One of the most popular options when it comes to making money online is starting a blog, but the reality is most fail and never make money. In fact, most blogs lose money because they don’t generate any revenue and cost money to operate and maintain.

Why is that? Well, the competition is high in almost all niches, but it really comes down to execution and having the long-term mentality. It’s not a get rich quick play, that is for sure. You have to be very dedicated and put in the work before you can expect to even break even. From there, it could be years before the blog turns into a business rather than a hobby.

I’m not saying this to be negative or discourage anyone from pursuing this option — I just want to be completely honest and transparent like I always am, regardless of the topic.

I see so many courses and eBooks online that promise to contain the secret formula for building a blog that makes money. There is no secret formula. It just takes work.

Blogs can be their own business, or they can morph into a business, which is exactly what happened here with SerpLogic. I had sold my previous SEO company and I didn’t have any intention of starting another one. I was focused on ranking my own websites and projects, so I was still heavily involved in SEO and just became frustrated with all of the nonsense content the gurus were posting.

So, I started a blog to publish the truth about how SEO really works, as well as other segments of online marketing and making money online. I had no plan or even intention to monetize the blog, as it was just something I wanted to do.

The blog became very popular and my email list grew fairly quickly. I then started to receive a lot of messages from business owners that really liked my non-nonsense approach. They were sick of being burned by SEO agencies, so they asked about hiring me. The only problem was I didn’t have anything to sell them.

The service requests didn’t slow down. In fact, they started coming in faster as the blog published more content. I then decided to start an agency and built a team to handle the workload, and we eventually scaled the agency to a seven-figure annual agency.

All because of a blog. It took time and effort, but I am proof that a blog can turn into a very lucrative business. If you want to launch a blog but aren’t sure of how to start, this post is specifically for you. This 10-step process is very noob-friendly, so you should have no trouble starting a blog after reading this, even with limited knowledge.

So check out these tips then get to work, launch a blog that generates revenue..

1. Identify a niche with potential.

This is where your expertise and knowledge of a particular niche comes into play. Rather than just picking a topic that you think is popular, select a niche that you fully understand and one you are passionate about. If you aren’t fully interested in a niche you will not want to put in the work required to make the blog a success.

There are tools you can use, like Google Trends and keyword search volume tools, but your own knowledge is a much better gauge. Ask yourself if there are enough people interested in the topic and if it’s universal in terms of geography.

While you might love fishing in North Dakota, a blog around that topic is going to be very limited, whereas a more general topic like bass fishing is going to open your blog up to a much wider audience. A combination of knowledge and common sense is needed to make this decision.

2. Purchase a domain.

Once you identify a niche you need a domain, which serves as your website address. You need to think of a name that is memorable, fairly short, and available on social media as well. While there are many domain extension options available, I would suggest you stick to a dot com. They are the most recognizable, and it’s worth sticking with that extension even if you have to pay a slight premium from a reseller.

When you do find a domain name that you love, see if the handle is available on social media, because you will want to register pages with the same name for branding purposes and marketing in the future. You cannot ignore social media, especially when it comes to a blog.

The easiest way to start your domain search is using GoDaddy to search, typing in names that sound good to you, remembering to keep them short and easy to remember. You can also use this free tool to help come up with ideas.

A blog needs to be branded just like any other business. Expect to pay anywhere from $10 (or $1 if you find a coupon code) if it’s a domain that has never been registered or upwards of several hundreds of dollars to thousands if it’s being re-sold.

3. Set up a hosting account, connect your domain and install WordPress.

When just starting out, you can use a low-cost shared hosting plan. I would suggest the easiest route, which is registering a hosting account with the company you purchase your domain from. GoDaddy hosting is just fine when starting out and they offer 24/7 customer service and can help you if you have any setup questions. Some bag on GoDaddy, but their prices and service are very beginner friendly.

You will need to connect your domain to your hosting and then install WordPress on your hosting account. There is a very simple one-click option within your GoDaddy account you can use that gets you up and running without any technical skill required. If you do go with GoDaddy you can get full instructions here.

There are other blogging platforms available, but WordPress is the easiest to learn and has the most options available as far as plugins and themes go, not to mention it’s a very SEO-friendly platform.

4. Purchase a theme for your blog.

Your blog needs to have a look and feel that matches your niche. For example, a blog about wedding planning might be very feminine and feature pinks, whites and soft colors, but a blog about MMA fighting might be more aggressive and have a black and red colorway.

Another great reason to use WordPress is the vast number of themes available that you can further customize. The largest marketplace for themes is themeforest, and you can view the available WordPress themes here. There are literally thousands available to purchase; 44,852 as of this writing to be exact.

You can search by category, so find a lot of options and check out their demo examples to get a first-hand feel of how it looks. Then, look at reviews as well as the support and update history. Look for a theme with great reviews and one that is updated consistently.

You don’t have to break the bank here, as there are several great options available under $50. Installing your theme is very simple, and this guide outlines is very nicely.

