How To Start A Profitable Blog In 7 Steps: Taught By Award Winning Blogger Elaine Rau
Starting your own blog may seem a little daunting at first, but don’t worry!
The whole process should take less than 30 minutes.
By the end of this blog post, you’ll be publishing your very first post and sharing it with the world!
Why am I qualified to teach you how to blog?
- A year after I, Elaine Rau, started LadyBossBlogger, I was interviewed by the Huffington Post due to the incredible success of my blog.
- Since then in under 3 years, I have garnered 200,000+ followers worldwide and been featured in 300+ magazines, books, publications, and hundreds of prominent blogs.
- I now speak at conferences all around the world about how to blog professionally!
Here are the 7 basic steps to starting a blog:
- Find & Know Your Niche
- Domains, Platforms & Hosts
- Themes, Design & Plugins
- Main Pages
- Posts & Content Strategy
- Spread The Love
- Monetization Strategies
Before we begin, let me remind you of your goal: YOU WANT TO START A PROFITABLE BLOG.
Say this phrase below OUT LOUD (or even better TWEET IT for accountability)!'I am starting my blog today because zero action produces zero results. I am not going to give in to my excuses. I will follow the blog post from start to finish and at the end, I will have STARTED MY FIRST BLOG.'Click To Tweet
Ready? Let’s power through this!
1. Find & Know Your Niche
What you want to blog about is the NICHE and the main topic of your blog.
Most of us are interested in a lot of things, but I would suggest you focus on ONE OVERALL TOPIC for now, then expand to another topic later.
You can choose one from the list below if you’d like:
Take this quiz to see which niche fits you best.
OR read my viral post: 12 Most Profitable Niches For Making Money Online.
Your results will probably include a little of each niche, which is very common – my results are below.
Focus on the MAIN TOPIC that won over the rest.
Come up with ONE blog post title about that topic.
DO IT RIGHT NOW, DON’T PROCRASTINATE.
If you need help, read this: How To Write Irresistibly Clickable Headlines.
Or check out the image below. If it’s helpful, remember to pin it for later use.
If you can’t come up with a headline, the niche may not be the best fit.
Make sure there is plenty to write about on the topic you choose.
The more you write, the more you’ll learn what it is you like to write about and what your audience likes too!
For example, after 2 years of blogging, I noticed that my blog posts about making money online always performed the best, which is why I created 3 online courses to address all the questions that came into my mailbox every day.
You’ll create courses and digital products too later on, BUT FIRST, you need to write some blog posts to see what your audience responds to, but even before that, you need to write headlines that people will click on!
2. Domains, Platforms, & Hosts
For this step there are 3 things you will need to do:
1. Purchasing A Domain Name
Your domain name is the name of your blog. It’s important to purchase it because then YOU OWN IT.
If you start a free blog, such as www.ladybossblogger.wordpress.com, you won’t be able to monetize it because it’s not your property.
Going with a free blogging website is similar to moving into an apartment building with a controlling landlord.
- You won’t always be allowed to design your apartment/blog how you’d like.
- You won’t be able to have a personalized domain name that you own.
- There always exists the possibility of being thrown out by your landlord!
You can either create a PERSONAL blog or a PROFESSIONAL blog or a COMBINATION of the two.
- Personal Blog = your name (ex: ElaineRau.com) and you’re the main blogger
- Professional Blog = your brand’s name (ex: LadyBossBlogger.com) and you may have guest bloggers
- Combination Blog = your brand’s name but you are the main blogger and probably don’t have guest bloggers (ex: LadyBossInfluencer.com)
Most bloggers have a combination blog where they brand themselves by coming up with a name that suits their niche.
The benefit of NOT naming your blog your name is the ability to SCALE later on and your SEARCHABILITY is higher in Google.
Most people won’t search for your name before they know who you are, but they will search for what you write about or what you do.
HOWEVER, if you are unsure what niche you want or think you might switch topics later, it’s safer to go with your name because it’s more flexible if you want to pivot.
BLOG NAME GENERATOR
- Create a list of words associated with your niche.
- Run those words through thesaurus.com to come up with more words.
- Think of some slang, made up words, and phrases around your niche.
- Optional: Add your name in the mix.
- Put the words together in various different combinations.
NOTE: It’s more important to start than to get stuck on what to name your blog.
Honestly, the NAME of your blog isn’t as important as the CONTENT on your blog.
If your content is good, your name is supplemental to it.
But first, you need to make sure that the domain name you want is still AVAILABLE.
Click the image below to find out if your domain name is still available on the internet!
2. Determine Your Platform
- WordPress is the ONLY blogging platform that you should consider.
- WordPress is what gives your website its blogging capabilities because not every website is automatically a blog!
- 95% of bloggers use WordPress and for good reason – because it’s the best.
