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8 Steps to Start a Money-Making Blog Today

Written by Grace & Silas
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This post contains affiliate links. See our affiliate disclaimer here.

Starting a blog has changed my life. It’s allowed me to make over $100k a year… and I don’t even have a college degree.

And if you want a free guide that will show you how to quickly and painlessly start your own blog, then I’m happy to help!

Down below, I’m going to show you the 8 steps to start a money-making blog in minutes (in less than 6 minutes actually!).

You can click here to skip down to step 1 and get started right away!

Because I decided to start a blog, I’ve been able to make $3,000 three months after my blog went live online, helped my husband quit his job, travel around the world full-time, and spend plenty of time with loved ones. It’s been an incredible journey.

Also, it’s allowed me to talk to and help so many people (like you!) out on their journey so that they can do the exact same thing.

Now whether you want to start a blog to make money from home, as a hobby to write about what you love, or even promote your business, then this easy step-by-step tutorial will show you exactly how!

And I also understand how it can be intimidating to start something new, so I’ll ALSO be showing you, in-depth, how to start and set up your blog for success (I promise, it’s not hard!) I don’t want ANYTHING to stand in your way of you getting started!

I want to show you how to set things up, how I got nearly 2 million people onto my site in ONE month as a newbie blogger, and the tips and strategies I use to make over $10,000 a month. It’s important for me to see you succeed with this as well and give you the best help possible.

Click here to jump down to step 1 to get started right away!

Disclosure: I want you to know that some of the links down below are affiliate links. This means that when you click through my Bluehost link and make a purchase, I will get paid a commission at no extra cost to you. This helps me in being able to provide you with a free tutorial on how to start a blog. Also, I would NEVER recommend Bluehost if I hadn’t used and approved of it myself. And on top of that, I really do make sure that I don’t recommend a product you couldn’t afford or wouldn’t be beneficial to you right now.

Now let’s get started on how to create your own blog!

This tutorial is broken down into 8 steps that are easily manageable and will help you get started today. ALSO, each of the steps in the menu down below are clickable, which means you can click on them and they will take you down to the step you want right away.

And when you signup now with Bluehost, you’ll get 63% off your hosting and a FREE domain name through my special link AND will be able to follow along with me step-by-step.


8 Easy Steps to Start a Money-Making Blog

You can click on any of these menu items to skip down to the step you want!

1. Choose Your Blog’s Name & Hosting

2. How to Get Your Blog Live On the Internet

3. How to Find Your Niche

4. How to Brainstorm GOOD Blog Post Ideas

5. How to Use Free Photos to Make Your Site Look Incredible

6. How to Get Readers Onto Your Blog

7. The Different Ways to Make Money Blogging

8. Quick Tips on How to Navigate Your WordPress Site

Bonus 1: The Tools I Used to Make $10,000+ a Month Blogging

Bonus 2: Frequently Asked Questions on How to Start a Blog


Should You Go with a Free Blogging Site?

Now, I wanted to start this guide off with this very important question.

If you’re looking to start a blog so that you can make money from home, then you will want to steer clear of a free blogging site.

I know that it may be easy to think that you can just use free blogging sites like WordPress.com or Blogger to get started. However, there are MANY reasons why you don’t want to do this. And one of the first and most important reasons is because…

They can take your blog away from you at any point. And they don’t have to give you a reason why.

This is something I’ve known to happen to big bloggers like Michelle from Making Sense of Cents (when she was just starting out).

And this means that all of that hard work you put into your blog posts will just go away, and I DO NOT want this happening to you.

ALSO, if the free blogging site happens to be taken down or they’re bought out and shut down, your blog and content will go away permanently. Which is another great reason to make sure your work is protected.

In the end, you can think of it this way: It’s a single point of failure. If that one thing is taken away, then the rest falls like a house of cards. You want to be self-reliant, not dependent on someone else.

Other Reasons Why You Don’t Want to Go with a Free Blogging Site

  • Making money with a free blog will be extremely hard.
  • You don’t have a say over how you really want your site to look.
  • Your blog name will basically be an ad for that platform (example: yourcoolblog.blogger.com).
  • You’ll have a hard time getting any technical help.
  • People aren’t going to take your blog as seriously if they see yourcoolblog.blogger.com instead of yourcoolblog.com.
  • The free blogging platforms may show ads on your site that you DO NOT want on there.

Again, I REALLY do want to see you succeed with your blog, quit your job, and be able to work from home (or anywhere!). And I really don’t want to see all of your hard work just go away. So I would definitely suggest going with a paid hosting site.

8 Steps to Start a Blog in Less Than 6 Minutes

Now if you want to have success and make money with your blog, then this is one of the FIRST things you need to know…

If you don’t have your niche figured out, the perfect blog name, or you’re not the best writer… these things DON’T matter right now. You don’t have to be perfect or have things be perfect before you start. I didn’t!

The most important thing you can do right now to ensure your success is to just start.

I had a TON of reasons why I should have put off my blog. But, because I actually started, I’m able to be where I’m at now: making over $100k a year blogging.

If I had waited and put it off… I honestly have NO IDEA where I would be right now.

There are so many big bloggers out there who make a LOT of money (we’re talking $100k+ a MONTH) who did not start off perfect at all. In fact, some of them aren’t even blogging on the same topic they started off with, and others have a different blog name. And MANY of them were far from perfect writers. But… the reason that they’re at where they are now is that… they just started.

They didn’t put it off, they just did it, and now they have so much time and money freedom. And I want YOU to be able to experience the exact same thing too.

So, with that said, don’t quit your blog and if you’re undecided about starting, then definitely make the leap now! Because you might just end up talking yourself out of this incredible opportunity (that will give you more time with loved ones and help you get ahead financially) a few days from now.

Step 1 – Choose Your Blog’s Name & Hosting

First thing’s first, you’ll want to pick your domain name as well as the blogging platform and hosting provider you’ll use so that your blog is live and viewable to others on the internet.

The hosting provider I’ve personally used and recommend to all bloggers is WordPress hosted by Bluehost. Also, when you click on any of the Bluehost links on this page, you’ll get a 63% off discount and a FREE domain name since I’ve been able to work out a special deal with them.

ALSO, I do want to let you know that if don’t have a name for your blog yet, then it’s PERFECTLY fine. Bluehost allows you to pick that later. 😊

Click here to get started with Bluehost and choose the “Get Started Now” button.

Choosing Your Plan

Now, the next step is to choose your hosting plan (which is the service that helps make your blog live on the internet for everyone to see).

Now when it comes to picking out the right plan, I would make sure to just go with the Basic Plan. As a new blogger, there’s no reason for you to pay more for things you don’t need right now. Also, you can just upgrade later if you want to and pay the difference. No hassle at all!

This is how it looks when choosing a plan. And if the Basic Plan is the one you want, then click on the “Select” button to get started.

Choosing Your Domain Name

Next, you’ll pick your domain name if you have one. And remember, if the name you want is already taken, you can sign up first and pick one later (because Bluehost understands that it’s not easy to pick the right name for your blog immediately).

You’ll see how to choose the option to pick a domain name down below.

Now, if you don’t know what the name of your blog will be yet, then a pop up will appear, giving you the option to choose one later.

This popup will appear immediately when your mouse starts to leave the page and go to another tab.

I honestly recommend this since it can be frustrating to find the right blog name in that exact moment.

And I also know plenty of big bloggers who wish they had taken the time to find the right name for their blog. So there’s no rushing it when you can just do it later when you have more time to think about it.

Signing Up for Your Bluehost Account

Now, you can sign up for your own account with Bluehost and just simply enter in your details. But if you don’t feel like doing that, you can also sign in with your Google account. Super simple!

Just make sure it’s an email you use since important information will be sent there!

Pick Your Hosting Package

Now for this part, you’re just going to choose the plan you want along with the price you’ll be paying for a certain amount of time.

I would also just know that Bluehost only offers people 1, 2, 3, or 5 years upfront. Now other hosting services offer monthly payments, but they will cost you A LOT more in the long run.

