Complete Guide to Create a Blog from Scratch that Makes over $3000 per Month

Complete-Guide-to-Create-a-Blog-from-Scratch

Today I’d like to share with you every single step needed for you to create a blog from scratch, growing it AND learning how to earn money from it..

You see creating a blog has never been that easy because of the great advancements in technology. You do not need to know how to code to start a successful blog anymore.

The only thing you need to have is a clear and simple guide telling you exactly what needs to be done to create a blog but also what needs to be done when the blog is actually built to turn it into a profitable money making machine.

The four major steps are as follow:

  • Step 1: Pick a topic also known as a niche, for your blog
  • Step 2: Create your blog using the beginner-friendly blogging platform called WordPress
  • Step 3: Learn how to bring traffic to your website using various strategies
  • Step 4: Monetize your traffic to turn your visitors into customers

These 4 steps are pretty straight forward, aren’t they!?

Keep on reading to get more details regarding each step.

Follow the step by step tutorials.

Implement the different strategies and you should be well on your way to have a successful blog in no time.

Step 1. Pick a niche

Picking a topic for your blog, also known as niche on the internet marketing world, should not be too difficult.

Usually, I would recommend you to pick something you are passionate about because it will help you down the road when it is time to create content.

With that being said, you should always be thinking about the end goal of your blog.

If it is to make money, you should make sure that it is something enough people are interested in. 

To gauge how popular and difficult a niche is, you can use keyword tools or simply perform a Google search and see how many results are returned after a search.

Google-search-results
Google search result for Dog Clothes

Using Google is definately the easiest solution but it is not my favorite choice, I prefer using a keyword tool.

My favorite tool is free is called Ubersuggest.

You simply type the niche you are interested in and Ubersuggest will tell you how many monthly users search it and how easy it is to rank your blog amongst the top results.

Ubersuggest-search-results-page
Search results for Dog Clothes

Play around with the tool and pick a niche you like with some decent monthly search volume.

Tip: Most blogs will not try to rank their homepage so the tool should only be used to gauge how popular the niche is, do not worry about the competition level for now.

Pick a domain name

Once you know what you are going to blog about, you need to find a name for your blog.

A few years back, it was best to have the main keyword related to your niche in your domain name but now it does not matter.

A good domain name should:

  • be a .com because they are easy to remember
  • contain 3 words max, the shorter the better
  • not contain any numbers or hyphens
  • be something catchy easy to remember

Once you find a name you like fitting the criteria above, you need to pick where you will purchase your domain name from.

The best domain providers are:

Personally, I like and use Bluehost for both my domain name and hosting because it is inexpensive (you can start for as low as $3.95 a month) and very user friendly.

To see exactly how the process of buying your domain name with Bluehost, please watch the video below:

Step 2. Create the actual blog

Now that you have picked what you will be blogging about and you came up with a blog name, it is time to move to step 2 and learn how to create your blog.

Pick a blogging platform

There are many different blogging platforms to pick from.

Some are completely free such as blogger.com or wordpress.com and some are not.

Even though the sound of a free blogging platform is super nice, it comes with a lot of limitations that compromise how great your blog can become.

When it comes to the best blogging platform, self hosted WordPress is by far the best user friendly platform out there.

In order to use it, you will need to find a hosting company that supports it.

Don’t worry, pretty much all the hosting companies have an one click install WordPress which makes it super easy and fast to get your blog up and running. 

Pick a good hosting company

There are many different hosting companies you can use and you can really pick whichever you prefer.

The best ones in my opinions are:

If you are unsure what to pick and want to learn more about the top hosting companies for WordPress check this article from hostingfact.com

As mentioned above, I use Bluehost and have been very happy with them. For that price, you can’t beat it!

For the sake of this article, let me walk you through the process to get your hosting situated with Bluehost

PS: It will be very similar to other hosting providers

Go to Bluehost and click “Get Started Now”

Bluehost-welcome-page

Then pick the basic plan. As you blow grow you will be able to upgrade your package.

Bluehost-select-your-plan

Then, you will be taken to the domain page where you will pick your FREE domain or import an existing domain you purchased from another domain provider.

Once you have a domain name just go to the next page where you will enter your personal information and pick the different option for your package. 

