DISCLOSURE: This post contains affiliate links, which means that I get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through these links, at no additional cost to you. This helps so much in keeping this site up and running and I truly appreciate your support!
Since starting this blog, I’ve been able to work full time from home and live out my dreams! Blogging honestly opens so many doors and opportunities for you, and I don’t know where I would be without it!
Click here to sign up and claim your FREE domain name with Bluehost, then follow the steps below to start a blog that will make money:
If you’ve been thinking about wanting to start your own blog or website to make money but haven’t been sure where or how to start, this post is going to be all about the first steps you need to take to grow your own successful, profitable blog! Because I started a blog I’ve been able to work from home and make a full time career out of it! The world of blogging is so diverse and there are sooo many different income streams you can create and ways to make money through having your own website. From bloggers who have created their own makeup and clothing lines to those who have written books, the potential is really endless if you apply yourself and work hard on growing your blog!
The steps listed in this article apply not only to fashion and lifestyle blogs, but to blogs in any niche and websites of any kind since the process to set up your own website is the same across the board.
Keep reading to learn everything you need to do to start earning ad income, affiliate income, and even working with huge brands on sponsored posts!
Free Hosting or Self Hosted?
If you’re wanting to start a blog or website that will make money, having your site be self hosted is essential.
The first thing you need to know are the differences between free web services like wordpress.com or Blogger, and paid services like wordpress.org. The main difference is that free web services are mainly for people who want to blog and publish posts just for fun as a hobby, and paid services (AKA “self hosted” blogs) are for people who intend to make money and create a business out of their blog. Why is this? Because things like advertisements and affiliate links (two major ways that bloggers make money) are NOT ALLOWED on free platforms, and if you try to implement these things with free web hosting services your blog can be shut down if you’re caught.
You can’t use beautiful custom themes and designs for your blog if you use a free service, whereas you can design and style your site however you want to if you pay the small fee to go self hosted. Also, with a self hosted blog you can create your own custom email addresses (i.e. my email for my blog is firstname.lastname@example.org and I can create others like email@example.com etc if I want to) which gives you credibility and makes you extremely professional and put together when you’re looking to land paid contracts for brand deals. So for these major reasons and many others I would recommend going self hosted with Bluehost if you intend to make money and start a blog that you can turn into an online business.
Here are the exact steps you need to take if you want to know how to start your own self hosted fashion blog or website that will make money:
1. Choose your web host and plan
A web host is basically a service that allows your website to live and be seen on the internet. I personally chose to go with Bluehost since they are one of the top web hosts out there in terms of both pricing and service, and I’ve found that they have amazing customer support whenever I’ve needed to call them!
You can click here to get hosting for just $3.95 per month from Bluehost and get started with building your blog. The basic plan is all you need to start out and is what I use, but regardless of the plan that you choose all of their plans include a free SSL security certificate (this legitimizes your website in the eyes of readers and potential brand partners) and you can add on other features as you see fit. The only one I would really recommend adding is the Domain Privacy Protection option because it keeps your contact information hidden and it’s really inexpensive!
2. Choose your blog/domain name*
After you’ve selected your plan, this is where you want to think about your branding, what will best represent you, and of course what your blog will be about, as these things will stick with you for the life of your blog. For example, I chose the name “Beauty & Colour” because I love showing beautiful fashion, places, food, etc, and showing them in vibrant colors through the way I edit my photos. You can be creative and come up with anything you think will sound appealing and represent what you stand for really well!
The awesome news is that when you sign up for hosting with Bluehost, you will get a free domain name for an entire year! So, when you sign up you only have to pay for your monthly hosting fees and you do NOT have to pay an extra fee to purchase your domain. After the first year, the fee to keep your domain registered with Bluehost is very small.
ANOTHER awesome part about using Bluehost is that they have a 30 day money back refund policy! If you are not satisfied in any way or decide that blogging isn’t for you, you can contact them to get a complete refund within your first 30 days of signing up.
Enter in your chosen domain name in the box on the left, OR if you already purchased one from another site then enter that into the box on the right:
*Blog name: This is what you’ll have at the top of your home page and in headers and footers all around your site. My blog’s name is Beauty & Colour.
