How to Start a Profitable Blog (What I Did)

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How to Start a Profitable Female Lifestyle Blog

If you’re a woman ready to start a blog, then bravo! You’re taking the first step towards female entrepreneurship and financial freedom. Blogging is something that has not only changed my life, but countless others’ as well.

Nowadays, you can start a blog on nearly any subject and find a way to make it profitable. While blogging used to be dominated by men, today many women are finding success as bloggers. Subjects like fashion, beauty and nutrition and health for women are all now very popular topics to create a blog around.

Is blogging a get-rich-quick scheme?

Absolutely not! Blogging is extremely profitable in the long-run, but make no mistake: it takes a lot of up-front effort to see a return on your investment.

Here is how to start a profitable blog today:

Find a Topic

The best idea for a blog is one you are passionate about. When it comes to blogging, you’ll never succeed unless you write articles and post them consistently and it’s easiest to keep a steady writing flow about a topic you are passionate for.

When choosing a topic, it’s helpful to think about the following:

  • What am I good at?
  • What do I enjoy?
  • What do I want to learn better?

Each of these topics could be a great starting place for your blog.

Eventually, you will want to establish yourself as the “expert” in this field, but don’t worry if you’re not right now. Many people love reading about the journey to expertise in a certain subject, too!

Most Profitable Blog Niches →

Narrow it Down

Because blogging is so popular nowadays, you’ll want to find a way to stand out from the crowd. It’s very difficult to start a successful fashion blog, for example, but if you start a blog about sustainable fashion, or clothing designed and made locally in the USA, then you’re much more likely to find success, due to lower competition.

Start Writing

I recommend writing the first 10 articles of your blog before you even set up your site. This is good for a few reasons:

  1. You can see just how passionate you are about a topic, and how much you really have to say.

  2. It will help you come up with names for your blog.

  3. You will realize if there are any other topics you want to cover that you may not have thought of originally, and it may shift the direction of your blog!

Choose a Name

Once you’ve written the first few articles of your blog, you’ll need to choose a brand name. Maybe you even thought of one as you were writing your articles! Whatever you choose, the name should be short, catchy, and easily memorable. Be sure to verify your name is available as a domain before settling on it!

Guide to Choosing a Blog Name →

Purchase Your Domain

If you’re serious about blogging, then a custom domain name is a must. Using a Blogspot blog or WordPress.com blog domain isn’t professional and won’t allow you to work with a lot of the major ad networks and affiliate marketing networks (where the big bucks are made).

Many hosting providers (companies which store all the image and text associated with your blog) offer free domain names when you purchase your hosting plan such as Bluehost. If you’re a first-time blogger, then this is a great deal!

If you’re looking to start a second blog, then I always purchase my domains on Namecheap because they have coupons every month, and their prices are unbeatable!

Purchase Your Hosting

As mentioned above, the purpose of a host is to store all the files, images and text associated with your blog in one place. They then serve these files as necessary to your website visitors from their servers as quickly as possible. Good hosts will back up these files regularly so you don’t lose all the work you’ve put into your blog in the event of a hack! Generally it’s best to choose a host that is located in the country where your visitors reside. In this case, I’ll assume you’re based in the United States, like me!

While it’s possible to run a casual blog with a custom domain using a free service like Blogspot, I highly recommend against it if you are serious about creating a profitable blog. You may get by for the first few months, but after your blog takes off, you’ll wish you had set up a self-hosted blog in the first place!

Hosting really isn’t that expensive. It can be as cheap as $3 per month! That being said, you want to choose a host that is reliable and helpful. I recommend hosting with Bluehost if you are a brand new blogger, since you will receive your domain name free of charge with a 12-month plan. Bluehost is even the recommended hosting provider of WordPress! It’s incredibly easy to set up a blog with Bluehost, and they will walk you through the process.

Visit Bluehost and click Get Started Now to begin.

From there, I recommend choosing the Basic plan. You can always upgrade later if you need to!

2 Select Plan

As far as the length of your hosting plan, I highly recommend choosing 12 months or longer. Blogging is something you need to dedicate yourself to for at least one year. If you don’t think you can commit to blogging for that amount of time, I don’t recommend getting started at all because it simply won’t be a good investment for you.

If you have a bit more experience with blogging, then I’d recommend looking into a company like SiteGround or A2 Hosting which are better equipped to handle more than one site for a slightly more expensive price.

Install WordPress

Now, I know I just told you not to sign up for a free WordPress blog, so why am I telling you to “install” it now?

Well, there are actually two WordPresses: WordPress.com and WordPress.org

WordPress.com is for free blogs hosted on WordPress servers. These blogs typically have WordPress.com attached to the end of them (sampleblog.wordpress.com). WordPress.com is meant for casual bloggers who don’t want to make a profit with their blog.

WordPress.org is a self-hosted, content management platform for publishers and serious bloggers who want to turn a profit. It’s a backend content management system that allows you to easily control the content put forth on your blog.

WordPress.org is the golden standard when it comes to blogging. In fact, it currently powers around a third of the entire web!

I highly recommend WordPress.org due to their numerous integrations, plugins, and advanced features. Plugins are essentially add-ons created by thousands of developers that improve your blog in a simple, easy way. If you want your blog to do ___, then there’s probably a plugin for that!

WordPress.org is totally free to use on the majority of web hosts, too. It’s so popular that you can most likely log in to your hosting admin panel and have WordPress installed for you automatically as I explain here.

WordPress

Choose A Theme

A blogging “theme” is just a set of files which make your blog look pretty and easy to navigate! The theme determines how information is presented to your readers on the front-end portion of your blog. There are themes that are better for visual content, and other themes which are better for written content. Most themes are pretty good at managing both, of course!

There are many great themes you can get for free through WordPress and various developer websites.

Free Feminine WordPress Themes →

If you’re open to purchasing a theme, I recommend looking through Creative Market and Etsy!

To add a theme to your website, click over to Appearance on the black lefthand admin panel. From there, you can either upload a theme, or search for one that exists in the WordPress repository.

Start Posting

Once your theme is installed, start creating your posts! You can do this by clicking the “+New” button on the top navigation bar, or from the lefthand admin panel, you can mouse over “Posts” and then select “Add New.” What’s great about WordPress is that you can schedule posts in advance, so feel free to set up and format all your articles and watch them post automatically when you choose!

Go through the Newbie Blogger’s Checklist

Now that your blog is set up and ready to go, head over to my newbie blogger’s checklist to sign-up for social media accounts and services that will ensure your online presence is complete.

Drive Traffic

Once your blog is set up you’ll need to find a way to get people to visit your site! There are many ways to drive traffic to your site including:

  • Writing guest posts for other blogs
  • Leaving comments on other blogs
  • Sharing your posts on social media
  • Improving your Google Search presence
  • Optimizing your content for Pinterest

The last method is my favorite, and on this blog I share many ways to drive traffic using Pinterest!

How I Drive Blog Traffic from Pinterest Using Tailwind →

Develop a Monetization Strategy

Once you’ve got your blog set up, and a few posts published, you should start thinking about a monetization strategy.

There are a few key ways to monetize your blog. Depending on your audience, you’ll need to figure out the best way for you to make money. Is your blog product-focused, or more informational?

The easiest way to start making money with informational blogs is often by using display ads. Google’s AdSense program is an easy way for new bloggers who want to put ads on their site and start earning some money.

If you write about products, then you should probably monetize with Affiliate Marketing, a strategy where bloggers link to products they love and earn a commission when a reader makes a purchase.

Those posts will give you a solid foundation to succeed with affiliate marketing:

Personally, ads and affiliate marketing are where I’ve found the most success on my journey to make money blogging!

Beyond ads and affiliate marketing, you could also pitch yourself as a freelance writer to larger publications, sell products like ebooks and courses, or offer consulting services to your readers around your blog’s topic.

These tend to be monetization strategies for more experienced bloggers but it’s great to keep them in mind even during the beginning stages so you can start brainstorming about products you can sell in the future!

I hope this post has been helpful to anyone who wants to start a profitable blog. Making money from your blog may seem like a dream, but trust me it’s not! Just take a look at my income reports for proof.

That being said, making money blogging takes a lot of hard work and dedication. It won’t come easy, but it will be worth it!

Be sure to sign up for my mailing list below as I’m always sharing new ways to optimize your blog for success!

I am a female entrepreneur from New York. I have a passion for all things digital and branding, which helped me launch multiple successful blogs in female interest categories like travel and interior design. On this blog, I share the most valuable insights I've learned while running an online business!

8 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Thank you, this is so helpful! I am just planning out my first serious blog road map and this is SO very helpful. I have bookmarked this and will be referring back to this multiple times as I progress. I’ve tried setting up blogs a few times over the years but never approached it with a serious business mentality because I didn’t know how, I got frustrated, and gave up. It’s thanks to posts like this that I know this time I am going to succeed. Thank you!

  2. Hi, Thank you for the very informative information. I have a question. If you buy/register a domain from Namecheap, how do I host with A2Hosting without registering the domain with them? I don’t see the option of just hosting in A2Hosting. Do you buy/register your domain from one company, like Namecheap, and host it on other hosting service like A2Hosting? How can I accomplish this? Thank you!

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