So while it seems easier to go with a monthly plan, you’re not really saving money.

ALSO, by going with a monthly plan, you run the risk of your site accidentally going down. This can sadly happen if your card expires. Then you’ll end up losing pageviews and income which makes being on a monthly plan pretty risky.

And even if you choose a different Bluehost plan, don’t worry, they’re all a great deal and you can simply change it later. I don’t want you to feel pressured about picking the “right plan.” It’s just important that you get started today.

Which One Do I Think is Best?

Now, in my opinion, going with the 36-month plan is the BEST deal (it’s what I went with!). It’s cheaper than the other plans and you won’t have to think about renewing until 3 years later.

Also, the cheaper price for hosting is only for new customers, so if you choose the 1-year plan, you might have to pay more after that year is up.

Choosing the Right Extras

Make sure to check the box for Domain Privacy Protection so that your personal information (address, email, phone number, etc.) isn’t leaked out. Bluehost will protect your info so you don’t have to worry about this.

Now you’ll see the total of what you’ll be paying, but just remember that you won’t have to pay this amount again for another 1, 2, 3, or 5 years (in this case, for the plan selected, it’ll be 3 years). It’s honestly great to not have to think about making a payment every month. Especially if the card you used to pay for hosting expires (getting your site pulled down because of a missed payment can be VERY stressful).

Enter Billing Information

Lastly, all you have to do is insert your billing information, check the box that you’ve agreed to Bluehost’s Terms of Service and then…

Hit the “Submit” button!

Next, Pick Your Domain Name

Congrats! You’re OFFICIALLY a blog owner! This is such an exciting place to be, I would know, it’s changed my LIFE. 🙌

Side Note: If you’re having any trouble with signing up or navigating your NEW ( 😃) WordPress blog and Bluehost dashboard, feel free to contact me at contact@chasingfoxes.com. I’m here to help you out!

Now with things OFFICIALLY done with the signup process, it’s time to go into how to make full-time income with your blog.


Now if you already have a domain name from another provider, here’s how to transfer your domain name over to Bluehost

If this step makes you nervous (because if you’re not tech-savvy like me, then almost anything techy can make you nervous), then feel free to go to GoDaddy’s support page for help with this.

Here’s a snapshot from GoDaddy’s support page with the steps you’ll need to take…

When it comes to “Name Servers,” they should look something like this… ns1.bluehost.com; ns2.bluehost.com.

After this, you can simply head over to your Bluehost account, go to “Domains,” click on “assign,” and follow the SERIOUSLY painless steps.


Choosing the Right Domain Name

Choosing the right blog name isn’t the easiest, but thankfully, Bluehost allows you to choose later so you don’t have to feel pressured to make one up right now. I really don’t want you getting stressed about this, so it’s good to take your time to pick the right name.

Side Note: It’s also very helpful to remember that you can change your domain name later if you decide you’d like something different. You can actually just pick a name that is related to the topics you want to write on or even your own name!

Now because this is one of the most commonly asked questions out there, I’d like to take some time to actually discuss how to choose the right one for you.

Finding the right blog name is important since it’s one of the first things people see when they land on your site. It gives them a bit of an understanding of what your personality might be like or what your blog is about.

And if choosing one right now is what you want to do, then I’ll guide you through some simple steps in coming up with the right blog name (it can actually be fun!).

Exploring Your Niche

It’s important to take a look at other blogs in your niche and not just the ones you love to read. This will help keep things fresh and get your inspired by exploring blogs you’re not familiar with. It honestly gives you a bigger understanding of the kind of feel bloggers in your niche go for.

If you find that there are some standing out to you, make a list of their names and then come back to them to see what the common theme is. What’s drawing you to them? Are they specific words or a certain theme or feel?

Keep it Simple

When my husband, Silas, worked in startups, he found it frustrating that the owners never thought about how the name might sound over the phone (since Silas was calling customers). They were complicated and “uniquely spelled” so he would have to spell it out repeatedly to clients. 

Sure it sounded cool in the boardroom, but those owners were probably people who never had to make calls throughout the day.

You really don’t want to have to explain or over pronounciate your blog’s name when someone asks you what you do for a living in the future. And the best way to do this is to bounce some name ideas off your friends.

Some Examples of Fun Simple Blog Names:

Expert Vagabond

One Hungry Jew

LifeHacker

You don’t have to do it alone!

If you’re in a relationship or you have a good friend that’s willing to help you, then definitely utilize their brain!

No need to do it alone and get frustrated when you could have someone give you some great ideas. Just make sure that they understand what kind of feel you’re going for or what topics you’re writing on.

Now if you need any more help with coming up with blog names, then check out my husband’s post on finding the right one. There’s no fluff, just great tips!


Now if You Haven’t Gotten Your Domain Name Yet, Then It’s Time to Get Started!

It’ll just take a few minutes to register your domain name for only $2.95/mo with Bluehost. They’re the only hosting service I recommend since they’re so affordable and easy to use!

Click here to get started with them!


Starting a blog can feel overwhelming, I would know, I’ve been there!

And that’s why I wanted to create a FREE 15-day email course that will show you how to pick a niche, get readers onto your site, how to make money with your blog, and a lot more.

This way you don’t feel lost at what the next step should be.

I know first-hand that learning how to start a blog can be a massive undertaking.

And if you need a little more detailed guidance, I put together a free blogging course for you to take that spreads all of this work out into a series of action-packed lessons and goes into even more granular detail than this tutorial.

Sign up for my free blogging email course!

By signing up for this course you will automatically be added to our blogging email list! Promise we will not send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit

Now take a moment to click here and sign up with Bluehost.www.bluehost.com/track/grace_moser/moment to click here and sign up with Bluehost. Then you can come back and we can continue on and help you create a successful blog!

Step 2 – How to Get Your Blog Live on the Internet

Now before you continue on, you need to complete the most important step in getting your blog live. And this just means that people will be able to see your blog.

That’s why you want to go with a hosting company, like Bluehost. Companies like this will help you get your site live online.

And if you’ve already gone through the process of signing up with Bluehost above, then you can skip this part and go down to #3. What to Blog About.

But, if you want to learn more about what hosting is, then definitely read on. This part is very important.

So, what is hosting?

Hosting is basically like renting space on the internet. Your landlord, or in this case, a hosting service, is the one that makes your blog live on the internet. They’re the ones that make it so that all your friends and family are able to actually see your website when they type in your blog name.

They keep everything safe for you, such as your blog posts, and keep your site from getting hacked.

Now I personally recommend Bluehost to everyone since they’re very affordable and are easy to register a domain name with. And if you’ve already gone through the steps above and signed up with them, then you’re all good to go!

Now while it may not be free, it’s probably the most important first steps you should make when starting a blog. As I talked about above when it came to choosing a free or paid hosting platform for your blog, a free option comes with risks and limitations.

Free blogging sites can shut down your site without giving you a reason or control the kind of topics you want to write about. They’re giving you their services for free which means that they can do these things without your permission.

But when you go with a paid for hosting service, like Bluehost, you’re able to keep all your written work safe and don’t have to worry about them controlling how your site looks or what you talk about.

So What Are the Benefits of Going with Bluehost?

Now I know that I keep talking about Bluehost, but they’re literally the only hosting service I recommend to new bloggers. They’re easy to use, way cheaper than other hosts, and have a lot of benefits.

And some of these benefits are…

  • You get your own FREE domain name.
  • If something goes wrong or you have some questions, their 24/7 tech support is SUPER helpful!
  • You get WordPress for free when you go with Bluehost.
  • Bluehost has a one-click install for WordPress (Yes!).
  • It’s extremely affordable, being just $2.75 a month (only through my special link).
  • You can get your money back if you feel that this isn’t for you.
  • It’s super easy to use, especially when you’re not tech-savvy. 
  • You’ll look more professional and will be able to make money with your blog if it’s self-hosted.
  • It comes with awesome FREE blog themes.