*Domain name: Your domain name is what comes after http:// i.e. my domain name is beautyandcolour.com. Beauty & Colour is also my blog name, and ideally you want your blog name and domain name to be the exact same thing. There are some circumstances where this may not be the case, like if the domain name you really want is unavailable or if you choose to have your own name as your domain name and title your blog something else, but in most cases you really want your blog name and domain name to be the same as consistency in your branding is very important if you want to make good money with your blog.
Once you choose and enter your domain name you’ll be asked to enter your payment information and then create a password for your new account, and that’s it – your site has been created! You’re now the proud owner of a self-hosted WordPress blog through Bluehost!
3. Install WordPress
WordPress is the platform that you will actually use to do things like create new posts on your site, add themes and change the look of your site, etc. It is essentially the “back end” of your site where you will be able to make all your edits and publish your new content. Luckily, installing WordPress is so easy with Bluehost because they are official partners and Bluehost makes it very easy to do a quick WordPress installation!
To complete your WordPress installation, all you need to do is:
Make sure you’re logged in to your Bluehost cPanel
Click on “Website” and then under the WordPress section click “Install Now”
Select the domain you just purchased and click “Next” (you can leave the Directory field blank)
Input your site name and create your WordPress admin login info, click the service agreement boxes and then click “Next” and that’s it!
4. Develop your site’s look and branding
Now that you have installed WordPress, you’ll want to choose a theme for your blog. I recommend going for a premium paid theme (these can come as cheap as $15; most are in the $20-60 range) because they look more professional and they come with super easy to follow setup instructions on how to install the theme properly. There are so many awesome places to find inexpensive (or free) WordPress themes – some of my favorites are:
Pro Tip: Make sure the theme you choose is mobile responsive, meaning it works well on both a computer screen AND a phone screen, since most of us are scrolling on our phones these days! Google also gives higher priority and search ranking to sites that are mobile responsive FYI!
Next is something that comes with practice, and that’s creating a cohesive look for your photos and site.
One thing that will really help with bringing readers back to your site is beautiful and consistent imagery that has a similar feel and color scheme to it. This is something that I struggled with for a long time but have now gotten much better at. Also over time, you’ll probably invest in higher quality camera equipment and your photo quality will ideally get better and better, which will help retain readers because everyone loves beautiful sharp photos! Once you get your site’s aesthetic quality done right and have everything matching, most of the work in getting your blog set up is now complete!
4. Write Interesting Content That Solves People’s Problems
This will of course depend on the niche you chose, but you’re going to want to start writing relevant content and have about 5-10 posts up and running on your site before you can really start amping it up with promoting your new blog. The golden rule for getting tons of social media traffic to your site once you start promoting on platforms like Pinterest is to solve the “WIIFM” dilemma, aka “what’s in it for me?”. Your reader is looking for a solution to a particular problem, and probably doesn’t want to read things like “My Favorite Amazon Purchases” unless you’ve been blogging for years and have already built an audience that takes an interest in you and your personal life and product recommendations. When you’re first starting out, you’re definitely going to want to write posts more along the lines of “5 Ways To Destress Before Bed” or “Exactly How I Started Waking Up At 6am” because these types of content offer helpful advice and tips that help people solve life’s problems, and your readers will bookmark your content and start to return to your site over and over!
5. Create Your Social Media Accounts + Start Promoting
The social media platforms that I use to promote my blog are Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook. These are obviously three of the major ones that you’re going to want to set up accounts for your new blog on (and do that right away so that your account name doesn’t get taken later on), but when you’re starting out blogging you should pick just ONE of these to really zone in and focus on, otherwise you’ll get overwhelmed FAST. I don’t use Twitter at the moment and have chosen to just focus on the above three, but use whichever ones you feel would work best for you!
6. Start Growing Your Traffic!
There are tons of resources out there that can teach you how to grow your blog traffic, and I recommend investing in several good courses and e-books that will help you learn how to do this. Once you get to the point where you’re getting 1000+ page views daily, the monthly income potential from your blog grows from the hundreds to the thousands to even the tens of thousands and more depending on exactly how much traffic you’re getting. The money comes from ads and joining ad networks like Google Adsense, Mediavine, Adthrive, etc, affiliate links, brand partnerships, and selling your own products or services just to name a few sources. The potential is really endless if you do it right!
A few awesome resources that will teach you how to grow your blog traffic and make money from blogging:
And keep in mind: