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How to Start a Profitable Blog in 2022

The Simplest Blogging Guide on the Internet – curated by Stanley Udegbunam

Guide to creating a profitable blog

Thinking About Starting Your Own Blog?

This is what you stand to gain from this blogging guide.

  • Start a profitable blog in 15 – 20 mins
  • Hands-on Approach for Beginners
  • In-depth Explanation with Illustrations
  • Building an Audience
  • A Smart Approach to Blogging
  • Best Blogging Tools and Resources
  • Free printable for Tracking Blogging Success

And many more…

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS, MEANING I RECEIVE A COMMISSION FOR PURCHASES MADE THROUGH THESE LINKS, AT NO COST TO YOU. PLEASE READ MY DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

I have a strong feeling that you’ve nurtured the idea of starting a blog for a while now.

You’ve craved an online space to share your thoughts and idea and you wonder if you can earn some cash while doing what you love.

You keep stumbling upon different articles on Pinterest, Google, and YouTube and they all seem overwhelming with too much information to process at a time.

The good news is:

You’re in the right place and also at the right time.

This guide is curated in a way that anyone can comprehend.

Even if you are a complete beginner with zero tech-related skills,

you’ve got no worries because I had you in mind while preparing this.

Before we proceed, let me tell you a little bit about myself and how I got into blogging.

Introduction

Hi, I am Stanley Udegbunam, and I’ve built/scaled up a handful of blogs from zero to 100,000+ website traffic.

In this guide, I’ll share the necessary tips required to start a blog and show you what is needed to grow your blog to a full-time income source.

I know it all sounds really fascinating and great, but the question is…

Is blogging really profitable? 

Is it really possible to make a full-time income from blogging?

Take a look at the report below.

How much do bloggers earn?

bloggers income

Note: monthly income reports are not constant values; actual numbers may vary with time.

BloggersBlogsEstimated Monthly Income
Tim Sykes TimothySkykes.com$1,000,000+
Chiara FerrangiTheblondesalad.com$250,000+
Pat Flynnsmartpassiveincome.com$200,000+
John Lee DumasEofire.com$198,000+
Jeff RoseGoodfinancialcents.com$135,000+
Ryan Robbinson Ryrob.com$50,000+
Holly JohnsonClubthrifty.com$21,000+
BloggersEstimated Monthly Income
Tim Sykes$1,000,000+
Chiara Ferrangi$250,000+
Melyssa Griffin$238,000+
Pat Flynn$200,000+
John Lee Dumas$198,000+
Heather Delaney Reese$175,000+
Jeff Rose$135,000+
Ryan Robbinson$50,000+
Holly Johnson$21,000+

Note: monthly income reports are not constant values, actual numbers may vary with time.

Mind you; this is a very tiny list compared to the actual number of established bloggers out there!

Myths That Might Stop You From Starting a Blog

Myth 1: Starting a blog is expensive

No, it’s not. I’ll show you how to host your blog for only $2.99/month. If you can skip just 1 cup of coffee from Starbucks a month, then you’re good to go.

Myth 2: You need super-strong writing skills to make it as a blogger

Not true.
People visit blogs for advice and simple solutions to their problems.

It’s important to know that majority of your audience will be average readers like you and me looking for simple advice and not graduates of Ph.D. in English Literature.

So instead of looking for fancy words to cramp in, it will offer more value if the writing is realistic, honest, and simple.

Myth 3: You need to be a computer wizard to start a blog.

Also false.

With recent developments in technology, you don’t need any technical knowledge whatsoever to start and run a blog from scratch.

blogging myths

As far as you can navigate your way to this website and access this guide with your phone or laptop, you will do just fine.

Ready to dive right in? Don’t worry; I’ll take it one step at a time.

There are 9 steps involved in starting a profitable blog.

Step 1: Choose the Right Blog Niche
Step 2: Find a Domain Name
Step 3: Buy a Reliable Hosting for your Blog

Step 4: Install WordPress
Step 5: Get a Responsive Blog Theme
Step 6: Design and set up your blog
Step 7: Install useful WordPress Plugins
Step 8: Start Creating Awesome Contents
Step 9: Promote your content aggressively.