So if you do decide to go with a paid blogging platform, then I would definitely go with Bluehost. You’ll be able to have the help you need when first figuring things out and won’t run the risk of having your site get pulled down.

Now, before you continue on, I would make sure you’re already signed up with Bluehost since the rest of this guide is directed at helping you build your blog.

So if you haven’t done it already, then click here to do it before continuing on. 😊

Step 3 – How to Find Your Niche

One of the most common questions I get asked is, “What should I blog about? What should my niche be?”

Well, there are a few ways to explore this. But first thing’s first…

What is a Niche?

A niche is just a topic you can write on. So for instance, there’s are big niches such as the food niche, home decor niche, and money niche. 

Side Note: A big niche just means that there are millions of people who take an interest in that topic. For small niches, there might be tens or hundreds of thousands that love that topic.

And they can even get smaller than that! There are some small niches out there such as Medieval History. It sounds strange that there would be enough people to actually take an interest and follow someone for a niche like that, but because there are BILLIONS of people on the internet, small niches like that are able to thrive.

So with whatever you choose, just know that a niche helps you narrow down on what your blog will be about and what you’ll be writing on for the foreseeable future.

It’s fine to switch directions sometime in the future if that’s what you feel you should do, but for now, it’s good to narrow down on your niche when first getting started. It’s a great way to save yourself a headache when you start to see yourself getting pulled in multiple directions with topics you want to write on.

How to Find Your Niche

First of all, you want to grab a pencil and a piece of paper (or open a document on your computer), then start writing down your interests and passions (I know, sounds like a no brainer, but there’s more to it, I promise!).

Also, write down your skills (and this doesn’t have to be something you learned in school). Are you great at certain aspects of parenting like getting your children to sleep through the night after just a couple months? That’s a skill!

Then, group together the passions, interests, and skills that all match up. What is the common theme? This is going to help you figure out the kind of topics you want to write on.  You can also study other bloggers in the same niche and how they’re able to make it work.

Now if you’re into multiple things that don’t seem to line up, then know that there usually is a common factor in between them all. So for instance, if you like budgeting, but you also love to cook, you can connect them both by writing on recipes you can make – for under $5 or $10.  – Just so you know, it really IS ok to blog about more than one topic; we do and it’s turned out very well for us! You just have to find out who you’re writing to and find ways to make the niches fit together. So for instance (going with the example above), does your ideal reader love to find smart ways to save money, but she’s a bit of a foodie? Well, how can you help her explore her foodie side while still staying on a budget?

You don’t have to be an expert…

You can also look into the topics you find yourself regularly talking or reading about. And it’s ok if you’re not an “expert!” I wasn’t when I first started blogging. But you become an expert as you write and learn more on the topic over time. As you search for the questions that aren’t being answered and learn from the bigger bloggers, over time you’ll gain more experience and become a well-trusted voice in your niche. YOU can become the expert.

WIIFM

WIIFM stands for “What’s In It For Me.”

And when you’re able to narrow down on your niche, you want to think about how it will serve your readers.

You want to act like every reader has WIIFM on their forehead. Because when they’re going onto your blog, they aren’t going on there for you (at least not yet). They’re going on there to get help. 

So you also want to make sure that the topics you write on revolve around helping your audience. Because when you help someone, that’s when you get an avid reader; a loyal fan.

Some think that when you start a blog, you talk all about your personal life and the things that happened to you throughout your day and week. And that’s great for people who are hobby bloggers and want to share their site with friends and family.

However, if you’re wanting to make money with your blog, or at least build an audience outside of loved ones, you’re going to need to think of others first. And that doesn’t mean you can’t tell personal stories within your blog posts (ex. if you’re writing about budgeting, you could begin by telling your story of how you got out of debt). But it just means that you need to be solving people’s problems.

So for instance, they don’t want to read about your dog (I know, dogs are awesome, it’s sad), but they want to know how they can lose 5 pounds before their friend’s wedding in 2 weeks. They want to find a quick and healthy recipe that can feed their family in a couple of hours. They want to understand how to heal their marriage. And they also want to know how they can get out of debt and get ahead financially.

Also, as you start to write on topics that will help your readers, make sure that you’re taking note of what your audience it taking an interest in.

Once you start getting comments on your site, as well as emails, you’ll want to make sure you’re taking notes. Notes on which topics they’re interacting with the most, and which topics they email you about and need more help with. 

This is a great way to niche down even more and serve your audience.

 So for instance, if you’re a money blogger, and you blog about debt payoff, budget recipes, and marriage finances, and you see your readers commenting and asking the most about debt payoff, then it’s a good indicator that you should be writing a lot more on this topic.

This just shows how popular it is, and the more you write on it, the more loyal of a following you will get, and the more people will come to your site.

Pick a Niche With Consistency

And lastly, you want to make sure you pick a niche that you can write on consistently. That way you’re not taking a month off or stopping the blog altogether.

But What if There Are Too Many People in My Niche? Is it Still Even Worth It?

Now I got into this more down below in my most frequently asked questions about blogging, but here’s the short answer. Yes.

As you can see, my husband and I blog about some of the most talked about niches: food, fashion, DIY, money, etc. And we realized that no matter how many people spoke on the subject, it didn’t really matter. There are billions of people on the internet which means that there is always going to be more than enough people who are interested in your niche and specifically interested in YOU. Also.. the only person that can be you is… you. Nobody else can have that same personality, way of writing, and life experiences as you. And this is a big advantage.

So never shy away from the niche you want to write on, there are always people who will love to follow you.

Step 4 – How to Brainstorm GOOD Blog Post Ideas

As I talked about above, you need to make sure you’re applying WIIFM when writing blog posts. And for those who have already read this, feel free to skip this explanation.

But basically, WIIFM stands for “What’s In It For Me? You have to act like anyone who sees your blog posts, has this written on their foreheads.

Because they’re not interested in your personal daily life (at least, not just yet), they’re going onto your blog to find answers to their problems. And while that might not seem fair, you do have to think about how you search. Think about how often you would click on someone’s blog post that talks about themselves. You don’t know them yet, so you’re probably going to scroll past it right?

Well, you have to see potential readers in the same way. You have to help them with their problems first before you can start saying, “Hey, this is me!”

Now for WIIFM, you’d want to write on a topic that solves a person’s immediate (or even long term problem). So this could be, “8 Ways to Rekindle the Romance with Your Spouse,” or “How to Drop 20 Pounds in 2 Months.” 

And a great way to see what pain points (problems) people in your niche have, is to search for big bloggers (multiple, not just one) who write on the same topic as you. They already have a well-established audience and they know what their audience needs help with.

Then you can have a bigger understanding of what hundreds of thousands of people on the internet are struggling with when it comes to your niche of choice.

And this is where you find some incredible blog post ideas!

Once you start looking at the different problems these bigger bloggers are solving for their audience, you’re going to quickly skim the post and see where they’re not adding value. 

So for instance, a blogger might write on how to save money at the grocery store. And they provide a lot of great tips! But… you realize that they never talked about the days of the week to get the best deals at a grocery store. Or even to not go shopping on an empty stomach! And this is where you add your own knowledge.

You can also look into the comments of that post. If there are people who are commenting on that blogger’s article and asking questions that weren’t addressed in the blog post, then you can be the one to answer them when writing on the same topic.

Or you can even create whole blog posts centered around those questions alone!

Now when you start writing down blog post ideas where you can add value where those big bloggers didn’t, I also want you to take time to brainstorm related topics.

So for instance, if one big blogger is writing on “How to Lose 10 Pounds in 1 Month,” then you might also want to write down blog post ideas like, “10 Drinks That Will Help You Lose Weight this Month” or “8 Healthy Ways to Lose Weight Quickly.” This is honestly such a great way to come up with a HUGE list of ideas to write on.

I would also keep a notebook or a document on your computer to keep all these blogs posts in one place.

