Today, let’s go through the process of how to start your very own profitable WordPress blog. Of all the side hustle ideas you may hear about, blogging is one of the best ways to make a steady and sustainable income. It has helped thousands of people to live the lifestyle of their dreams, make thousands of dollars a month, and travel all around the world, all while doing something they love.
On top of being profitable, it is also very fun and rewarding. What’s more, starting a money-making blog only costs a few bucks a month!
WordPress Vs. Other Platforms
First of all, let’s talk about why you should build your blog on WordPress instead of other sites, such as Wix, Squarespace, Tumblr, or Weebly.
If you want to create a profitable blog, WordPress is the way to go. Now if you’re just looking to start a blog as a hobby but with no plans to profit from it, feel free to use one of the other free options, such as Medium or Tumblr. It truly is completely up to you.
However, I still highly recommend WordPress over any other platform. Why? Well, here are a few reasons why you should choose WordPress:
- Build any kind of website you want
- Costs much less than other websites such as Wix and Squarespace
- Freedom to use ads, affiliate links, or pretty much any other means of making a profit (some other platforms restrict certain actions)
- There are literally thousands of free and paid themes to choose from
- An abundance of plugins makes scaling your site a breeze
- It’s beginner-friendly, allowing you to set up your website within minutes
- Better security
- Easier SEO implementation
- Future proof
- Shall I continue?
As you can see, there are many reasons why you should build your blog, for-profit or not, on WordPress. You’ll save money, enjoy an easy setup, and have the freedom to customize your site to be exactly as you’d like it to be.
Why Even Start a Blog?
Let me just say that blogging has done nothing but improve my quality of life. It has helped me pay off a huge pile of debt and make a nice profit every month.
Many bloggers have been able to supplement their monthly income by making a few extra thousand dollars a month. Some even make millions per month (yes, you read that right), as you can see here on this list of the most profitable blog sites of all time.
Aside from the great potential to make a lot of money, blogging gives you many other benefits as well, such as:
- Ability to work from home, on the road, on a plane, or wherever you choose
- A flexible schedule that works around your lifestyle, not someone else’s
- Freedom to travel whenever you want and wherever you want, as long as there’s internet
- Introduces you to entrepreneurship and lets you call the shots
- Virtually unlimited earning potential
- Gives you space where you can be a creative, vent, inspire others, or whatever it is that you want to use your blog for
- …and more.
Blogging is a low-cost, high-return type of endeavor. If you do it well and succeed, you can achieve great success and financial freedom. If you don’t do well, you only lose a few bucks. So let’s give it a shot, yes?
Truth is, anyone can make money with a blog. If you do it right, you can quickly make the money back that you paid for blog hosting and other maintenance costs. For hosting, Bluehost is king in the industry.
The Best Choice for Hosting
Web hosting is a service that basically stores all the files and data for your website and shares it with the end-user whenever they type in yourwebsite.com. If you want to start any blog or website, hosting is absolutely essential and is one of the few things you’ll spend money on (very little money).
Not only do you get hosting for that price, but they also give you a free domain name, free SSL (which encrypts all data transmitted to and from your site), amazing 24/7 support, and even 1-Click WordPress installation! All these perks make Bluehost a very affordable option, and the fact that they make starting a WordPress blog so easy is a huge bonus.
If you ever have any issues or questions, you can reach them by phone, email, or online chat (which I always prefer to use). They’re so good in fact, that WordPress.org named them as the #1 recommended web hosting company. It doesn’t get any clearer than that.
If you have any intention of monetizing your blog, then hosting, such as Bluehost, is the way to go. By opting for hosting you have virtually full control of all the files and operations of your blog. You can run any and all of the advertisements, affiliate links, online course promotions, e-books, and other monetization efforts as you please.
On the other hand, platforms such as Blogger, Medium, Tumblr, and Wix make monetizing your blog difficult or even impossible.
As if I haven’t drilled in the point enough, here’s a recap of why Bluehost is one of the best web hosting options for you to choose from:
- 1-Click WordPress Install makes starting your blog on Bluehost a breeze. It literally takes one click, and Bluehost sets up WordPress on your domain for you
- Support is available 24/7 for you via phone, email, or chat
- Very affordable at $3.95 a month
- FREE blog domain (yoursite.com)
- 30-day money-back guarantee in case you don’t like their service
- You’ll be self-hosted, meaning you’ll be able to monetize your blog as you please
- You’ll have a professional appearance that will attract readers and other companies
- FREE SSL certificate (trust me, this is important)
Needless to say, WordPress and self-hosting with Bluehost are the best tools available for you to build and grow a profitable blog. So without further ado, here are full step-by-step instructions on how to start a WordPress blog on Bluehost.
How to start a WordPress blog on Bluehost
1a. Have a plan for your blog.
This isn’t necessarily a step for building your WordPress blog on Bluehost, but it is a very important step that will help jumpstart your blog-building efforts. Before you begin the process below, make sure you have a general idea of the following:
- What your blog will be about. While it’s easy to shoot from the hip and blog about whatever comes to your mind on a given day, this will only confuse your readers, and you’ll have a harder time building an audience. Instead, try to focus on a specific niche that all your writings will be focused on, such as veganism or women’s fashion. The more specific your niche is, the better. A blog about vegan women’s fashion with a focus on handbags? Now that’s a very specific niche.
- What your blog’s name will be. Come up with a list of name ideas that resonate with you, and choose one. Make sure your blog name isn’t too long, overly complicated, or irrelevant.
- Understand your ‘why’. Why do you want to start a blog? Write this down as your mission and use it as a foundation for all actions that follow. This mission statement can be one sentence or a paragraph. Just make sure that you fully understand what it is you’re looking to accomplish.