We’ll go through the steps in detail.

Follow them accordingly, and in 15 – 20 minutes from now, you’ll have your very own blog up and running.

Cool right?

Without further ado, let’s get started.

1.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT BLOG NICHE

choosing blogging niche

What is a blog niche?

A blog niche is the central topic of a blog.

For instance, PinchofYum.com is a website that talks about food recipes and their nutritional values.

The blog niche, in this case, is “food and nutrition,” and all the content on this site will be centered around this niche.

Choosing a specific blogging niche is the first step when creating a profitable blog because it ultimately determines the success of your blog.

Most people venture into blogging without having an idea of what their blog will be about.

They end up publishing contents that cut across different topics.

Niching down helps a blog gain authority in a particular field.

By so doing, you will be able to attract an audience that is really interested or passionate about the chosen topic.

Come to think of it …

When searching for ideas on marketing tips on the internet,

will you rather visit a blog that’s specifically built around marketing and guides you on everything you need to know about marketing and sales from A-Z, or…

will you prefer a random blog that has one or two writeups on marketing, some more on fitness, dog training, and other unrelated topics?

I believe the answer is clear already.

The first blog denotes expertise and authority on marketing, and such a blog is easily monetizable around the keyword compared to the latter.

Now the big question is..

How do you select the right blog niche?

blog niche selection

Any niche selected must satisfy three conditional criteria, which I call the: TRIPLE “P” FORMULA.

They are:

  1. Passion 💖
  2. Personal Experience 📑
  3. Profitable Problem 💰

– The passion represents your love for the topic.

Remember, you’ll be writing on the same topic for years to come, and you ought not get burned out or lose interest.

– Personal experience denotes how knowledgeable you are about the chosen topic.

I don’t mean you should have in-depth professional knowledge about a topic before blogging, but you at least be grounded enough to educate your audience about major key terms in the field.

– Profitable problem: Does the niche have marketable problem solutions/digital products or an audience willing to pay for specific information?

There’s no point wasting time in a niche that won’t earn you a dime; that’s not the goal of this guide.

Passion + Personal Experience + Profitable Problem = 💲Profitable Blog💲

If you are a travel enthusiast, it’s better to start a travel blog, a cooking/recipe blog if you are a foodie, or a fitness blog if you are a health & fitness enthusiast.

Now, take the next 2 minutes and write out your blog niche on your note.

__________________

Done?

Okay, let’s proceed to step 2.

2.

FINDING A DOMAIN NAME

how to find domain name

You’ve decided your niche already.

It’s time to get a domain name for your blog.

A domain name is simply the name of a blog.

In our case, our domain name is websitehurdles.com.

Here are 5 tips for choosing a good domain name:

  1. Your domain name should be memorable and easy to pronounce.
  2. Your name shouldn’t be too long; try not to exceed three-syllable words.
  3. Avoid using numbers, hyphens, and adjacent repeating letters; it confuses people.
  4. Your blog should have a (“.com”) name extension i.e YourDomainName.com” and not (“.net”, “.org”, “.edu”).
  5. Try to think of a name that reflects the blog’s niche but keep the name a bit broad just in case you need to pivot to a relating topic.

For example,

let’s assume you want to venture into the tech niche.

A domain name like “wirelessmouse.com” constricts the writer to blog only about computer wireless mouse.

You may burn or run out of ideas with time.

But a name like “techygadgets.com” will provide a wider range of topics and offer you the possibility of blogging about other related computer gadgets still under the same niche.

If you consider yourself a brand, you can name your blog after your full name, (First name)(Surname).com. 

Try not to get overwhelmed when choosing a domain name.

It doesn’t need to be something super original or creative; just pick a memorable name.

Most domain names are currently unavailable as over 10 000 domain names are registered every single day.

Once you’ve figured out a name, use this tool below to check if it’s available.

If the name is available, don’t click next yet move to the next step. We will get the domain name and website hosting together.

Having issues finding a name that’s available?

Use thesaurus.com to find synonyms/variations of your keyword and check again for name availability using the new word variation obtained.

Once you get a name, quickly move to the next step.

3.

BUYING A RELIABLE WEB HOSTING

web hosting

All profitable blogs are self-hosted.