3. Choosing A Host
A host is a company that lets you purchase space on their servers to store your blog.
For example, let’s say you want to build a house. You’ll need to purchase the land and buy the materials in order to do so, but you don’t have the money upfront.
Your host, for a small monthly fee, lets you move into their beautiful gated community where they give you both the structure and the space to design and build your very own house/blog for less than $3/month.
However, it’s important not to go with just any hosting company.
You need one that is:
- Been around a long time
- Has fast website speeds
- Has great customer service
- And lots of happy clients
I partnered with a hosting company to create the Perfect Blogging Package for you guys, which includes everything you need to get started at the most affordable price.
This is what you get in the custom Beginner’s Blogging Package:
- Super steep discount
- FREE domain
- FREE SSL certificate
- WordPress capabilities
- 24/7 phone + chat support
- 30-day money-back guarantee
Click on the image below to access your special rates! ?
Let me walk you through how to navigate the 5 simple steps you’ll go through after you click on the green Get Started Now button above.
Don’t worry, I will explain all the “techy details” for you so you can make the best decisions.
You’ll see the different packages available. I have explained what everything means below.
If something doesn’t make sense, email me directly at email@example.com and I can explain it to you.
- Website – how many domain names you’re allowed under the host
- Website space – unless you upload lots of large photo and video files, it is very rare to exceed 50GB
- Bandwidth – they don’t put a limit on how fast your website loads
- Performance – performs well like any website should with a good host
- SSL certificate – this is what makes your website secure with https:// instead of http:// this is mandatory for every single website on the internet, if you were to purchase this separately, it can range anywhere from $50-100
- Included domains – normally for a domain name it can range anywhere from $5-20 but you’re getting it for free
- Parked domains – if you have another website that you want to point to your main website, it’s a parked domain because all it does it direct you to your main website
- Sub domains – these are created to organize and navigate to different sections of your website, for example for my courses I have courses.ladybossblogger.com
- Email accounts – you can create an firstname.lastname@example.org, you’ll need an email associated with your domain for certain monetization methods
- Email storage – unless you’re sending large files all the time, 100MB is good enough
- Marketing offers –
Once you select a plan (you can always upgrade later), type in your desired domain name.
If you have already purchased a domain name, you can type it in the box on the right.
OR if you’re still unsure what domain name you want, you can always fill that in later.
Going through this process will simply help you claim your FREE DOMAIN NAME that you can name at a later time. ?
Next, you’ll create your account and fill out your info.
Scroll down and select your plan.
Your page might look a bit different depending on what you selected in regards to your domain name.
The main thing you’ll want to check is Domain Privacy Protection because you don’t want your information out there on the web. What BlueHost does is swap out your information for theirs so your info is kept private.
Also, check the FREE mailbox offer.
This is your investment towards your online business:
- ~$100 for the next 3 whole years
- That’s ~$33/year
- ~$3/month which is cheaper than one cup of coffee!
NOTE: Remember to talk to your accountant or tax professional later about how you can claim this as a business expense. ?
And in case anything falls through, remember you have your 30-day money-back guarantee in place as well so it’s risk-free.
I bought everything separately… my domain, my web host, my SSL certificate, my email, which really added up, which is why we came up with this ALL INCLUSIVE PACKAGE for you so you don’t make the same mistake as I did!
Scroll down, fill out your payment information, check the box, and hit submit!
You officially have the BASIC FOUNDATIONAL + STRUCTURAL components you need to create a profitable blog!
Now let’s create your account and set everything up correctly on the back end with these 9 simple steps.
Click on the blue “Create Account” button and create a password for your account.
Once you’re done, click on go to login.
Go ahead and log in to your brand new blogging account!!!
Pick a name for your website (preferably something really similar to your domain name). Then create a tagline that describes what you’ll be posting about. You can always change this so just type anything in here for now.
Then select that you want a blog and for it to display on a different page.
Don’t select online store because they will set you up with WooCommerce and I would never recommend it after having terrible experiences using it (it’s way more complicated than it needs to be).
If you want an online store, go with Shopify which you can add on later.
Select what you’re planning on doing so that BlueHost can help recommend the best tools for your blog.
If you’d like, they could even design your website for you if you don’t want to do it yourself.
Skip this step for now and select a theme later.
Then WordPress will automatically start installing.
Once it’s done, you can start building your website!
Login to WordPress.
Start playing around with your brand new site by checking out the sidebar!
3. Themes, Design, & Plugins
Having a good theme is like having good style, but you want your blog to not just LOOK PRETTY but to also FUNCTION BEAUTIFULLY from the backend.
WordPress comes with a bunch of free themes, however, if you want your blog to perform better in Google searches, I would recommend investing in an SEO (search engine optimized) theme so that you’re easily found online.