Bluehost-pick-your-package-options

In order to get the best deal, pick the prepaid 36 months package. If $142 is too steep for you, just pick the yearly plan for half of that price.

In the Package Extras section, make sure to remove everything, you will not need any of that when you first start out.

Enter your payment info and check your emails to receive your login info.

  • Once you receive your info, log into Bluehost cPanel
  • Look for the Website section
  • Select Install WordPress and click on Install Now
  • Pick the domain name you registered and click Check Domain
  • Check the service agreement box and click on Install Now

There you go, you have now WordPress installed on your blog!

Pick a WordPress theme

Login to your brand blog and take some time to get familiar with the WordPress interface.

It is not very complicated and very user friendly.

You’ll get very familiar with basic functionality in no time.

Once you are done with playing with the interface, let’s get started by picking a theme for your blog.

Pick a Theme

Go to left side menu and click on Appearance and select Themes.

You should arrive on the page below.

Wordpress-themes-page

There you will be able to pick a theme you like. To look for others themes than the one preloaded with WordPress simply press on Add New on the top of the page.

Some themes are free while other ones are paid. 

To me, start with a free theme and upgrade to a better theme down the road if you want.

It is very easy to change the theme so don’t waste too much time picking it.

Personally, I started with the free version of GeneratePress and it was perfect for the look I was going for.

Check the video below to watch how to install and personalize your theme.

Once you are done with picking your theme and personalize it, it is time to creating content.

Related: 10+ Best Free WordPress Blog Themes

Create your first blog content

Before creating your first post, there are a few pages you should publish on your brand new blog.

Go to Pages, click on Add New and create the 4 different pages discussed below:

  • An About Me page where you explain briefly who you are and what is your blog all about. It does not have to be super long but it is a great page to connect with your readers.
  • A Contact page so people can reach you. You can use the plugin called Contact Form Builder to do that.
  • A Terms of Service and a Privacy Policy pages. If you are not sure what they are, simply google them and you will find a template you can use.

Now that you are done with the very basic pages, it is time to create your first post!

To do so, simply go to Post and click on Add New.

There you will be able to pick the title for your post and start  typing your post.

Once you are done, click on Publish.

There you go, you now have a blog with its first post published!

Essential plugins to grow your blog

Now that your blog is live, has its essential pages and its first post, it is time to install some plugins to help you optimize your blog and make it better.

The beauty of WordPress comes from all the different plugins available to help you improve your blog.


plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress website. They can extend functionality or add new features to your WordPress websites

Plugin definition by WPbeginner

When it comes to plugins, you need to make sure to have what you need but don’t get too many because they could be slowing your site down.

To prevent any speed loss try to stay at 15 plugins or less.

To install a plugin, it is very easy!

Go to Plugins and select Add New

Look for the plugins you are interested in, click on Install Now and then click on Activate once it is installed.

Boom! You are done.

Your new plugin will then be available on the left menu within your WordPress panel.

The top plugins I use and recommend are:

  • Tablepress: To create easily and quickly tables for your pages and blog posts
  • Optin Forms: To create very nice looking opt-in forms
  • All in One SEO pack: To help you optimize your website for SEO
  • Wordfence: To help you keep your site safe from viruses and hackers
  • Social Warfare: To display social media sharing buttons on your blog posts and help boost social sharing
  • Simple Author: To add a responsive author box with social icons on your posts
  • W3 Total Cache: To improve the speed and user experience of your blog
  • EWWW Image Optimizer: To help reducing image size to improve blog speed
  • Autoptimize: To automatically optimize the blog performance
  • Broken Link Checker: To detect and fix a broken link on your blog

Using the plugins above, your blog you should be well optimized, fast and secure.

Let’s now move to the next step and start to get traffic to your blog.

Step 3. Get traffic

Getting traffic to a brand new website can be very difficult if you don’t know what you are doing.

I remember struggling big time to get any visitors to my new blog when I first started. With time I have learned what works and what does not.

Below you will find the best traffic sources I have been using to drive lots of traffic to my blogs but also my other sites.

SEO

Search engine optimization also known as SEO is what allows search engines such as Google to determine what your blog is about and decide where to rank it.

SEO is a long process which will take a few months (between 4 and 10 months) to affect your traffic.

But when done right and when your website ranks for some good keywords, you will receive lots of targeted traffic to your blog for the foreseeable future. 

When it comes to SEO, there are two different types, on site SEO and off site SEO. 

Let’s look a the first type.

On site SEO

The goal here is to optimize your blog to the search engines liking so they favor your content over the competition.

Related: 18 SEO Tips and Tricks to Skyrocket your Traffic in 2019

There are many different ways to improve your on site SEO and the infographic from Backlinko below sums up the main things to do to be well optimized.

on page seo infographic version 3

Off site SEO

Now that you know how to improve your on site SEO, it is time to understand how to improve your off site SEO.

The way search engines look at your site is by gauging how people interact with your content and how many people interact with your it.

They look at:

  • how many links point to your blog
  • the authority of the websites pointing to your blog: Getting links from the Times Magazine is more valuable than links from a random forum
  • the number of unique websites with links pointing to your blog.
  • contextual links (links within content): They tend to matter more than sidebar links for example
  • dofollow vs nofollow links: Nofollow links are not counted by Google, therefore focus on getting dofollow links.
  • link relevancy: Links from websites about the same topics as you carry more weight. 
  • the mix of links pointing to your website: Only seeing one type of blog coming from a few places may be seen as spammy by search engines. 

When trying to gain links to your website, you should be very careful!

Google has cracked down hard on link building strategies so I recommend you to only build links using withehat techniques.

Some of my favorites strategies to gain links are:

  • Look for broken links on websites you would like to get a link from.
    • Use this free tool called Broken Link Check.
    • If you find some broken links on the site, contact the site owner to tell him about the broken link.
    • Then nicely ask him to replace it with your link.
  • Guest posting
    • Reach out to bloggers in your space and see if you could guest post on their blog
    • Reach out to bloggers to offer them to guest post on your site

If you want to learn more about links and how to utilize them to improve your offsite SEO, check out the article called The Ultimate Guide to Off-Page SEO from Neil Patel on his website.

Social Media

Social media sites are some of the most powerful websites on the internet!

You need to learn how to leverage each platform to bring as much traffic as possible back to your website.

Being present on social media also improve your presence online and makes you seem more authoritative in your niche.  The bigger the audience you have across the different social platforms, the more chances you have to get your content seen by many visitors.

Pinterest

Pinterest is more of a search engine than a social media platform.

It means that your pins can rank in the Pinterest search engine and be searched by users.

When leverage properly, Pinterest can be a gold mine.

I started using four months ago and I am already seeing big improvements in my traffic coming from Pinterest

Pinterest-people-I-reach-in-4-months

The main strategies I use to get results from Pinterest are:

  • Converted my personal account to a business account (it’s free) to get access to Pinterest analytics
  • Using Tailwind to bulk schedule my pins and let the web-based program pin for me.
    • It saves lots of times versus manual pinning
    • Tailwind knows the best times to pin and will post at the optimal times for your audience
    • It provides great analytics to help you better 
    • You can try the program for free for a month using my invite link
  •  Join group board to boost my reach. the more people you reach, the more chances you have for your pin to go viral.
    • Join multiple group boards to share your pins
    • Group members will repin your pins in return and expose your pins to their followers
  • Use Tailwind Tribes to boost my reach even more
    • They are free to join and very active unlike some group boards
    • It is very easy to see which tribes and which pins perfrom well using Tribe insight 
    • Tribes work the same way as group board as far as for each pin you post, you will get a repin

If you want to learn more about Pinterest, Tailwind and how to leverage its power to drive massive traffic to your website, make sure to check out the video below:

Instagram

Instagram is the hottest social platform right now.

It has a lot of traffic ready for you to grab!

Instagram-monthly-user-growth

To dominate on Instagram, you need to grab the users attention very quickly by posting either very nice pictures or videos. 

The 3 main strategies I use to grow on Instagram are:

  • utilizing hashtags related to my niche in my posts
    • 10 low competition, 10 medium competition, 10 high competition hashtag
  • I follow and engage with content from people in my niche on a daily basis. By bringing value you will start to get noticed by other users and your profile will naturally grow
  • join engagement groups to boost my engagement
  • collaborate with bigger accounts to get featured on their account

I wrote an article where I describe exactly how to use Instagram to drive traffic to affiliate marketing offers but it is very similar to drive traffic to your blog. I left a link below, if you are interested:

Article: 6 Clever Ways to Use Instagram for Affiliate Marketing

The trick with Instagram is to grab your audience attention quickly, have them to engage with your content and drive them to your profile where you have your link to promote your blog.

Not having a way to add links onto each post can be quite challenging at first but it should not stop you from using Instagram.

There are actually ways to get around the one link issue very easily such as using a bridge page or a service like Linktree.

Related: How to add multiple affiliate links on Instagram

Twitter

Twitter is another great source of traffic if used the right way.

Just like on any of your social media accounts, you want to make sure to create a nice profile, with a good profile picture, a good description of your business and a link redirecting to your blog.

Once your profile is nice and ready, you want to make sure to follow some big accounts in your niche and interact with their content just like I talked about above in Instagram strategies.

Make sure to post at least once a day and when you start to get some organic growth, try to get in touch with some bigger account in your niche.

Send them a nice message, complimenting their account and ask if they would be willing to retweet some of your content on their page or give you a shootout.

Now, let me be honest, you will be rejected or ignored by a lot of people but don’t get desperate and keep on pushing.

The bigger your following gets, the easier it will be for you to collaborate with other successful accounts.

Do not buy any fake followers to make your account look bigger, just take your time and grow the right way.

To speed up your growth you could try Twitter paid ads but I would not recommend you to try until your blog is successful. 

Facebook

Everyone knows Facebook that’s why you should not overlook using it to get traffic.

You have three main ways to bring traffic to your website with Facebook:

  • by posting on your personal page asking your friend to check your blog
  • by creating a fan page, growing it and redirecting people to your blog
  • by either joining or creating a group board and getting members to check your website

I am not going to lie, I am not a big fan of Facebook anymore because they have been changing their algorithm and it is now harder to get your content seen even if you have a big audience through your personal page, your fan page or a group.

You could also try to dabble with paid ads if you have some money to spare but be ready to lose some money to learn how to be good at it.

TumblR

TumblR is often overlooked and rarely talked about but it is a potentially good source of traffic if your target audience is young (35 and below)

You see on TumblR you can create a free blog to post your content but also build a following.

Tumblr-cumulative-total-of-tumblr-posts-2011-2018

Make sure to create a nice blog with links pointing back to your blog and use tags (same as hashtags for Instagram) to get discovered by users.

Video Search Engines

Videos are the future of advertising. You can see all the big social media platforms pushing or integrating videos more than ever before.

You need to make sure to take advantage of this trend and create a presence on video search engines such as Youtube or Dailymotion.

For the sake of this article, I will focus on Youtube because it is the biggest site right now but the same strategies can be used on other sites.

Youtube

Youtube is one of the biggest sites on the planet and lots of people make searches ranging from product reviews to DYI or recipes.

No matter what niche you are in, you should be able to leverage the power of Youtube.

To create videos you only a smartphone to start.

If you are shy, do not worry! You don’t have to show your face to make great videos.

You should create an account for your blog and start thinking about what type of videos you could make.

Create a channel and start uploading videos.

Youtube is a video search engine so you need to know how to optimize your videos for them to rank and show up in front of the right audience.

I am not a Youtube expert and this article is long enough already so I won’t be discussing in details how to create great engaging videos that rank but if you want to learn more, make sure to check the video below by Brian Dean from Backlinko.

Leverage community type websites to Gain Traffic

Community type websites are great to bring quality traffic back to your website once you become a trusted source in the community.

In order for you to bring as much traffic as possible, you will need to post great content and be active in the community to build some authority.

Once you start to be trusted, it will be very easy for you to get people to check your blog out.

Reddit

If you don’t know what Reddit is you are missing out on a great website.

This huge site is full of great information and active user ready to share and interact with each other.

Check for one or multiple subreddits related to your niche and start to participate in the conversations.

However, to be successful on Reddit make sure to play by the rules and be active in the community.

If you just go there and spam your links everywhere not only other members will not click on the links, they will report you and get out of the subreddit you post in.

Related: How To Generate Big Blog Traffic From Reddit Without Hurting Your Brand

You also can run paid ads there but like for any type of paid advertisement, I would not recommend you to even think about until your blog is successful.

Quora

Quora is an awesome platform where you can ask questions to other users but also answer questions asked by other users.

In order to be successful there and get your answers voted the best, you need to make sure to come up with great elaborate answers.

Similar to what needs to be done in Reddit, you need to be active and keep on providing value. Try not to try to link back to your site to every answers you provide to not look to spammy.

When used correctly, you could get traffic from some answers for a very long time because all the answers are indexed in Google and some show up high in the search engine ranking.

Related: 3 Simple Tactics for Massive Growth on Quora

Forums

Forums might seem and look like website from the 200’s but don’t sleep on them.

Many forums are still very active and full of potential visitor to your websites.

Make sure to check if any active forums exist in your niche.

If you find some, make sure to join them and start to be active in them by participating in different threads.

Most of the time, you will not be able to put a link in your signature after a certain amount of posts.

Make sure to meet the minimum posts criteria and then put your blog in your signature.

After that, participate some more and participate some more of the different discussions. Make sure to also start discussion and watch the traffic coming to your blog.

Step 4. Monetize your traffic

Now that you have a nice blog with great content and massive traffic coming your way.

It is now time for you to go to the final step to create a successful blog from scratch and learn how to monetize your traffic.

Utilize affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is the easiest way to get started with monetizing your blog when you first start.

How-affiliate-marketing-works

Most of the affiliate programs are easy to be accepted by and you can find affiliate offers for pretty much any niche.

If you want to learn more about how affiliate marketing works and the best networks to join make sure to check my article below.

Related: What’s an Affiliate Website?

It is my main source of income right now for this blog and my other niche site.

I am now making well over $5,000 between my two sites.

Maxbounty Payment
Month of August Earnings

Related: Learn How I Earn Money With Affiliate Marketing on my Blogs

Run ads on your blog

When your blog starts to gain traction and receive more than 10,000 pages views per month, you should start exploring to display ads on your network.

For each user clicking on an ad on your blog, you will earn money.

Depending on your niche, the CPM (also known as cost per 1000 impressions) will change but usually you will earn between $10 and $30 per 1,000 impressions.

The reason why I tell you to wait until you have some decent traffic is that your application will be reviewed and most ads providers are not interested in blogs with little traffic.

Ads are not the most lucrative way to monetize your blog but they are perfect for blogs in niches with not a lot of affiliate offers.  

The best three ads providers are:

Sell your own products

Similar to what I just talked about for running ads on your website, you need to wait to have a decent amount of traffic before venturing into selling your own product.

But let me tell you something! You hould definately create a book, an ebook, a course or a webinar as soon as you have established yourself and have grown a following in your niche.

Branding yourself and becoming the face of your business will open doors to many new opportunities and make you a lot of money along the way.

Offer your services or coaching

Instead or in addition to sell your own products, you could offer coaching or services in an area you excel in your niche.

When you get to that level, your blog will be a money making machine!

Build an email list

Building an email list is a must have when you have a blog. 

Having a list allows you to remarket to people who have shown interest in your content.

You should keep your email list active by sending valuable emails a few times a week.

For every three emails with great actionable content you sent, you should send one email promoting either an affiliate offer or some of your own product.

That type of traffic is what is called warm traffic because they know who you are and have already shown an interest in your content by signing up for your email list.

An email list is a living tool , so make sure to keep on growing it and provide value to to its members that way anytime you promote something, you will great result.

Do not send emails every day and do not solely promote offer to your list or you will be seen as a spammer and the list will die on you.

Conclusion

In this article, I tried to compile everything you need to know to create a blog from scratch and turn it into a money making machine generating well over 3,000 per month.

I gave you the main 4 steps to get started as well as example and strategies to be successful every step of the way.

Now I know it is a lot of information but don’t get overwhelmed!

Take one step at a time and put the work in. It will be all worth it at the end!

If you have any questions or want to show some love make sure to leave a comment below!