Self-hosting your blog will give you the leverage to handle your blog under your own terms.

For blog hosting, your best option is Bluehost.

See reasons why Bluehost remains our No. 1 recommendation.

  • Great pricing: with as low as $2.95/month, you can access this standard hosting platform.
  • Free Domain name: With Bluehost, you get a free domain name for the first year.
  • 24/7 customer support: Not every company can boast 24/7 customer support, especially at low entry-level prices.
  • Free SSL certificate: This is required to authenticate your website’s identity and encrypt important site information. Thankfully, Bluehost provides SSL certification for free. 

Ready to take the leap, click the button below to get Bluehost for as low as $2.95/month.

The button opens Bluehost in a separate tab. Use the processes in this guide to navigate your actions on Bluehost.

Click the “Get Started” button.

web hosting

You’ll be prompted to the next slide, as shown below.

The cost per month reduces when a longer-term plan is chosen, so I suggest you choose a 3-year package (36 months). This way you’ll be paying less money per month.

profitable blog hosting duration

There are different hosting packages to choose from.

As a beginner, the “BASIC” plan is perfectly okay.

Click the Select button right under the “BASIC” plan.

blog hosting plans

You’ve already figured out a domain name from step 2 above right?.

Now input that name in the “Create a new domain” column, click the “Next” button, and fill up the account information.

blog name registration

Fill up your account information and confirm the package details.

Hosting Details
website hosting

Now, uncheck every box in the “Package Extra” except the “Domain Privacy+Protection, “and provide your credit card details for the payment.

Bluehost additional packages

Fill up the fields, accept the terms and conditions, then click submit.

Bluehost does have a 30-day refund guarantee, if you are dissatisfied with the service, but I strongly believe you’ll enjoy the experience.

profitable blog payment details

Lastly, create your password to complete your blog hosting setup.

Setup Password

You have successfully hosted your blog.

Let’s continue…

4.

INSTALLING WORDPRESS

Technical SEO: Rank Math Pro features

WordPress is a full-featured content management system for creating and managing websites.

To successfully launch your blog, you have to install WordPress.

The good news? Bluehost automatically one-click installs WordPress right from your hosting dashboard.

To install WordPress, login into your dashboard.

Bluehost Login

Bluehost provides several blog design options, but scroll to the bottom and click Skip This Step (we’ll handle that aspect in the next section).

Blog setup

From here, you’re directed to a new page where you need to click on the “Start Building” option.

WordPress setup completed

Next, select what type of site you plan to create, and WordPress will help you with prompts.

You can also click “I don’t need help” to go right to your dashboard.

Finally, enter your “Site Title” and your “Site Description.”

profitable blog guide

You have successfully installed WordPress.

Move to the next step.

5.

GET A RESPONSIVE BLOG THEME

Rank Math Advanced Features
Instead of coding your own design from scratch, a theme allows you to pick a pre-made design for your blog.

This means that you can design exactly how you want your blog to look without having any prior coding background or design expertise.

WordPress offers some free themes, but these themes won’t give you the required features to set up a professional blog.

Their configurations are limited, making it impossible to make majors edit or changes to the theme.

The recommended approach to this is to get a premium responsive theme called DIVI by Elegant Themes.

DIVI  is the best WordPress page builder for blogs and offers you the possibility to customize every part of your website from the ground up.

A profitable blog must have a professional feel, and you don’t want to spend your time coding or hiring programmers, so you let DIVI handle all that in just a one-click install.

DIVI theme costs $89 for yearly payment, or you can make a lifetime payment of $249, and you don’t have to worry again about this. 

But don’t get overwhelmed about this.

If you’re currently low on a budget, get the yearly plan, you can always upgrade along the way.

Get DIVI Theme through this link: DIVI for bloggers.

Notice how professional and good-looking this blog is right? Well, it’s simply because it’s built with DIVI.

I’m a programmer, but I still opt into DIVI without hesitation when creating this blog.

Here are a few reasons why every blogger should use the DIVI theme.

Build Visually

Design your blog in real-time and see the result instantly.

Responsive Customization

Build beautiful responsive websites at ease.

800 + premade website Designs

Access to ready-made design for different blog pages.

