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Do you want to start a money making blog of your own?
Blogging is a great way to earn some extra income as a stay-at-home mom! But, many moms don’t think they have time to get started.
That’s where this post comes in. It’s a step-by-step guide to walk you through starting your own blog. But, it’s a little different than most guides out there. That’s because this one is written by a busy mompreneur with nine kids who understands you might only have five minutes at a time to work without interruptions. Life happens, and it’s often crazy!
So, this guide is broken down into teeny, tiny baby steps. Each one is designed to move you along the journey to start a money making blog. It utilizes think time to help you make progress – time when you’re pondering and reflecting as you go about life. Then when you make it back to the computer, you’re ready to move on.
Save this post, and come back to it each time you have a few minutes. By the time you reach the end, you’ll have your own blog launched.
Ready to get started? Great, let’s go!
Step One: Decide What to Blog About
We’re going to start at the very beginning, to help give you a solid foundation to build your blog on. Before you pick a domain or worry about colors or anything else, I want you to decide what you’re going to blog about.
It might change over time. But, figuring out your starting niche right from the beginning is important.
To find your niche, spend a few minutes brainstorming. Write down what you enjoy, what topics interest you, what you are an expert at, and any other ideas you think you could create content on regularly.
Once you have these written down, spend some time contemplating. Think about them while you’re washing dishes, taking a walk, or just going about your day. Let them simmer in your mind.
When you have a few more minutes, come back to your list. Did anyone idea stick out the most? That’s the one to start with!
Step Two: Decide Who You’re Blogging For
You can’t write content for everyone on your blog. You’ve got to decide who you’re blogging for.
Who is your target audience?
You want to know all about your readers, and create a reader avatar. This is a pretend person who you think about each time you create content. Before hitting publish, you ask yourself:
Would my avatar benefit from this post?
If the answer is no, it needs some tweaking. If it’s a yes, then it’s ready to go.
But, before you can ask yourself that, you’ve got to create your avatar. It won’t take long, and most of it can be done in your mind, while you’re busy tending to skinned knees and peeling potatoes for dinner.
To figure out who you’re blogging for think about:
- Who is interested in your niche?
- What do they need to know?
- How do they prefer to gather information (reading, watching videos, listening to audio, etc.)
- How old are they?
- What gender is your avatar?
These questions will help you get to know your target audience. It’ll help you as you pick colors, create images, and produce content for your blog. Without having a solid plan in place for who will be reading your blog, you reduce the chances of anyone actually reading it.
Step Three: Decide on a Domain Name
This step stops a lot of people in their tracks. They get analysis paralysis and never actually start a blog because they’re so worried they’ll pick the wrong one.
Is this you?If so, I encourage you to take a deep breath and make a choice. Here’s what I learned about picking a domain name:
- You may not be able to get the domain you love (I wanted my name but it was taken, so I added writing at the end since I was a freelance writer…)
- Your domain might not always be one you love (I’ve contemplated changing many times…)
- You really can shift your blog content even if it doesn’t completely match your url – and you can always change it later with some tech help if you really desire
- Your audience needs to hear from you, so don’t put off starting your blog any longer!
Ideas for domain names:
- Your name (not available? What can you add – a middle initial, a verb at the end, an adjective somewhere….think creatively!)
- Something related to your niche
- Something humorous
- A concept your audience will get
- Try to keep .com at the end since it’s what most people instinctively use
Mompreneur Tip: Since you’ll be working from home with your kids, and talking about your blog, make sure it’s a family friendly title. You don’t want to have to explain something your kids aren’t ready for. 😀
Take some time to brain dump. Write down everything you can think of, without taking time to evaluate your ideas. Don’t worry about whether or not they’re a good fit right now. Just write.
Now read over your list one time, aloud. Cross off any that really don’t jive with the message you want to portray, or the audience you desire to reach. Read aloud the remaining names, and go about your day.
As you work and play, think about your possibilities. Let the ideas simmer in your brain and see what you think. When you come back to your workstation, make a decision. What is your gut telling you to go with?
Step Four: Purchase Your Domain + Hosting
Yes, you can start a blog on a free platform like Blogger or WordPress.com. I started my homeschooling blog on Blogger way back in 2012. The problem if you want to start a money making blog:
- It’s not as professional (you need to tack .blogspot.com or .wordpress.com onto your domain name)
- It makes your domain less memorable (because of the extra extensions, many people won’t remember that much!)