Now before you do any of this, you do want to make sure you have at least 5 or more bloggers you’re looking to for article inspiration. You do not want one or two bloggers noticing that you’re using a lot of their ideas. This would not be a fun conversation to have.

Side Note: If you reference a tip you got from a big blogger and link back to the post you got the ideas from, that big blogger might just take notice of you. It’s a good way to start making connections with other bloggers. 

Also, if you’re out and about and have a great idea pop up in your head, then definitely keep a small notebook with you (or even keep notes on your phone!).

Forums & Facebook Groups

Another great way to find blog post ideas is to go onto forums and Facebook groups.

For forums, all you simply need to do is go onto Google, and type in “{Your Niche} Forum.” So for example, ‘if you’re a money blogger, then you can type in “Money Saving Tips Forums.” 

Usually, the main topics you see on repeat in these forums are going to be huge pain points for the majority of the people in your niche. You can also click on the questions and see what other people’s answers are. This might possibly give you some ideas you never thought about!

As for Facebook groups, you’ll want to type in “(your niche) group” into Facebook. Then you’ll hit the search button, and be given the option to choose “Groups” as a category to find your result.

Then you can hit “Join,” and once you’re accepted by the Facebook group admin, you’ll have the option to scan through the group and see what questions are coming up frequently. Then you can see the kind of answers people give and be able to write blog post topics on this.

Side Note: You’ll want to join FB groups that have a high number of posts per day. You’ll see this in the group’s description. It will say “10+ posts a day,” while others might say 5, 6, or 7 posts a day (which are all fine). This is good since you want the group to be active and not dead (you won’t be able to find much information if people haven’t posted to it in a couple of months or years).

And lastly, another great way to brainstorm blog posts is to go onto Pinterest and type in a topic like, “frugal living tips” or “weight loss tips,” (depending on your niche) and see what the popular pins at the top of the page are. These pins are at the top of the page because they’re popular. And they’re popular because their topic hit home with a lot of readers.

Then you can go into the person’s blog post and see where you can add value.

Step 5 – How to Use Free Photos to Make Your Site Look Incredible

Now if you’re new to graphic design or finding and choosing aesthetically pleasing photos, then don’t worry, I was definitely not a pro at this when I first started too!

And the great part is, it really isn’t hard!

In fact, there are plenty of awesome FREE sites where you can get some beautiful photos.

Some of my favorites include:

  • Unsplash.com
  • Pexels.com
  • PicJumbo.com
  • Pixabay.com

But, the most important thing you want to do is to pick a theme for your images. So you don’t want to have a bright an airy photo for one blog post and then have a very dark image for your next one. 

You want to make sure you stick with one look (which can change over time, you don’t have to stick with it).

And a great way to do this would be to go onto at least 5 other blogger’s websites and see what kind of images they choose for their blog posts. What theme are they going for? Are they going for bright and colorful? Dark and moody? Bright and airy?

But just make sure that you’re not copying just one blogger’s style. Studying multiple bloggers is a great way to see what kind of feel you want for your own blog. What attracts you the most to their images? Is it the lighting and color? Is it that they have people or no people in their images? Do you like the fact that their images are wide or tall?

You want to take notes on why you like the images you see and start to gather photos from free stock photo sites that match the style you want.

And don’t feel bad if you’re having trouble with finding the right style at first. It takes practice, and you can always change the style over time as you get a better feel for the look you want.

Step 6 – How to Get Readers Onto Your Blog

Quick Note! If you want to see the tools I use to have a successful blog, then click here to check them out! They’ll help you too!

Now getting people onto your site might be one of the most intimidating parts of blogging, but it doesn’t have to be!

In fact, I was able to get over 11,000 people onto my site in my first month of blogging. 

Now there was a lot of work behind it, but I know that if you follow my same strategies, you’ll be able to grow your pageviews (the number of people who visit your site) as well.

But first, I do want to say that Pinterest, is the way I did, and still do, make the majority of my traffic (traffic is just a term for the number of people who visit your site). However, I’m first going to talk about the other ways to get pageviews since my guide on using Pinterest for getting people onto your blog is a bit more extensive.

Side Note: It’s important to know that you should get all of the social media pages for your blog’s name right away. However, you should only focus on one or two that are going to get you the most traffic, as a new blogger, the fastest. And down below, I’ll share with you the ones that are important for growing your blog quickly, and which ones you should hold off on.

Think of it as time investment; you’ll get more in return for the time you spend growing traffic on one social media platform than the other.

Facebook

If you decide to use Facebook for getting traffic, one of the first things you’re going to run into are people saying…

“Facebook is dead.” 

Translation: “It’s basically impossible to get any traffic from Facebook to your blog.”

However, I do know plenty of bloggers who use Facebook to get good traffic to their site. In fact, it really doesn’t have to be so hard.

So here are a few tips for getting people onto your site using Facebook:

Facebook Groups: Earlier I talked to you about how to use Facebook groups to get blog post ideas. However, you can also use those same Facebook groups to get traffic to your site and to your blog’s Facebook page.

And for those of you who didn’t read my tips on finding good Facebook groups, I’ll quickly go over that as well! 🙂

In order to find Facebook groups that are performing well (lots of engagement from the people who are in the group, you’ll want to type into the Facebook search engine, “{your niche} group.” So for example, “Saving Money Group.”

Then Facebook will take you to a page that will give you the option to click on the menu item “Groups.”

Once you click on that, you’ll want to take a look at the groups they show you. You’ll then want to join the ones that say, “10+ posts a day.” This just means that there are a lot of people posting and asking a question in the group. And 5, 6, or 7 posts a day is fine as well, but it’s best to find the groups with the most activity.

Once you hit join and the owners accept you into the Facebook group, you can then start interacting with the people in the group.

Side Note: Make sure to read the group’s rules. Sometimes groups will only allow you to share content from your own site on a specific day and time, or not at all.

You want to make sure that over a few weeks, you’re starting to build rapport with the people in those groups. Answer their questions, build relationships through discussions, and ask questions yourself! That way when you do share your content, people who know you will be more likely to click through to your post.

I actually know a blogger who gets 30,000 pageviews to her blog in a week using Facebook groups.

She’s open with the fact that the post she’s sharing is indeed from her blog, but also tells them that she feels it will be helpful to the people in the group.

Now while this may take some time, it’s definitely worth considering since it’s a good way to start getting traffic, start building up an audience for your Facebook page and getting people to see you as an expert on the subject.

Consistency

Now as you build up your audience on your Facebook page, you want to make sure you’re consistently posting at least once a day. And it doesn’t always have to be your own blog posts!

In fact, sharing other people’s blog posts or even fun Facebook videos is a great way to get engagement on your Facebook page. And Facebook is all about engagement.  

The more engagement you have, the more Facebook will show your posts.

Instagram

Instagram is a fun app to visit; seriously, you can spend hours on there.

However, Instagram is definitely a social media platform that you shouldn’t invest a lot of time in at first. It’s smart to post a few photos throughout the week so that if someone visits your Instagram from your blog, they see that you’re active and will follow you.

Now once you do have more time to invest in Instagram, it’s important to know that Instagram isn’t going to be a huge source of traffic for your blog. In fact, many people don’t visit a blog from Instagram.

But it is a great place to create a more loyal following since your audience will get to know you better through your Instagram Stories and posts.

Twitter

Twitter is also another social media platform that you’ll want to hold off on growing right away.

It is still important to post a few times a week to make sure that anyone who lands on your Twitter page sees that you’re active and follows you. However, your focus should definitely be going towards other social sites like Pinterest and Facebook since they will be getting you the pageviews you want to see sooner.

SEO

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It’s the process of using highly searched keywords in your blog post so that people can find it when they search for that keyword on Google.

So for instance, if you’re a food blogger who wants to teach others how to cook quinoa, you might want to use the keywords “how to cook quinoa” throughout your post.

That way, Google can understand what your post is about and show it to people who are searching for those exact keywords.