The better your website’s design is, the more people will stay on your page and the more Google will trust you as a relevant source of information and promote your articles to more people 100% FOR FREE.
Divi Themes or Template Monster are great places to shop for beginner themes, then whenever you’re ready, upgrade to the Genesis Framework (this is the platform that most 6 figure bloggers use and what ElaineRau.com is on).
Click Find Your Dream Template below and type in your niche to find a good design for it.
Finding the perfect theme is like finding your soul mate.
It will take time to find THE ONE. Don’t be afraid to go through a bunch of themes – you need that experience to learn what you like and what you don’t.
When you’re starting, the main details you want to pay attention to at the beginning is the layout of your website.
- Where do you want your subscription box to be?
- Do you want sidebars? How do you want your pages aligned?
- Do you like the setup of the header? Do you want a footer?
After you try different themes out, you’ll start to learn about their various capabilities and restrictions, which will aid in your search for what you ultimately want.
Explore the Divi Store to see if you like their layouts.
COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT THEMES & DESIGN
What is the difference between a parent theme and a child theme?
- Parent theme: contains the entire structural FRAMEWORK of a website in addition to usually having a built-in childs theme.
- Child theme: may only contain the ability to customize the THEME of a website.
What makes the Genesis Framework so great is that it allows you to edit the code of a website without having to deal with CSS files! (If you think I’m speaking an alien language right now, don’t worry, you’ll get there… and the good news is that it’s actually easier than you may think).
What is a plugin?
A plugin is a neatly bundled up piece of code that allows you to add specific functions and features when it’s downloaded and uploaded to your website.
For example: You want to be able to 1) track where your social shares are coming from and 2) encourage people to share your blog posts, so you research what plugin does this function, find out that it’s called the Social Warfare Plugin, download it into your WordPress Plugins area, configure what you want it to look like, and the bar (below) shows up on your page just like how you set it up in the back end without you having to deal with any confusing code!
The 2 main plugins you need are:
- Yoast – makes your blog posts SEO friendly without editing any code
- Jetpack – helps track where your blog traffic is coming from and how much traffic you’re getting
How do you download and install a plugin?
- Click on “Plugins” on your side menu
- Click on “Add New” and type in your desired plugin name
- Download and activate it – if it’s downloaded but not activated it will be white like the first plugin below and won’t work on your site
4. Main Pages
Now that you’ve laid down the design foundation, it’s time to start constructing the main pages!
Most blogs contain the following important pages:
This is one of the most essential pages because:
- It’s the first page that visitors see
- It is also the page where they decide if your blog is worth their time
Elements to include on your About Me page:
- Who you are and why you started the blog
- What are the benefits of reading your blog
Don’t worry too much if you don’t have much to say yet, this page will change as your blog grows.
The main things you want to include are your:
- Social media accounts
- Email address (or a form if you want to avoid publishing your personal email)
- A quick message encouraging people to reach out to you
This page is where all your blog posts will be listed.
Explore popular blogs in your niche to help you determine which type of layout is the most appealing and functional.
PRIVACY & DISCLOSURE PAGES
While these pages are mainly formalities of having a website, it is still incredibly necessary to include them.
For a more in-depth look at exactly how to make your blog your business, check out my blogging course:
- How To Do Your Taxes As A Blogger
- Should You Open A Business Bank Account?
- How To Choose And Set Up A Business Entity
- How To Make Your Blog GDPR Compliant
- How To Ensure You’re Following Copyright Laws
- What Are FTC Laws + How To Abide By Them
- What Are The Rules Around Plagiarism?
5. Posts & Content Strategy
It’s finally time to write your first blog post!
Remember those 5 blog titles I asked you to write down at the very beginning of this post? Well, it’s time to put them to use.
The more you write the better you’ll get. Your blog posts don’t have to be perfect, they just need to exist!
If you really can’t think of anything to write, just write an introduction to yourself as to why you started the blog to get the ball rolling!
Come up with a schedule for yourself – are you going to be posting weekly? If so, on what day and time?
Give yourself a DEADLINE and POSTING GOALS, when you do so, you’ll more likely be able to obtain them than saying “I will get it done… sometime”.
If you’re unsure when or what you should post, just ask for help from the people that know you!
For example, tweet this:I'm starting a blog, how often should I post? And what type of posts would you like to see from me? I'd love your feedback! Click To Tweet
6. Spread The Love
Your first blog post is up – now share it like crazy!
Here are the best strategies on where to share your posts, pin this post to re-read it for ideas: 73 Ways to Promote Your Blog.
I also recommend starting to learn how to grow your email list from your blog from day one – this will become your money maker down the road: How To Get Your First 100 Subscribers In 30 Days Or Less.
Then once you’re a little further along, pin this blog post to read later: 50 Proven Ways to Grow Your Emailing List.
