Do you want to make money blogging? Well, you can! More and more people are discovering that blogging can be quite profitable. Whether you simply want to earn extra income or whether you want to make a full time living from blogging, there are tens of thousands of bloggers who are already blogging for money. Follow my guide on How to Set Up a Blog and you’ll be well on your way.

Step 1: Find a Niche

The first thing you need to do is find a niche. A couple of ways to give you can get some ideas:

Find a niche you are passionate about.

You will be spending a considerable amount of time and effort creating your blog and building up decent traffic to generate some worthwhile income. If you pick something that you’re passionate about and enjoy doing, you will greatly improve your chances of success.

Choose a niche you are knowledgeable about.

Think about what kind of skills, hobbies or products you know the most about. If you don’t have the knowledge yet, choose a niche that you would enjoy promoting. Once you have selected your niche, spend the necessary time to research it, so that you can eventually become an expert in that area.

Step 2: Research Your Niche

Do the necessary research to see if there is a market for your niche. However, if you choose a field that is too broad (e.g. Dog) you will find that there will be huge demand, but there will also be huge competition. This will make it very hard to rank in Google. You should focus on less competitive niche markets (e.g. German Shepherd Dog). By choosing a niche market and using long-tail keywords, you will have a better chance of making it onto the first page of Google search results.

Keyword research.

Use keyword tools such as Google’s Keyword Tool to see how many people are searching each month on keywords related to your niche. Once you are in Google’s Keyword Tool, make sure you click on ‘Advanced options’ and select ‘All countries’.

blogging for money - google keywords

After you have entered your word or phrase and clicked ‘Search’, your search results will appear.Next, in the left column, make sure you untick ‘Broad’ and tick ‘[Exact]’. Google’s Keyword Tool will then further refine your search results.

blogging for money - google exact

If you are just starting out, I would recommend choosing a keyword of around 5,000 exact searches per month. This should be a small market to enter without much difficulty while being large enough to make a decent income if you get on the first page of Google.

Once you have found a keyword with a decent market size, you should run it through Google Trends. This will give you an idea of what is happening with that market. Is it increasing? Decreasing? Or staying level? If the market is declining sharply, I would try to find another keyword to use.

After you have selected your keyword, perform a search on that keyword in Google. Remember to put your keyword inside quotations marks to perform an exact search (e.g. “German Shepherd Dog”). The reason we are doing this is so we can check the amount of competition we will be up against. Once you have performed your search, under the search bar on the left, you will find the amount of competition there is.

blogging for money - google results

Next, you should do a backlinks check on the first few top ranking results. For this, I like use Yahoo! Site Explorer. Just enter the website’s address and click ‘Explore URL’. You then need to click on ‘Inlinks’ and select ‘Show inlinks: Except from this domain’ and ‘to Entire Site’. The number that appears next to ‘Inlinks’ is the number of backlinks the site has.

gging for money - site explorer

If the market is small and the websites have thousands of backlinks, I wouldn’t bother wasting my time.

Step 3: Name Your Blog

OK, so you have found your niche. Next you need to choose a name for your blog.

You can choose any domain name you want. As a guideline, you can use a:

Make sure the domain name you choose:

  • Is catchy and memorable
  • Isn’t too long
  • Doesn’t contain any hyphens

Unfortunately, you will find that a lot of the domain names you would have liked to use have already been taken. I use PCNames Domain Search to run my potential domain names through to see if they’re available.

Once you have found an available domain name to your liking, you should register it with a cheap domain registrar like NameCheap – they have one of the cheapest rates in the industry. Their customer support is also quick and helpful and their interface is very easy to use. They also offer a free privacy guard on your domain for the first year.

Step 4: Open a Web Host Account

The next step is to sign up to a web host. There are free blog hosts out there that you can use, however, the main drawbacks are that they are less configurable, you have less control over them, and if you ever decided to move your blog to your own web host, you will have a hard time retaining your traffic and you will also have to climb the search engine rankings all over again. Because you are blogging for money, I recommend you sign up to a web host. Free blog hosts might be free, but they will end up costing you in the future.

The money you make from your blog will depend on its uptime – downtime will cost you money. You will need to go with a reliable web host provider like Host Gator. I personally use Host Gator myself as well. They have a 99.9% uptime guarantee, great customer service and the best value for your money. You can also get a discount by using the coupon code “HQGATORDISCOUNT”. That will get $9.94 off the package price for a web host account.

Step 5: Create Your Blog

Use a CMS like WordPress to create your blog. WordPress has a wide variety of templates and plugins designed with SEO in mind and an easy to use content management system. You can easily install WordPress using Fantastico Deluxe which is provided when you sign up to Host Gator. For instructions, check out my post How to install WordPress with Fantastico De Luxe.

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