Google honestly is a great way to get consistent traffic compared to social media sites where pageviews can be like a roller coaster ride. Some days they’re really up, and sometimes they’re really down.

Now if you want to learn more on how to get a reliable readership from Google to your site, then you should seriously consider taking this online course called Stupid Simple SEO created by SEO expert, Mike Pearson (SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization – basically, you’re creating blog posts that will be at the top of a Google search page). We’ve taken it and it REALLY helps get a lot of readers onto your site. You also get access to a private Facebook support group with Mike, downloads, checklists, & email outreach templates. It opens up a few times throughout the year, so definitely be on the lookout! If you need more info, check out our honest review for this course.

Pinterest

Now, I really can’t wait to talk about this one!

Pinterest is the ONE way I got readers onto my site fast as a new blogger. I was able to get 150,000 readers in my second month of blogging because of Pinterest.

And down below, I’m going to be showing you extensively how I used Pinterest to get my very new blog a lot of traffic!


Side Note: If you’re completely new to Pinterest, then here’s is a quick guide to each term I’m going to use:

Pin: This is an image that a person on Pinterest can save for later (example: recipe, DIY project, etc.). Each pin links to a blog post that contains that recipe or DIY project.

Now for those thinking, “I just see an image when I see the pin. How do I actually get to the recipe?” – You will want to click on the pin image. Once it’s made big on the screen, you will click again and it will take you to that person’s site with the actual blog post.

Board: Think of this as a cork board where you can pin pictures and ideas and thoughts to (like the one below!). You can create different boards (such as a DIY board) and save a DIY pin onto that board.

Pinning: This is the exact term for saving a pin image. You can do this by clicking on the “Save” button when hovering over a pin image. 

Now if you’re on the Pinterest app on your phone, you can tap and hold your finger on the pin image. When you do this, the other pin images will disappear, and a few options will pop up. Then you can slide your finger (while still keeping your hold) over to the image of a pin. You can see this below! 🙂

Repin: This is how many times a pin has been saved by other people. Think of repins like Facebook likes or shares.


Now getting over 150,000 people onto my site so quickly was such a blessing. But if you’re just starting out, then the smartest thing you can do is sign up for a free Business Pinterest account. Then, you’ll want to create 10-20 boards that fit within your niche (you can add more as you go).

Each board name should have very specific keywords (keywords are words people are searching for on Pinterest). This is just so that when you pin your own images onto those boards, Pinterest understands what that pin is about, and will show it to more people. So for instance, if you have a health and fitness blog, your board names might be “Weight Loss Tips” or “Diet Plan.”

Side Note: You can find these keywords by using the Pinterest search box. Just start typing in a word like “Hair Styles” and see what pops up. The first search results are the most searched for on Pinterest.

Next, you’ll want to pin 10 of other people’s pins onto those boards and make sure that each pin has 800+ repins (which you can find at the side of the pin when you click on it). This just shows Pinterest that you’re pinning high-quality content and helps the boards to do well (in this case, “do well,” means that Pinterest will show the pins you saved to more people). ALSO, you’ll want to make sure each board has a pretty cover and follows a board cover theme (color or image theme) to attract new followers.

Here’s an example of where the repin number is on a laptop or computer.

And here’s an example of the repin number on your phone.

You’ll also want to make sure you’re pinning other people’s content to the different boards daily (30+ pins spread throughout the different boards). This is just so that Pinterest sees that you’re spreading the love and you’re an active Pinterest user (not just someone who wants to only share their own pin images).

Then, you’ll want to start practicing pin making. There are sites like Picmonkey.com which will cost a small monthly charge (the price of a few Starbucks drinks), and give you great design abilities and fonts (and not have to see their ads which tend to slow things down).

You can practice pin making by looking at other people’s pins (pins that have done well) and creating images inspired by theirs. Just make sure you have 4+ different bloggers for pin examples. You DO NOT want another blogger to see that you’re solely using their pin style. And you want to make sure it’s not a full-on copy of their image, but inspired/similar.

Side Note:Iif you’re not an expert at graphic design, then don’t worry! I created 66 pin templates where you can easily edit them yourself (add the images you want, change the fonts and colors to your liking, etc.) so you can save yourself some time and money. Click here to get them! 

Then you’ll want to try out similar fonts and images that you see from their pins so that you can get a feel for how others make pins (there are some great tutorials on YouTube for this if you want more tips and tricks!).

Then, depending on how much you want to start off with, you can a/b test pin images (or a/b/c/and d test like how I do). A/b testing is where you create two (or more) different images and see what does better. Doing this will increase the chances of people clicking through to your blog. This is very important for getting readers.

Another thing you’ll want to do is join other people’s group boards.

So what are group boards? Group boards are boards where the owner of the board allows others to pin with them. So let’s say you get on a group board that is favored by Pinterest (which means Pinterest will show the pins that are saved onto that board to other people more often) compared to your personal boards… well, then your pins are going to get seen more. That’s the magic of Pinterest.

ALSO, another reason why it’s good to make aesthetically pleasing boards with topics everyone likes is because group board owners will check out your Pinterest profile and decide if you’re someone they want contributing to their board.

Last Note: Just make sure that the majority of your boards are your own boards since Pinterest favors your personal boards more. So for instance, 30% of your boards would be group boards while 70% would be your own boards.

Now how do you find and sign up for group boards? Two ways: first, you can go onto some of your favorite blogger’s Pinterest accounts and see what group boards they’re on (the board will have a small circle on the bottom left corner showing three people’s profile images).

Two, you can go on PinGroupie and search for group boards that fill your niche AND have a great following and repin rate (a high repin rate means that the group board has an active following that is pinning a lot of the content from that board). How do you find those two? Well at the top, there are drop-down lists and you can search for group boards with a high amount of followers and/or a high repin rate.

Important Note: Do NOT be intimidated by how big of a following someone has or how exclusive it is. When I was just a new blogger on Pinterest, I had a small following, but I asked to be a part of as many group boards as I could and got accepted to many. Yes, I was denied many times, but I still got onto huge group boards with huge followings. Had I never taken the chance, my Pinterest account would never have been as big as it is right now. Pretty crazy right? 

Once you find the boards you want to join, email the board owner (if there’s an email provided in the board description).

If they don’t have that, go to their site and contact them from there. However, to find the owner and their website, you will need to click on the three images at top (these are just a few of the board’s contributors). Then there will be a drop down box which will show you ALL of the contributors. The VERY first one is the board owner.

Then you can find their blog in their profile’s description, click on it, go to their contact page, and ask them to get onto their board.

Now if they don’t have this either, comment on one of their most recent pins and ask to join (or send them a direct message on Pinterest). 

How to write the RIGHT kind of group board request: There are a couple of ways to do this. The first way is if the group board says they’re open for contributors (or doesn’t say otherwise). You can find this in the board description at the top.

You want to be very polite and professional, saying that you love their content and would like to be added onto their board. Then let them know that you won’t spam and you will follow their rules.

Lastly, let them know that if there’s anything you can do for them, to just let you know. This way they know it’s not just them giving and you taking.

Second way: If the board is closed to contributors, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t apply, but you should apply differently. Them saying that the board is closed to new people in the board description is a boundary. So you don’t want to make them feel disrespected by ignoring that boundary. You want to acknowledge that it’s there by saying something along the lines of, “Hey, I saw that your board “blank” was closed to new contributors. But if it ever does open up in the future, I would love to be considered as a contributor.” Again, being professional and polite goes a long way.

After that, you’ll want to join a pin scheduler like Tailwind which will pin your images for you to the boards you want. It’s a GREAT way to save time.

Automated Posting

Now if you’re someone who doesn’t have a lot of time on their hands (hey, some of us have kids or a job or other responsibilities), then there are some great tools that will help you automate your posts on social media. So in other words, you can set up your posts for Facebook or Instagram or Pinterest ahead of time and have them go out on certain days and times of the week.

Some great ones include Tailwind for Pinterest, Hootsuite for sites like Facebook, and Buffer for pretty much every social media site out there. 