5. Install only necessary plugins.

Most themes that you install will come equipped with contact forms and all of the functions you need to launch a great blog that looks amazing and provides a great user experience. But, in the event you want some additional features you will need to install plugins.

The WordPress plugin directory features more than 50,000 plugins you can download and use for free, all with specific features. Whatever you can think of, I promise there is a plugin that can instantly provide you with that functionality without requiring any coding or development.

For example, a couple great plugins are ones that display social sharing options above and below your blog posts, and ones that display relevant content after each post. The social sharing plugins allow your readers to share your content on their social media accounts and the related posts plugins give your readers the option to continue to engage with content on your website. There are dozens of options available for both of these solutions.

With so many plugins, it’s easy to see how someone could go overboard and install 20, 30, or even more. I would suggest keeping your plugin use under ten, because the more plugins, the more resources being used and the slower your website will respond and load.

6. Set up Google Analytics, AdSense, and Search Console.

While there are many third-party integrations and services that can help you grow your blog, I wanted to focus on just three important ones that everyone should take full advantage of.

The first is Google Analytics, which provides you with data related to how visitors react on your website to where they originate from. It can take some time to learn how to use all of its features. In the beginning though, you can at least see where you traffic comes from, both geographically and referral-wise.

Google AdSense allows you to place advertisements on your blog and you get paid for impressions served and when visitors click on them. You might as well get this set up from the beginning, but don’t expect to earn a lot of money just starting out. No joke, you might make a couple dollars a month in the beginning. Soon, though, it can turn into enough money to cover your hosting and other operational expenses.

Search Console is another Google product that monitors the overall health of your website, along with giving you access to data that can be very helpful. I suggest you read this resource to fully understand what Search Console consists of.

7. Set up an email list for your blog.

I’m not going to go too deep into this, other than use a reliable free service like Mailchimp to set up an email list, and then create several opt-in forms on your blog to collect those emails. You can then email your list members when new content is posted, and then down the line, monetize your list to generate revenue by sending them offers, whether it’s your own products or affiliate offers. I’ll dive into this more below when I discuss monetization.

8. Create content and a publishing schedule.

A blog isn’t a blog without content. Now, you need to write blog posts yourself or hire a writer to handle the content creation. I would highly suggest that you write as much content as possible, because it will help give your blog a personal voice, and the more content the better.

Then, if it’s in your budget to hire or purchase content, add that to the mix, placing that content under another blog author’s name. Multiple authors make your blog look bigger and it can actually help you attract guest bloggers, which just adds more content. You can never have enough content!

Depending on how much content you can realistically create, you need to have a schedule in place that you follow religiously. If you decide on daily posts, never skip a day. If you can commit to 3 posts a week, stick to it. Your audience will get accustomed to your schedule and any inconsistency in your posting can push them away.

9. Build a loyal audience.

The first step to build a loyal audience is by publishing content that provides value. This can be in the form of being educational, entertaining, or just plain fun. Your audience has to connect with it and want to come back to read more.

Little things like responding to comments and making your blog very user friendly goes a long way in helping to build a strong following. Never take your readers for granted, as without them you will never grow your blog into a real business.

10. Set up multiple monetization streams of revenue.

This is the part everyone wants to focus on, but without doing all of the previous nine steps correctly the monetization element is useless. I mentioned AdSense, and that is something you should do, but the earning potential isn’t massive.

You can either create your own product, whether it’s a physical product or a downloadable electronic product or course or launch a service you can provide to your readers. Think of something with large appeal and potential, as well as a healthy profit margin.

You can also look for affiliate offers relevant to your niche. Often times this approach is the best, as you don’t have to worry about fulfilling orders or manufacturing products. All you need to focus on is driving more traffic to your blog.

One of my favorite resources to search for available offers is Offer Vault. Search niche related keywords to see what you can find. Look for attractive offers with high pay outs. I would look for form or lead submit offers rather than purchase offers, as your audience is more likely to fill out a form rather than pull out their credit card and make a purchase.


As you can see, there is nothing difficult here, aside from identifying a niche and topic that has a large enough audience, along with being something that you are passionate enough about to devote a lot of time and effort into.

Remember, the beginning will be a lot of work with nothing to show for it. Most people become discouraged and quit, which is why most blogs just fade away into the sunset. You have to fully understand that it can take a long time, but once that time does come it can be a viable business that will continue to grow exponentially if you continue to put the work in.

Are you thinking about starting a blog? Have you in the past? Let me know in the comments below. Also, feel free to drop any questions you may have, from SEO to any of the other components discussed above. I’ll do my best to reply to all comments.

Tommy McDonald

Tommy is an SEO professional with years of experience running highly successful SEO companies, founded SerpLogic after noticing there was a major void when it came to options for SEO agencies needing a reliable and professional one-stop outsource solution.You can read all about me in the “About” page here on our blog!

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