- There’s a limit on the monetization strategies you can use
- You will want to switch at some point and then you’ve got to go through the hassle of moving. It’s not fun, and my posts that I moved still don’t look right…
The plan you pick depends on your needs. I have the ScaleRight plan, and All of my family’s websites are hosted on that one plan. If you have multiple ideas and want to have more than one site, I recommend that one.
But, if you only plan on having one website, the StartSmart is the plan I recommend. Someday when you have more traffic, you’ll probably want to switch to their faster plan. But, this one is solid for beginning and intermediate bloggers!
One thing I love about FastComet is that they include a free domain for life. That means as long as you have your account with them, you won’t need to pay additional fees to renew your domain. This is a money saver!
It’s important to keep in mind that the prices shown are per month when purchased for 36 months. I didn’t realize that when I first bought hosting. Buying for a single year (or a single month) will cost more. Purchasing a month at a time also comes with a $19.95 one-time set up fee. This is waived when you purchase annually (or two or three years at once.)
Mompreneur Tip: Can’t afford to purchase right now? I recommend starting a freelance writing business and using the money you earn to pay for your domain and hosting. It’s a great way to bootstrap your blog. This post walks you though starting that business when you’re broke, without spending anything out of pocket.
Your hosting will cost about $70 a year, by the time you add a privacy protection to it. I recommend this, because it’ll keep your personal information private. There are other add-ons you can purchase, such as search engine submission, but I was trying to save money and didn’t purchase any of those. Feel free to add them to your order if they make sense for you!
To make the purchase with FastComet you’ll need to select your domain name, and fill out some basic information. It’ll take about ten minutes to get everything registered and paid for.
Step Five: Install WordPress
This part is a bit technical, but it’s not too bad! With about fifteen minutes of effort, you can have WordPress installed on your site and be ready to get started making your blog ready for the world.
Mompreneur Tip: I recommend doing this step when you have a little time to focus . Perhaps plan on after the kids are in bed or while they’re playing with Daddy or something?
Log into your FastComet client area. Use the username and password you selected upon registration. Now look on the left-hand menu for the Log into cPanel option. Click that.
Once you access your cPanel, you’ll need to scroll down quite a ways until you come to the Softaculous app installer. You’ll see the WordPress icon on the left. Click on this. An overview of WordPress will appear, and you will see an “Install Now” option. That’s what you want to click.
Now it’s time to tell the program which domain you want to install the software on. Use the drop down menus to select the correct one. Then scroll down and continue adding information about your site. I don’t change the
You’ll need to add:
- Your site name
- Your site’s description (great place for a tagline! Mine is Helping moms balance diapers and deadlines)
- A username and password for your admin account. You can change the password later, but not the username. Pick a solid password, but one that’s something you will remember.
- Your email address for the admin account
- Your language
- A theme to install (You can use whichever one you like! I personally use Arcade Basic over on my family’s ministry website and it works really well. It’s a great free theme you can get started with).
Mompreneur Tip: I recommend paying for a site design and theme later, but for now a free one will get you started! Remember, most things on your blog can be updated, beautified, and more later on. Don’t let a quest for perfection stop you from getting started.
Once you’ve updated everything, it’s time to click “install” at the bottom. This will take a little bit of time, and you will receive an email when the installation is complete.
Mompreneur Tip: I’d recommend stopping here for this work session, and coming back later to give everything a chance to populate and your site to update with the installation.
Step Six: Get Familiar with Your WordPress Dashboard
When everything is installed, you’ll need to log into your website to make changes. You should have received access instructions in your email from FastComet. If you didn’t, you can find the login screen at:
This will take you to a log in screen where you can enter the username and password you created in the last step. Now you are at your WordPress dashboard. It will look overwhelming at first.
That’s okay. You’re going to take it slow and become familiar with what you need to do right now. Overtime, you will learn how to use the rest and before you know it, it’ll feel comfortable in there.
Mompreneur Tip: Think of it like the first day of high school. Everything is so new and confusing. You have syllabi from all your courses and so many assignments, tests, and papers looming the future. But, you take it one day at a time and fall into a routine and before you know it the semester is over and you realize it wasn’t so bad!
A Few Buttons to Note
- The Appearance button is where you make changes to your theme and get your blog looking like you want it
- The Plugins button is where you add plugins to make your blog more user friendly
- You use the Pages button to add new pages (ie your About Page!)
- The Posts button lets you add new posts
Feel free to click and see options on a variety of buttons. You can always watch YouTube videos to speed up your learning process!