So if you don’t have a lot of time, then I would definitely check these out.

Last Tip on Getting Pageviews Through Social Media

I feel that it’s important to study multiple big bloggers on all the social media platforms you’re on like Instagram or Pinterest.

It’s good to understand what makes their images stand out and look attractive to their Instagtam followers or what pin image and titles get people’s attention on Pinterest.

You’ll want to take notes on this and see what their captions or what topics or images are getting people to interact with their posts and how you can create content that’s inspired by theirs.

Step 7 – The Different Ways to Make Money Blogging

Now one of the most commonly asked questions I get is “How do I make money with a blog.”

So many of us already know how to write and get the general idea of how to post our articles on sites like Facebook, but what actually goes into the money side of blogging? How does that blogger you read daily make a living by just writing content?

Well, there are quite a few ways you can do this, and they’re not too complex to understand, even if you’re a beginner.

And if you are new, then here are the main ways to make money with a blog.

Ad Revenue: This is where you can join ad companies like Adsense by Google (great for beginners!) or Mediavine which accepts those with 25,000 sessions a month (sessions count just the one person that visits your site, whereas pageviews count all the pages viewed by one person). Once you join, they will display ads on your site and you will get paid for how many people click on the ad and how many people see the ad. It’s the most passive and easy way to make money blogging!

Affiliate Products: When you join an affiliate program, you agree to promote a certain product or products. And when someone clicks through your special tracking link (that the program gives you) and makes a purchase, you’ll get a commission at no extra cost to them. Some great examples of this for beginners would be Amazon or Target’s affiliate program. Just make sure it’s something you’ve used yourself and love! That way you don’t recommend something that hurts your reader’s trust in you.

Products: Creating your own product, whether it’s an ebook or a class (written or video), on a certain topic is an amazing way to make income with your blog. Especially if you have a smaller niche, but I’ll talk about that more below.

Sponsored Posts: A sponsored post is where a brand will pay you to write about them and/or their product. A good way to find sponsored post opportunities are on sites like blogher.com.

Now as you learn how to get readers onto your blog, the most immediate way to make money is through ads, especially since it’s SO passive. However, offering your readership affiliate products and your own products (which could be an online class or written material) is also a great way to make money with your blog.

So for instance, if you’re writing on herbal remedies to improve health, you could create a downloadable PDF that will show people the different herbal remedies that they can start off with as beginners and what it does for their health. 

And as an affiliate, you can also promote other people’s herbal remedy kits on Amazon (as an example).

Lastly, you want to look at other blogger’s in your niche and see how they’re making money. What products are they promoting and creating themselves?

Side Note: Just make sure that as you’re creating a following to promote products to, you also have an email list with someone like Convertkit (great if you’re not tech-savvy). Convertkit helps gather people’s email addresses (when they sign up for your newsletter) and allows you to send them emails weekly.

Promoting to your email list is the BIGGEST way to make money with your blog. These people trusted you enough to give you their email which means they’re probably going to trust you enough to buy what you’re sharing with them. Also, they’re already there, so you don’t have to get new people onto your site and HOPE they buy your affiliate or personal product. 

Succeeding With Your Blog

As I talked about in the beginning, actually succeeding with your blog has nothing to do with having the right blog name or the perfect niche when first starting out. It all has to do with whether you start today or not.

I know personally that if I had waited longer to start my blog, I don’t know what would have happened.

And when I think about that, it makes me so glad that I started when I did, because I would never have had the memories I have today. Memories like eating incredible food at Taiwanese night markets or going to Monte Marte in Paris.

And the reason why I’m telling you this is because I know that there are going to be memories you’re going to make if you start today, not sometime in the future. And I think we all know that many times when we put something off for “another day,” it will probably never happen. And I don’t want blogging to be that for you. 

I want you to be able to have incredible memories of taking as much time off as YOU WANT during Christmas to be with loved ones. 

I want you to have fun memories of visiting a Thai island and taking beautiful photos.

I want you to have the memory of ACTUALLY moving into that house and/or city you always wanted to live in.

But it is up to you and when you want to start. I can’t make that decision for you, I can only encourage you.

So if you’re ready to start working towards making beautiful moments and memories in your life, then click here to get started with your blog.

Hey, I also wanna let you know that if you DO start a blog, I’m here to help you along the way. So feel free to email me at contact@chasingfoxes.com!


Step 8 – Quick Tips On How to Navigate Your WordPress Site!

  • If you want to create a new post, just hover over the “Posts” option on the left side of your page and click “New Post.”
  • When creating a post, you can click on “Media” to download images.
  • Installing Plugins: Simply hover over “Plugins” on the left side and choose “Add New.” Then you can simply search for the ones you want such as “Google Analytics.” – You can also sign up here to get a list of FREE plugins every new blogger needs!
  • Install Jetpack: Jetpack is a great FREE plugin that’ll protect your site from attackers/spammers, optimize the speed of your site, AND you’ll get the option to see your blog’s stats. This means you’ll get to see how many people have been on your site for that day, what sites they’re coming from, and how many views each post on your blog has for the day.
  • For those who want to have fun with sending out newsletters to their readers, you can get started with Convertkit (Great for non-tech savvy people… seriously). Plus, I have a post explaining how it works here.
  • When looking for a good blog theme to make your new site look amazing, I would definitely go with Genesis. I know many bloggers who use their themes and they’re very affordable (with FREE ones as well!). And to pick a theme for your site using WordPress itself, all you need to do is hover over “Appearance” (in your WordPress dashboard) then click on “Themes” and choose one of the great options they have.  As a quick note, just know that if you pick a paid theme (like with Genesis) they’ll be more fast and secure, easier to install and customizable, have better search engine optimization, and designed for desktop AS WELL as mobile.

Here’s the list of the tools I used to make $10,000+ a MONTH with my blog:

If you want to quickly start up your own blog for a cheap price (only $2.95/mo through my special link here), then I would definitely recommend Bluehost. It’s what I used when I first started out, and you need a hosting service if you want to make money through your blog more easily.

Check out my step-by-step guide here that shows you how to sign up quickly.

One of the BEST ways to make money blogging is with affiliate marketing. Basically, you recommend a product you love and when they click through your link and make a purchase, you get a commission at no extra cost to them. And a great place to learn is with the online course, Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing. The creator, Michelle, makes over $50,000 a MONTH through affiliate marketing, so she definitely knows what she’s talking about. 

Read my review of the course here to learn more!

Also, you can check out my interview with Michelle here.

If you want a course that will take you by the hand and teach you how to become a full-time blogger, then I would definitely recommend Elite Blog Academy (or EBA). They only open up once a year though (in early March), so it’s best to sign up for their waitlist here and they’ll let you know as soon as the cart has opened.

Read my review of Elite Blog Academy here.

One of the most important things you can do as a new blogger is to start up your email list right away. It’s what I wish I would have done when I first started out because then I would have a LOT more subscribers (and having an email list is the biggest way to make money blogging). 

The email provider I use is Convertkit since they’re SUPER easy to use and give you 1 FREE month to try it out.

Read my Convertkit review here.

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is one of the most important ways to get traffic to your blog. It’s basically optimizing each blog post so that it shows up in people’s search results on Google. And if you’d like to learn more on how to do that, then check out Stupid Simple SEO. It’s a course that opens up a few times a year and has REALLY helped us out!

Read the review of the course here!

If you’re new to creating images for your blog, and don’t have the money for Photoshop, then I would definitely recommend PicMonkey.com. I started out with it when I was a new blogger and still use it to this day! Also, the monthly price is the same as just a couple Starbucks drinks. 

Check it out here!


Now for the Most IMPORTANT Questions Answered on Blogging

Here I will be going over some of the biggest questions I’ve been asked about blogging. So check them out and let me know if there was anything I missed!