1b. Go to Bluehost.com.
Bluehost is where all the magic will happen for your building your blog. You’ll start and end here, as Bluehost installs WordPress for you and makes everything so simple.
Here’s how to start: go to Bluehost.com and click on the ‘Get Started Now’ button. You’ll find that Bluehost has some attractive introductory rates, but keep in mind that once the offer period ends you’ll pay the normal rate (which is still very low).
Keep in mind that if you run into any issues in the setup process, Bluehost is available to help. Their support team is very helpful, and they even have a great Live Chat function that is easy to use.
2. Choose a hosting plan.
Now you have to pick the best Bluehost hosting plan for your situation.
If you’re just looking to get the cheapest price to launch your blog, then the Basic plan is more than enough. It starts out at $3.95 per month using my discounted link if you sign up for 36 months.
If you sign up for a shorter term of either 24 or 12 months, the monthly price will be a bit more, but definitely affordable still. Keep in mind that in order to receive the free domain and SSL certificate offers, you’ll have to opt for a minimum of 12 months.
Yes, you can also choose to pay month-to-month for hosting. However, I highly recommend signing up for at least 12 months for a few reasons. First of all, you’ll lose out on the free domain and SSL certificate. You’ll also be paying more money since Bluehost charges much less if you opt for at least a 12-month hosting plan (the more months, the cheaper). I personally find that 36 months offers the best value since the total monthly price is the cheapest of all.
While you can choose to select the Plus or Prime plans, they honestly aren’t necessary unless you already have a well-established blog you’re transferring to Bluehost. Otherwise, just choose the Basic plan, and let’s keep on moving along. You can also upgrade to another plan in the future.
In addition to your standard hosting, I highly recommend paying for Domain Privacy Protection, which is only an additional $0.99 a month. This feature allows you to hide your domain name from public view and protects against domain hacking and spam. Your personal contact information stays safe, so you won’t have to worry about any fraudulent activity.
3. Choose your blog’s domain name.
The fun part! This is where you choose the domain name that readers will type in order to find your page.
If you will be creating a brand new domain, you’ll be typing your new domain name in the “new domain” box. On the drop-down menu next to the name box, you can choose to select whether your domain will end in .com, .net, .org, and so forth. Keep in mind that dot com websites are the most popular and are the easiest for your readers to find.
If you already have a domain name (e.g. purchased from GoDaddy.com), you can transfer it to Bluehost. If this is the case, you’ll type your current domain name in the “I have a domain name” box and follow the prompts. For this tutorial, however, we’ll assume that you are creating a new domain name.
4. Create your Bluehost account.
The next step is to create your Bluehost account by entering your personal and payment information such as name, address, email, and card information. You’ll also be able to review your total for the hosting plan selected, so make sure that all the information listed under ‘package information’ is accurate.
Sometimes extras may be pre-ticked, so you’ll want to be sure to deselect those options. Or, if you decide that you actually want one or more of these extras, simply leave them ticked and move along.
You’ll then be asked to enter a password. Make sure that this password is memorable but also very secure.
When you are ready to create your blog, follow the steps below to buy hosting for your blog.
5. Install WordPress on your Bluehost account.
Congratulations! You’re almost there! This is probably the step you’ve been waiting for. Lucky for you, this step is super easy. Bluehost makes creating a WordPress blog super easy. It’s free, too. I like the word ‘free’.
Once you’ve created your password, Bluehost will guide you through the steps to create your very own WordPress blog. Your site is not initially live, but rather will just show as a standard ‘Coming Soon’ page. Let’s change that.
First, Bluehost will ask you to select a theme. You can take your time to pick the one you like most or you can just pick a random one. Either way, you’ll most likely be changing it later, so it’s perfectly okay to just select a random theme and go on to the next step. There are many free and paid themes available, so don’t worry!
Now, click ‘Start Building’. On the next screen, you’ll choose either “Business”, “Personal”, or “I don’t need help”. I recommend choosing either business or personal and following the prompts. After you do this, you’re golden! You now have your very own WordPress blog site that is yours to customize, design, add content to, and build to your liking.
I know WordPress can be a little intimidating at first, but don’t worry. With some practice and time, you’ll be a professional in no time. If you’re looking to make even more extra money on the side, people will actually pay for someone to create and/or maintain their WordPress website. Just an idea!
To help you get started with customizing your WordPress site, here’s a list of some of the tabs you’ll be working in the most, and what you’ll find in these tabs:
- Posts: As the name implies, this is where you’ll add and create new posts such as articles.
- Media: This is where all your images and videos on your site are shown. You can review your file library and delete or add new media as needed.
- Pages: The pages tab is where your static pages are created, such as your About, Contact, and Legal pages. Your pages are usually listed on your header menu.
- Appearance: This is where all the design work happens. You’ll find that there are a few additional tab options under ‘Appearance’. Each one allows you to edit a specific aspect of your blog’s design, such as adding widgets, adding or customizing menus, and even playing around with your theme’s unique options. The ‘Themes’ option is where you’ll go to explore all the themes you can choose from, both free and paid.
- Plugins: All of your current plugins, activated or not, will be listed here. If you want to add a new plugin, simply click on ‘Add New’.
- Users: If you have more than one user contributing to your blog, this tab is very useful. It lists all the users on your site, their roles, and other details such as contact information.
- Tools + Settings: You may have to visit these tabs only every once in a while. If you purchase a theme from a third party, for example, you’ll use the Import option under ‘Tools’ to install it on your site. If you want to change general information about your sites such as the site title, tagline, or email address, you’ll do so under the ‘Settings’ tab.
I truly hope this tutorial was helpful. If you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Now get out there and start building your very own profitable WordPress blog!