Step Seven: Create Your About Page
Readers will want to know who you are. They’ll wonder why you’re writing a blog, and what you have to offer.
Your About Page isn’t really about you – it’s meant to give your readers a glimpse at what they can expect from your blog and why they should read it.
To add this page to your blog, you need to use the Pages button on your Dashboard. Click on “Add a New Page.”
Give your page a title, About Me or About Us works well!
Then, use the WordPress content editor to write. Remember to break up large sections of text with subheadings. Images are also important to add. Give your readers a face to go with your name.
You can see my About page here if you’re looking for inspiration.
Step Eight: Create Your Home Page
For many years, I used my blog as my home page. This means that when someone went to my domain, they say my blog right off the bat. It worked for a while, but I’ve since learned that most money making blogs have a static home page.
This is where you see the same home page content no matter what blog posts have been publishing. I switched to a static home page earlier in 2018, and it’s been very helpful for me!
I just have some basic content on there. There are still links to my newest blogs posts thanks to a slider, but I also offer a freebie and have some basic information. This helps new visitors know where to go and what to expect.
I recommend starting your blog off right by making a static homepage.
You won’t have a ton to put on there right now, but that’s okay! Some of the information will be similar to your About page. Just word it differently to avoid having duplicate content.
Ideas for what to include on a static home page:
- A button for each category you’ll cover on your blog to make it easy for readers to find that information
- A quick blurb about yourself and the content you produce.
- An email sign up form. I use ConvertKit and highly recommend it, even with a small list. This post explains why I love ConvertKit. If you’re looking for a free option, I use MailerLite to manage our prayer newsletter for our ministry, and it works well!
- A picture – it really is worth 1,000 words.
Just get something up for now. Remember you can change it as often as you’d like. I’m still not happy with my home page, and redoing it is on my “to-do” list for when I have some extra time for my business.
If you’re going to start a money making blog, you need to make sure you’re legally set. I’m not an expert in blogging legally. But, I do know there are a few things you need.
You need a disclosure page where you share that you will making money and how. This is especially true if you’re making money from affiliate products (where you promote products from other companies for a commission).
Some companies you work with may have their own requirements. For instance, if your’e an Amazon affiliate, you need to have a certain statement included on your website. You can see my disclosure page here.
Just having a disclosure page isn’t enough. You also need to notify your readers on each post where you have affiliate links, before they come to them. This ensures you’re compliant with the FDC. I use a plugin for that (Affiliate Disclosure).
Be honest with your readers about your relationship with products and companies. If you’re getting an item for free to write about, let them know. Getting paid to write a post or include a link? Disclose that information!
Step Ten: Start Creating Great Content
Now that you’ve got the foundation in place, you can start building your blog up with great content. You want every post you publish to answer questions your readers have about your topic. Be thorough, and write content worth sharing.
As you create content, think of ways to monetize your posts.
For now, it might just be through affiliate links. Later on, you may develop your own products and use your blog as a starting point to get people interested in purchasing.
The more useful your content, and the more it’s written with your avatar in mind, the more earning potential your blog has. Strive for publishing consistently, so your readers get used to you and learn you are a trusted source of information.
Mompreneur Tip: Wondering how to make time for blogging consistently? This post can help. It shares ideas for creating publishable content even when life is crazy!
Step Eleven: Market
I learned the hard way that you can’t just create amazing content and wait for people to find you.
You must market your blog to get it in front of your ideal readers. But, marketing can easily lead to mompreneur burnout if you try to do too much all at once. Start small.
I recommend picking one (or two) platforms to start with. You need to be where your readers are. For me, that’s Pinterest and Facebook. Your readers might be hanging out on Twitter or Instagram. Find them, and market there.
Once you’ve got a solid strategy in place for one platform, try adding another. You just don’t want to add too much all at once because you will get overwhelmed. You can’t do it all all at once!
Work on building your following, growing your email list, and continue to put out great content that you can monetize.
You Can Start a Money Making Blog Even as a Busy Mom!
It may take you longer to start your blog and see progress, but if you follow through with baby steps, you will get there. Small steps, taken consistently, can lead to huge results.
I never thought I’d enjoy blogging so much when I started several years ago. But now, it’s a creative outlet for me, and it provides some additional income to help the family budget.
You never know what the future holds, but if you’re looking for a way to make money from home, I really suggest getting started with a blog. You can use it to do so many things.
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