  1. I feel like there are too many people in my niche. Should I even bother?
  2. I feel like my niche is too small. Will anyone read it?
  3. Where do I even start? It’s overwhelming!
  4. What are the first steps in starting a blog?
  5. I feel like I’m going to FAIL as a blogger. I do not have confidence in myself for this. Any advice?
  6. I don’t have the money to buy hosting, what should I do?
  7. I need to be working because I need the money, should I still consider blogging?
  8. I’m not tech-savvy… Is this complicated?
  9. Where do I find the time to blog?
  10. I don’t feel like I’m a good writer, what should I do?

Side Note: Throughout these, I’ll be sharing photos of my travels since blogging as allowed me this incredible opportunity. 🙂

1.  I feel like there are too many people in my niche. Should I even bother?

The easy answer is… yeah! Totally! My husband and I both write on very popular subjects and were able to get over 150k people on our site in our second month after our blog launched.

I understand that there are bigger bloggers that are successful in the niche you want to write on, but you have to realize that there are millions of people on the internet, and those bigger bloggers do NOT have a monopoly on all of them. You can totally have a blog on DIY and get a great following of people who aren’t readers of these other bigger bloggers.

Also, you can look at the blog topics others are writing on and see how you can provide value where they don’t. And you can do this in TWO ways. So for instance, let’s say a big money blogger is writing on “How to Start a $1,000 Emergency Fund Quickly.”  Well, they might not be discussing an important aspect that you see as obvious. And that could be the fact that they aren’t mentioning how you can save $1,000 faster by focusing on creating a separate bank account so you don’t dip into your savings.

The SECOND way you can do this is by looking in the comments section of that same post. What questions are people asking that the blogger didn’t answer in the post itself? Find those questions, answer them yourself, and write a more comprehensive blog post that will create a loyal readership.

You want to find ways you can out-perform the other bloggers so you can start seeing bigger results faster. Don’t blend in – stand out for the quality of your work.

2. I feel like my niche is too small. Will anyone read it?

Heck yeah! I know people who have a blog on Medieval history and have a HUGE following! Talk about niche!

(Another great example of a smaller niche blog would be Bridget from Cowboys Specialist. She was able to gather a great readership for her niche, Country Western Lifestyle, and monetize it within a year and a half!)

Now there are two parts to this and the first part is, find where those people are congregating. Facebook groups are an AMAZING place to find people in very specific niches.

Side Note: Forums are as well, all you have to do is Google “XYZ Niche Forum.” Example, “Medieval History Forum.”

All you have to do is search for your niche under ‘Groups’ and then join ones that have a high activity rate (which you will see in the description of the Facebook group saying something like, “7 posts a day” or “10+ posts a day”).

Once you join a few, you can start seeing what kind of questions people are asking and what people are talking about. This will give you a good idea about what people in that niche are actually interested in, instead of shooting in the dark hoping that people will read your blog post.

Then you can start showing yourself to be a helpful person in the group by answering their questions (or finding answers for them  for the ones you don’t know). Once you’ve started doing this, then you can start sharing  your own in-depth blog posts on the topics that get asked and discussed the most frequently (as long as it’s not against the group owner’s rules).

You want to become an expert to the members in those groups by providing high-quality content so that you’re their go-to when it comes to being a helpful resource.

The second part is dedication. It can (not always) take a bit longer to gain traction with a smaller niche. But if you’re consistently putting out high-quality posts that give your readers a lot of help, then you’re going to gain a loyal following.

Side Note: Down below, I also talk about how to get people to see your blog so that you can start making money in question #8.

PLUS: You can also start up your own Facebook group as you create a following so that you can keep them updated with new posts and create your OWN community of people who love you and love interacting with each other and get readers onto your blog (and groups are favored by Facebook which means they’ll be showing up first in people’s feeds a lot of the time as well as your follower’s Facebook notifications). 

Last thoughts on starting a small niche blog… getting subscribers (people who give you their email so that you can send them out newsletters) will keep people interested in your blog and coming back over and over again. It’s something I wish I had done straight away when I was a new blogger.

Also, here’s another reason why you NEED an email list when first starting out: 99.9% of the people who go onto your site are going to leave… and never come back.

So if you can get those people to sign up for your weekly newsletter (let’s say by giving them a free offer – also known as a freebie –  so for example, a list of 10 tips that will help them lose 5 pounds in a week), then you can update them every time you publish a new blog post. And when you do that, then, of course, they’re going to come back to your blog.

ALSO, if at some point in the future you decide to sell an ebook or course or some other kind of product, you’ll have an email list of loyal readers who will buy from you. And a great email provider (which is a service that allows you to gather people’s emails and send a newsletter to them) to start off with would be Convertkit; they’re great for people who aren’t tech-savvy, like me!

3. Where do I even start? It’s overwhelming!

One of the best things to do when you’re feeling overwhelmed on where to start is to write down just a few things you want to focus on and research over the course of a few months until you’ve mastered it. So for me personally, it was… writing 25-50 blog posts and put my focus into using Pinterest for my blog (which I talk about in question #8) and learning as much as I could with that ONE social media platform (I didn’t go focusing on Facebook, and Instagram, and Twitter, just Pinterest).

I also focused on blog topics that other big bloggers were writing on that would get my blog a TON of readers. So what pins on Pinterest had gone viral and why? What were they about, what did they look like, what kind of titles did they use? 

You want to get very focused on just a few things until you’ve mastered them or you feel that you can add one or two more things. This is a great way to make sure you’re getting rid of that overwhelmed feeling and staying on track towards your goal. It also keeps you from getting discouraged and helps you move onto the next BIGGER thing (like affiliate products – which I’ll talk about down below). 

Last thought: Make sure that the things you’re focusing on are going to give you the biggest results sooner. So for me, I wanted to get a lot of readers onto my site and fast, so I put my focus on Pinterest which gave me over 150,000 readers in my second month. Crazy right?

4. What are the first steps in starting a blog?

The first steps of starting a blog depend on where you are in the process. So for instance, if you have an idea of what you want to blog on, but haven’t bought hosting for your blog (hosting: basically a place to rent space on the internet for your site), then that’s your first step (which I show step-by-step here – it takes minutes; super easy!)

If you have bought hosting, then your first step would be to set up the look of your blog (the design/how your blog looks, menu items, a logo which you can easily create with Picmonkey.com for free, colors, etc.). Then get the necessary WordPress plugins (plugins are apps you can easily add to your site that will give your blog certain benefits) that would protect your site from hackers and show how many readers your site has had each day (ex. Jetpack and Google Analytics).

Next you would start brainstorming around 5-10 blog post ideas (doesn’t have to be all in one sitting – it can be over a few days), and start writing them out. Lastly, you would publish those posts and start sharing them on sites like Pinterest (which I talk about more here).

And as I mentioned in the last question (Question #4), you want to write down just a few things you want to focus on for a few months (this could be 3-6 months of your time), so that you don’t get overwhelmed. It’s very important to do this so that you are more directed and you’re getting to where you want to go faster (if you haven’t read the answer to question #4 yet, then definitely check it out – I go over what I focused on in my first few months of blogging that led me to where I am now).

Lastly, make sure to find people who inspire you. When first starting out, it’s important that you find bloggers who have been where you’re at and have actionable and helpful content for you to refer to. Being new to blogging is difficult, but when you have the right people guiding you along, it can go a LONG way!

5. I feel like I’m going to FAIL as a blogger. I don’t have confidence in myself for this. Any advice?

I was there and I TOTALLY get it! I had never done anything like blogging before, so my confidence was at an all-time low. I really didn’t believe in myself and I know that if I had bought into the lie that I could never make it as a blogger…

I wouldn’t be where I am today… Writing this to you in a cute coffee house in an adorable neighborhood in Medellín, Colombia (also, if you want to see our travels, then definitely check them out here on Instagram!)

So here’s what you need to do. Find big bloggers who had a hard time starting their blog (like Sarah Titus who was a single mother of three who made $10,000/mo blogging within a YEAR). It’s good to understand that you’re not alone and that there are others who have gone before you and did it too. I’m sure they struggled a LOT with their self-confidence as well!