Access to Bloom Email Optin Plugin

The ultimate email opt-in plugin for WordPress

100 + full website packs

Access to complete blog design for every niche.

Access to Monarch Social Media Plugin

Built by DIVI to get you more shares and followers..

Divi WordPress Theme

Let’s quickly install and configure the DIVI theme.

To get started, click the button below. It will lead you to the DIVI webpage.

Click the “PRICING” tab at the top right corner and select your preferred package plan.

Buy blog theme

Select your preferred package plan, proceed to the account setup page and fill up the required fields.

DIVI Theme pricing package

Agree to the “Terms of Service” and uncheck the “Get Update Via Email” to avoid getting multiple news mails.

blog theme payment

Finally, hit the COMPLETE REGISTRATION button.

You’ve successfully purchased DIVI.

It’s time to install and activate your new blog theme.

This short video below will guide you through the installation process.

After installing and activating the theme, visit your blog URL on Google, and you’ll see it looks just like this.

DIVI designed blog
Divi WordPress Theme
A short breakdown of the milestone you’ve achieved so far.

  1. You’ve determined your blogging niche ✅
  2. Crafted a name for your blog ✅
  3. Hosted your blog with Bluehost
  4. Successfully installed WordPress ✅
  5. Purchased and installed DIVI theme

Let’s move to the next step.

6.

DESIGN AND SETUP YOUR BLOG

Rank Math Pro image SEO features

It’s time to give your blog the professional outlook that it deserves.

The video below will guide you through the major customization process.

After this is done, you’ll also have to set up your blog pages and Legal Pages.

The legal pages consist of the privacy policy page, terms and conditions, and disclaimer.

While the blog pages contain majorly of “Home” page, “About Us” page, and “Contact” page.

Since you’re using DIVI, you can design your blog pages in simple discrete steps.

Your blog pages are the first thing a reader sees when they visit your website.

So it’s important to set these pages up early enough.

To get you started with blogging,

I’ve prepared a lightweight e-book that will guide you on how to properly set up your “About page” and “contact page.”

Over 3,000 members of our hurdlers’ community used this same e-book to fast-track their blog setup process when starting out.

Blog pages Setup

Not to worry, the booklet is free and accessible to everyone.

To get this resource, fill the form field below, a copy will be sent directly to your email.

Make sure you go through this e-book before setting your blog page.

Still planning to launch your blog?

Get started with Bluehost for just $2.95/month (63% off) and follow up with this guide.

7.

INSTALL USEFUL WORDPRESS PLUGIN

Profitable blog design

A plugin is a tool or piece of software installed onto your WordPress blog to add different functionalities to your site.

Plugins are also used for adding some special features to your blog.

Unfortunately, too many plugins can slow down your blog.

The more plugins you have installed, the slower your blog (especially if they are bad ones).

Therefore the aim here is to keep the numbers of plugins as low as reasonably possible.

And that’s why I’ll show you only the important plugins needed to have a sound and profitable blog.

Plugin 1

RANK MATH

WordPress Plugin2

Rank Math is the best  SEO WordPress plugin for anyone that is building out their blog.

Rank Math makes it easy for anyone to optimize their content with built-in suggestions based on widely-accepted best practices.

Rank Math also has a premium version called Rank Math Pro 🔥 , which offers more mind-blowing SEO features.

You can consider Rank Math Pro later on in your blogging career.

For now, let’s stick with the free version.

To install Rank Math, visit their official website by clicking the link: RANK MATH. 

Click on “MY ACCOUNT” to create your Rank Math Account.

Wordpress SEO plugin

Download Rank Math Plugin by either clicking the “Download” button in the top navigation bar or by clicking the “DOWNLOAD FOR FREE” button.

SEO Plugin for bloggers

Save the plugin.

SEO tool

The plugin comes in a zipped folder.

Don’t unzip it, just leave it in it’s default state.

Log into your WordPress dashboard and navigate to “Plugins” at the left side of your screen.

Rank Math SEO

Click on “Upload Plugin,” choose the saved zipped file and install the plugin.

Rank Math Upload
Plugin Option
Zipped Rank Math File
Rank Math SEO Installation

It takes few minutes to complete the installation.

