Start A Blog

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This is a long-term game. You will not “get rich quick” by blogging. If you are interested in the different amount of money you can make check out these two income reports which showcase different levels of blog income – beginner to master. The great thing is that if you take the time to create great content regularly, you almost can’t fail. Let’s get you started down the path to making money blogging.
Photo by Thought Catalog

Choose Your Niche

This should take a maximum of 10 mins when you first start blogging. It’s not really that important overall at the beginning stages. The fact is that you don’t know what your audience wants yet. Write about what you know and gauge audience interest. When we first started blogging our niche was weekend or week-long vacations for couples. This changed when we started to full-time RV to the RV lifestyle. Then we modified our niche again to include making money on the road, saving money, and RV 101 topics. This is totally flexible so don’t stress about it too much.
If you are having trouble, write down 5 things that you like to do when you are not working. Then write down 25 post topics for each. If you can’t think of 25 post topics now it will only get harder down the road. Skip the niche for now.
Photo by Dai KE

Buy Your Domain Name

This step you can spend a little more time on but don’t make it a stumbling block. I would focus on a domain name that makes sense for the larger niche you are focusing on. For us, it was easy to transition Getaway Couple from international travel to RV travel because our name is part of the travel niche.
Alliteration usually works well here so head to thesaurus.com and search for your niche. Make it easy to pronounce. Avoid things like hyphens. Try for a dot-com address. Use NameCheap to search for availability and buy your domain.

Find a domain starting at $0.88

Buy Wordpress Hosting

You need somewhere to host your site now that it has a name! The absolute #1 place to host your new site is with Siteground. Do not go with any company that is owned by EIG (Bluehost, Hostgator, etc). See the full list here. My background is in cybersecurity and freelanced for WordFence (Wordpress Security Plugin) for a while. Every single website defacement or hacking that I looked at was on an EIG owned website. Trust me when I tell you that it is WORTH the extra $1/month to go with Siteground. A website defacement fix starts at around $179.

Choose a Wordpress Theme

You can spend hours and hours on this. Don’t. Just like the niche, we have changed our theme countless times since we started. You can waste hours on this step so take my advice and don’t. We recommend getting a premium theme from Studio Press. They are built on their Genesis framework which provides the best SEO right out of the box. It is hands down my favorite Wordpress framework. This site is currently using the Wellness Pro Studio Press theme.

Write Content

This is the absolute best thing you can do for your blog. Domain name, theme, Wordpress hosting company are all ancillary to content. Create a list of 3-5 sub-topics that you can talk about on your blog. Start writing out content ideas until you cant think of any more. Start rotating through the topics and publish 1 article a week until you get your rhythm down. I recommend creating a content calendar to hold yourself accountable. We started with a Google Calendar then moved to using CoSchedule because it helps with auto-posting to social media and allows us to focus on what matters, writing content.
Photo by Niels Steeman

Make Money

The main ways to start making money blogging are affiliate links and Ads. Personally, we skipped on ads for now because the few dollars we would make a month aren’t worth the way they make the site look. We focus mainly on affiliate links like those seen above. It is a great way to help your readers find great products at no-cost to them. We recommend only referring people to products that you actually have experience with. Amazon affiliate is a great program to start with!
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2 comments
  1. Thank you for this. It is perhaps the best guide to start, build and then consistently maintain a website/blog that I have seen.

    The EIG information certainly caught my eye as I have been with Hostgator for a few years. I got hacked then shut down, flagged as a spammer. I had to teach myself how to undo the hack, password protect my vulnerable server directories and then I installed WordFence. Perhaps foolishly, I have stayed with HostGator.

    I followed your links – thank you – and have decided I will transfer to NameCheap… SiteGround being a little pricey by comparison. I have an account with NameCheap from purchasing domain names.

    Regarding WP themes, I agree about driving yourself crazy selecting “the perfect” theme. I did check out Studio Press, however, they don’t seem to feature an opportunity to see an example of a theme in use, like I am used to at Themeforest.

    I really like your Getaway Couple logo. Perhaps you have an artistic side and designed it yourself. However, I struggle designing a stick man. Any suggestions for affordable logo creation?

  2. Hey Jason – I love the design of your website and am looking to create our first website. Do you guys still use the Wellness Pro theme package or have you gone a different route?

    Best,
    Ryan

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