This is an important post to read as well: 10 Mistakes Every New Blogger Makes & How to Avoid Them.
And this one too: 10 Websites You Should Be Using As A Blogger.
Finally, join the LadyBossBlogger Facebook group For Female Entrepreneurs + Bloggers + Influencers to get access to resources and a great community that will hold you accountable to reaching your blogging goals!!!
7. Monetization Strategies
Everyone always asks me…
“How do you make money blogging? Ads right?”
I have never run ads on my website before, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t work or that you shouldn’t do it.
I personally have never because I think it deters readers (myself included) so I never bothered with it.
Most bloggers start off with ads as their initial source of income, so if you want to, I’d recommend checking out this AD site as a beginner to get some banners on your blog and start making some money on autopilot.
It won’t be more than a few cents here and there, but as the traffic to your blog grows, so will the clicks on your ads which is what results in income.
If you want more traffic, you need to learn how to set your blog up to be SEO optimized, which I teach in my blogging course:
- What Is SEO + Keywords And Why Is It Important?
- 9 Best SEO Practices
- 11 Tips On How To Get Blog Traffic Using SEO
- Picking Keywords For Your Niche + Tools To Use
- What To Do To Boost Your SEO In 2-3 Years
You can reach out to companies to sponsor a blog post from you such as:
- Product review post
- Listicle or gift guide post
- Guest post around niche
For example, let’s say that you’ve decided to start a lifestyle blog centered mainly around makeup. You can reach out to a beauty brand and ask if they would be willing to have you either:
- Blog FOR them (post goes on their website)
- Blog ABOUT them (post goes on your website)
I teach exactly HOW to get brand deals in my blogging course:
- How To Get Sponsored Post Work
- How To Pitch A Collaboration With Brands
- How To Create A Killer Media Kit
- How To Price Your Sponsored Content
Affiliate marketing is when you sell other people’s products on your website and earn a percentage of the purchase price as a commission.
They key to success with affiliate marketing is to try to find high-priced products to recommend. They’re harder to sell but you can earn much higher commissions.
You can join networks that host companies looking for affiliates, or if you know what company you’d like to partner with, you can reach out to companies directly to ask if they have an affiliate program you can join.
Affiliate Marketing Programs and Networks:
- Awin – the top brands work with this affiliate marketing platform. You have at pay $5 to get in, but you get that right back once you make your first sale.
- ShareASale – suitable for anyone, no matter how newbie you are to affiliate marketing, to help you get in contact with brands that will pay you to promote them.
- MaxBounty – you get a dedicated affiliate partner who helps you find the best deals for you to sign up for and promote.
- iGain – an affiliate network that mostly hosts online survey companies where you can earn a commission for each person who signs up for a survey.
- FlexOffers – another great affiliate marketing network!
- Etsy – everyone loves unique handmade gifts from Etsy, so why not make money from promoting them?
- Ultimate Bundles – the best bundle deals on the web for health, business, crafts and really anything! They usually bundle about $5K worth of course material and sell it for dirt cheap like $30-$50 a bundle.
- Amazon Associates – almost everyone has bought something on Amazon before so it’s a good place to start… however, the commissions are really tiny so you won’t make too much on here to start out.
To learn How To Become A Successful Affiliate Marketer, I teach that in my blogging course as well!
- 40 Important Affiliate Marketing Terms
- How To Find Affiliate Marketing Programs
- How To Properly Disclose Your Affiliate Status
- The One Tool You Must Have In Affiliate Marketing
- How To Sell Your First Affiliate Product/Service
- How To Write Money Generating Blog Posts
- 4 Effective Ways To Convert Your Readers Into Buyers
CREATE/SELL YOUR OWN PRODUCTS
This is more advanced and is something you will do once you have a few months or even a few years of blogging under your belt after you have developed somewhat of an audience.
Your product can be a digital product such as an ebook or online course:
- Creating Your First Digital Product
- How To Come Up With A Profitable Course Idea
- 7 Steps To Creating An Online Course
- Online Course Creation Business Framework
- Building Trust + Getting Sales Via Email
Or a physical product:
- How To Get Started With E-Commerce
- How To Get Started With Dropshipping
- How To Start A Dropshipping E-Commerce Store
- E-Commerce Store Launch Checklist
SELL YOUR OWN SERVICES
You can sell your skillset on your blog and blog about your skillset to attract customers!
- Graphic design
- Social media management
- Virtual assistant
I teach How To Promote Your Services in my blogging course.
And because you’ve read this far down already, you get a 30% off using promo code IREADUNTILTHEVERYEND (I Read Until The Very End Coupon) if you’re ready to enroll today.
If you click here the discount will be applied immediately. See you on the inside!
If you liked this post, please make sure to pin it and share it with your friends who are also looking to start a blog!