Once the plugin installation is completed, click on “Activate Plugin.”

Plugin Activation

You have successfully activated Rank Math Plugin.

Follow the Rank Math Setup to start using Rank Math SEO.

Plugin 2

Wordfence Security

Wordfence Security

 Site security is the most important factor when creating a profitable blog.

You certainly don’t want your effort to be hijacked by hackers or malicious software.

Hackers are moving freely all over the internet, looking for profitable blogs to attack.

So it will be best if you take the necessary actions to protect your blog.

Wordfence security plugin detects and filters harmful traffic, and the plugin will send you an email notification whenever something strange occurs.

It has a malware scanner that allows you to scan your website’s core files, themes, and plugins for malware.

To install this security plugin, follow the steps below.

On your WordPress dashboard, click “Plugins” >> “Add New.”

Type Wordfence on the search bar.

Make sure to click on the correct Wordfence plugin; it has over 4+ Million Active Installations.

Installing Wordfence

Install and activate the Wordfence plugin.

Plugin 3

EWWW Image Optimizer

WordPress Image compression plugin

Images are larger in size than plain text, which means they take longer load time which slows down your blog.

To improve your blog speed, you need to optimize your images for the web.

Image optimization will increase your site load speed and help you get more traffic.

Ewww Image Optimizer is a good image compression plugin for WordPress.

It’s simple to use and can optimize images automatically in real-time.

Even though your images are being compressed, it’ll be tough to tell the difference between compressed and uncompressed in terms of quality.

To download this plugin,

go to your WordPress dashboard, click on “Plugins,” and follow the steps outlined in the previous plugin.

Plugin 4

UPDRAFTPLUS

WordPress Backup Plugin

UpdraftPlus is the most popular WordPress backup plugin. It allows you to automatically backup your complete site and safely stores your site backup file on a cloud service such as Google Drive, Dropbox, UpdraftVault, etc.

It has an option to manually backup your site with a single click and also, you can restore your site with one click.

The good part is all these updraft features are available for free.

By now, I’m certain you’re conversant with downloading WordPress plugins.

Follow the same process to download UpdraftPlus from your WordPress dashboard.

Ready to launch your blog and follow along with this guide?

Get started with Bluehost for just $2.95/month (63% off your hosting plan).

8.

CREATE AWESOME CONTENTS

writing blog posts

First off, a big congrats to you for making it to this stage🏆.

Why?

So many people fantasize about starting a profitable blog but only a handful are ready to take actionable steps and I’m glad you’re among the passionate few.

If you are still having second thoughts, head back and follow the steps outlined above.

It’s time to create awesome blog content.

Here are few writing tips to guide you when creating blog posts.

1. Each blog post should target one main keyword.

A target keyword is either a single word or a word phrase upon which a blog post intends to rank on.

For example, a blog post titled “16 ways to lose weight without dieting” contains the phrase “lose weight” as its target keyword.

As a result, the content is structured around weight loss and can even contain tips, methods, and strategies needed to achieve weight loss.

Focusing your blog post around your target keyword helps you structure your content properly.

After selecting your target keyword, make sure to:

      • Put the keyword in your blog’s permanent URL.
      • Include the keyword in the title of your post.
      • Add your keyword to the first or second paragraph and also towards the ending of your post.
      • Use the keyword strategically in the content.

Don’t try to overdo this by stuffing the keyword everywhere around your content.

Organize your content around the keyword in a manner that will still be satisfactory to your readers.

2. Write content that satisfies searchers’ intent.

Search intent (also known as “user intent” or “audience intent”) is used to describe the goal of an online search.

It’s the reason why someone conducts a specific search.

After all, everyone who conducts an internet search expects to find something useful.

Your blog post should go straight to the point providing the required answer as possible in the blog post with little or no fluff.

The target answer can be provided in either a paragraph, list, or any other answer format.

3. Format your content with the appropriate writing style and heading tags.

Your main title should be written in H1 tags.

Sub-titles should be presented in H2 and H3 tags.

Use both textual and visual content in your blog posts.

Paragraphs should be short, not exceeding 3 – 4 sentences.

Use readable fonts and bold some important texts to make them stand out.

