posts. Real people Real share.
  6. Join Facebook groups that allow self promotion and comment on weekly threads about your latest blog posts. Try to interact and form friendship so that you can mutually  your blogs and benefit.
  7. Make your first posts speak for you. Write quality articles on everything you know about the topic you are writing. Link to authority bloggers in your articles and tweet them to let them know that you mentioned them in your article. Ask them (politely) to share your article and most will do it. Needless to say shares from influencers can bring you hell lot of traffic.
how to get initial blog traffic by influencer marketing

This single tweet from Mari Smith gave me more than 500 visitors!

Step 7: How To Make Money With Your Blog?

This article on how to start a blog will be incomplete unless we don’t talk about making it profitable.

No one wants to make a blog for FREE unless you are a NGO or a want to run a hobby blog. Even if creating a money-making blog might not be your motivation, you cannot create a FREE blog.

The reason being, a blog runs on resources like hosting, themes and other expenses so in order to make your blog profitable you need to monetize it or have to spend money from your pocket which is not our aim here.

In this section, I’ll explain how to make money from your new blog.

Start, shall we?

There are many ways to make money from your new blog. I have listed some of the most potential and profitable ways to monetize a blog as soon as you start it. The second option on the list is what you can use to make money as soon as you make a new blog without even having much traffic.

Some of the most popular blog monetization methods are:

  1. Selling Ads: You can make money by placing ads like AdSense or on your blog. Make sure your blog has some growth before applying for them.
  2. Offering services: This is the fastest and most effective way of monetizing a new blog. You can provide services in anything you do well like managing social media accounts of clients, bookkeeping, becoming a virtual assistant (VA) or providing a freelance writing services. I did earn my initial income by providing freelance writing services. You can also pitch potential clients and show them your website as your portfolio for writing samples.
  3. Creating a product or course: I am not sure if this applies to you but if you already have a soft design of a product or a course on a topic you are expert in, you can create a blog; form a community of potential buyers around it and then sell it to them.
  4. Infolinks: Infolinks is an in-text ad program that can be used to earn money from ads in your blog’s text. Read my Infolinks review and learn how it can be used to earn money as soon as you start blogging online.
  5. Affiliate marketing: This is a great way to make huge money from blogs but you need to have patience and know your audience. After that, you can pitch or show ads to them based on what things they are interested in. Shareasale is a good place to find affiliate programs and enroll in them. Again make sure your blog has some traction to avoid application cancellation.

Wrapping Up Our How To Start A Blog And Make Money In 2017!

Congratulations! You Have Successfully Created A Money-Making Blog For You.

What’s Next? What To Do After Creating Your Blog?

Sign up for my newsletter here to stay updated with latest blogging tips and resources to successfully grow your new blog into a money-making machine!

Any Doubts? Anything you want help with?

Since this article is a free step-by-step guide on how to start a blog and earn money from it, I have covered all important things that you should know when creating your own new blog.

 ➜ In case you have any doubt or need help with creating a blog or anything you want to discuss regarding the best way to create a blog and make money from it, feel free to reach out to me via the comments section.

  If you liked this post, feel free to share it (using the social share buttons on the left side) with those you think might benefit from it. Every single share counts! I appreciate your effort

I want to let you know that like every other business in the world, blogging isn’t obstacle free. But,  I know you can do it.

Regular, consistent posting, some social networking and patience is all you need to start earning from your blog. The journey between starting a blog and making money from it is always very enjoyable. Embark on it now!

Give it a shot. Start your own blog now.

It is worth it! ✌

Swadhin Agrawal

Hi, I'm Swadhin Agrawal full time Blogger and Freelance writer. I write content marketing and social media stuff over here. Sign up for my RSS feed to stay updated and support me by liking my Facebook page

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