Then, write out the lies you’ve been telling yourself about how you feel like a failure and won’t make it blogging. Next, argue with them and replace it with the truth. “This is untrue because if X person can make it as a blogger while working a full-time job and taking care of a kid, then so can I! I am able to make it as a blogger because there is literally nothing holding me back.”

And you know that saying that goes, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars?” Even if you’re shooting to make a certain amount of money after a certain amount of months and miss, you’re still going to land farther than if you had done nothing. Especially if you’re working hard and staying focused on just a few things at a time…  how could you not see results (this was something I had to reason against when I first started)?

You also want to keep in mind the quote, “In a year from now, you’ll wish you started today.” That was what my husband told me when I wanted to quit (that’s right, I wanted to give up… just a few months before things took off).

6. I don’t have the money to buy hosting, what should I do?

Riad Yasmine… one of our favorite traditional Moroccan inns.

We were in the SAME spot when we first started blogging! We were living paycheck-to-paycheck, so even buying something like hosting was a commitment for us. 

Hosting: It’s like renting out space on the internet for your blog. So instead of going with a free blogging site like Blogger.com (which is basically impossible to make money on), you purchase hosting so that you have FULL control over your personal site. 

So we cut back on the wants like getting coffee out or those extra items at the grocery store (sometimes we don’t realize how much money we spend on things we don’t need). And pretty soon we were able to pay for Bluehost

And the best part is… I don’t regret it. Getting hosting for my blog was the BEST thing I could have done since it allows us to make income (instead of using a free blogging site where making money on it is VERY hard).

Think of it this way; you’ll be able to pay yourself back MULTIPLE times over what you spent on hosting. We sure did! 

You’re basically making a small investment now so that you can have greater time and money freedom later.

And you can get hosting for your blog here for $2.95/mo with a FREE domain name. Just make sure it’s through my special link so that you can actually get that amazing price and free domain. 🙂

Also, feel free to check out my step-by-step guide that will show you how to easily create your own blog here!

7. I need to be working because I need the money, should I still consider blogging?

DEFINITELY!

Just a few months before our blog took off, I wanted to stop researching and blogging. I wanted to get a job so we could actually not feel like we were coming up for air every time payday came around.

Here were the things I said to my husband, Silas, out of desperation…

“Maybe I could get a part-time job at the Dollar Store since that’s close by (side note: we only had one car).”

“Even if I just got paid $500 month, it would still be something to help out.”

But his answers were things I could never forget because, without them, we’d still be stuck in northern Indiana right now.

He asked me where I wanted to be in 5 or 10 years down the road? Working at the Dollar Store and surfing Facebook at night? Or did I want to be traveling the world and working when I wanted to work? He told me that he knew I could do it and we were going to make it out together.

If it wasn’t for his encouragement and help, I honestly don’t know when we would have made it out of our situation.

This is something called opportunity cost…

Now the definition of opportunity cost is, “The loss of other alternatives when one alternative is chosen.”

In my situation, opportunity cost was giving up the easy money I could have made working a part-time retail job, for the chance to make more than I had ever made before. Sure it hurt at the time, but it was so worth it!

I totally understand when sweeping the idea of blogging under the rug feels like the easiest thing to do. It’s hard when you you’re facing serious financial struggles and need to make ends meet.

But guys, I’ve known moms going through a divorce who started blogging and made a full-time income and were able to stay home with their kids. And I’ve even known people with full-time jobs who started a blog as a side-hustle and quit when their blog started making more money than their job.

You CAN do this!

Bali is a beautiful place!

8. I’m not tech-savvy… is this complicated?

Thankfully Bluehost and WordPress have made starting a blog a lot simpler. Now if you had come into the game 10 or 15 years ago… then yeah! It would be SERIOUSLY challenging. But thankfully, things have become a LOT easier, which is great for non-tech-savvy people like you and me.

PLUS, if you are having any sort of trouble with setup, there are people directly on the other end of Bluehost who are there to help you out as well as TONS of free tutorials (video and written) to guide you along. These two factors make the tech side of blogging simple and unintimidating.

9. Where do I find the time to blog?

One of the simplest two ways to find time to blog is to narrow down and cut out.

You want to narrow down on your focus right away. You want to find the main few things that will get you to where you want to go the fastest (like how I talked about in the question, #4. Where do I even start? It’s overwhelming!). So basically, the most important things.

Then you want to cut out the unnecessary. Get rid of the blogging tasks that keep you overwhelmed and aren’t going to get you to those pageviews (number of readers on your site) and income goal.

NEXT.

Narrow and cut down in your personal life. Are there home tasks or errands outside the home you could delegate to someone else? Would you be willing to cut down on media time (like on Facebook or Netflix)? Because while those things are fun and entertaining, they’re going to keep you away from living a life with time and money freedom. They’re going to keep you away from spending more time with your kids, spouse, friends, family and dreams. They’ll also keep you away from getting ahead financially and paying off the house or credit cards and/or student loan debt. There are SO many things like this that keep us away from living our dreams.

So find what those things are and cut the time you spend on them down or all together.

You’ll also just want to analyze your life in general. There are probably things taking up too much of your time or mental bandwidth throughout the week. So make sure to narrow in on the most important things in your life right now so that you can blog and have more freedom later.

Time blocking is another great way to make time for blogging (Time blocking: a type of scheduling where you dedicate a certain amount of time to a certain task, instead of just giving yourself an undisclosed amount of time to work on something).

If you just keep yourself to 1 hour doing a certain blogging task and 30 minutes for another blogging task, you’ll be able to work on the blog and not feel stressed out. You won’t be expanding the time it takes to finish something.

And the same goes for outside of blogging too. If you can time block your daily or weekly tasks or other parts of your life, then you can create more breathing room for blogging.

And lastly, there are going to be times where you’ll need to sacrifice. I remember there were nights where I would stay up a couple of hours after my husband had gone to bed just to work on the blog. Those extra hours you work will make a BIG difference in your success. And it will get you there faster too.

It’s all about the small sacrifices now for BIG rewards later.

You can sign up to get my FREE viral blog post checklist here!

10. I don’t feel like I’m a good writer, what should I do?

The beautiful winding alleys of Fez, Morocco.

I feel like this is almost EVERYONE when they first start out, so don’t feel discouraged!

When you’re a new blogger, you’re just finding your voice and discovering how you like to write and what you like to write about.

And one of the best ways to quickly get better is to read a few different bloggers throughout the week in your niche as well as outside your niche.

This is a great way to get a feel for how others write and what their “blog voice” sounds like. Bloggers like Lindsay from Pinch of Yum (who is an amazingly talented and funny writer) who sound SO natural. But when asked about it in an interview, she talked about how she had to read multiple other bloggers to find her own blogging voice. Which was CRAZY for me since she sounds like a complete natural!

So as you start in this process of becoming a better writer and learning how to tell stories and relate to your readers, one of the best things you can do is study the bigger bloggers.


Hey, glad to have you here! And if you have any questions that weren’t addressed here, please let me know in the comments down below!

I’d love to add them!

Here are some posts on blogging to help you get started!

Free Blogging Email Course for Beginners

5 Ways to Make Money Blogging

How to Come Up with an Amazing Blog Name

How to Find Your Blog’s Niche & Make it Successful

How I Made $3,000 in My 3rd Month of Blogging

Why You Need an Email List & How to Set One Up

How this Blogger Went from $0 to Over $50k+ a Month Blogging

The Course That’s Turned Others Into Successful Bloggers

How to Actually Increase Your Blogging Income (Passively!)

3 Things Blogging Pros Do to Get Millions of Views

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Meet Silas & Grace

Silas and Grace always had a passion for travel. So in 2016, they started Chasing Foxes to build a independent income source. Then, 4 month after launch, they were making enough money from their blog to travel full-time. And in the past two years, they’ve been able to help others out in their own blogging journey to go after their passions as well. Read more.

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