Your blog post should be interactive and conversational.

Add bullet points to make it easier for readers to scan through the blog without losing anything important.

4. Edit your Writing with Grammarly.

Grammarly is a must-have tool for every blogger.

There’s nothing worst than publishing a blog post riddled with spelling errors and faulty grammar.

Remember I said you don’t need super-strong writing skills to make it as a blogger”.

That doesn’t imply your content should be bloated with grammatical errors as this will be seen as a red flag to Google.

Grammarly writing aid
Instant Grammar Checker - Correct all grammar errors and enhance your writing.
Grammarly helps you rewrite your content for better clarity, enhances your word choice and reduces wordiness.

Get the free version of Grammarly here: Grammarly – Best Writing Aid.

Download Grammarly

The PRO version of Grammarly is worthwhile if you need help with writing better, more interesting sentences with dynamic words.

9.

PROMOTE YOUUR CONTENT AGGRESSIVELY

writing blog posts

Okay, let’s get this right.

What do you think differentiates a mere blog from a profitable blog?

Nothing but a planned and aggressive content promotion strategy.

Gone are the days where all you need is large pieces of quality articles on your blog and you’re guaranteed to rank on Google.

Now, you have to employ efficient promotion strategies to make your blog a profitable one.

The best strategy to promote a new blog is through link building.

Link building is the practice of building one-way hyperlinks (also known as “backlinks”) to a website with the goal of improving search engine visibility.

It’s simply the process of getting other websites to link back to your website.

Why is link building important?

Well, the more links you have to your blog from authoritative sites, the more Google will take you seriously and rank all your new blog posts.

Guest blogging and Podcast interviews are two popular ways to build links to your blog.

Guest blogging means publishing an article on someone else’s website with a link pointing back to your website to increase or for brand awareness purposes.

This is possible with proper email outreach and the right mix of content marketing.

Podcast interviews are also on the increase right now.

The best part?

There are podcasts on EVERY topic.

You can just show up and talk about what you know. And – boom! — you get a link.

Another strategy to promote a new blog is through social sharing.

Since your blog is new, it’s a little hard to get eyes on your content.

Leveraging on social media platforms in your early phase of blogging will give you the required boost.

The question is …

What social media platform is best for bloggers?

PINTEREST is the best social media for blogging, tailored to drive traffic to your website.

It’s much profitable to focus and build your audience from one platform than trying our different media channels at the same time.

While building your audience, also remember to grow your email lists along the way.

Your email list is your own personal audience that you can always leverage on, keep that in mind.

Your ability to promote your blog post effectively is what will take your blog from zero to six-figure earner.

Closing Remark

On starting a profitable blog (guide)

A complete recap of what we’ve been able to achieve through this guide.

  1. You’ve determined your blogging niche✔
  2. Crafted a name for your blog ✔
  3. Hosted your blog with Bluehost
  4. Successfully installed WordPress ✔
  5. Got a responsive blog theme (DIVI theme )✔
  6. Completed blog setup and design ✔
  7. Installed useful WordPress plugins ✔
  8. Learnt how to create awesome content ✔
  9. Get involved in aggressive content promotion ✔

No doubt, blogging is one of the best ways to earn passive income,

but the degree of passiveness largely depends on your level of consistency.

I’ll urge you to maintain consistency for at least a year.

You’ll be surprised by much you’ll be able to achieve.

Make sure you’re producing content that satisfies searchers’ intent.

That way, you’re providing value to your readers.

Start building links to your blog by collaborating with other bloggers in your niche.

Remember to leverage on social networks, to get early boost on your written content.

And it’s a wrap✨

Hope you enjoyed our blogging guide?

At website hurdles, we share actionable tips and resourceful guides to help bloggers achieve traffic of 100k monthly visits.

The truth, you really don’t need 100k+ monthly visits before your blog becomes profitable.

You can start earning from your blog with as low as 5,000  visits per month.

Nevertheless, the 100k margin serves as a target points for members of our community.

And if you want to take your blogging career to the next level and didn’t opt-in to our form earlier,

you can still join our network of active bloggers by filling the fields below.

If you  find this guide helpful, do well to share it to friends and family.

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