How to Create a Profitable Blog

Back in 2013, I did something I'd always dreamed of doing: I started a blog. I'd always wanted a creative space to call my own, a project to work on outside of my everyday job, a place to share my favorite products, favorite places, and more. 

Since then, I've partnered with a variety of companies I love, and I've fostered brand partnerships to earn revenue from my blog. 

Maybe you've always wondered what it would be like to finally start your blog. You're unsure of where to start or what the first steps should be. Look no further! Here, I'll be guiding you through an easy 5-step process for creating a profitable blog. 

it's finally time for you to start - or jump-start - your blog!

course outline

Step 1: Purchase Your Domain Name + Hosting

Your Domain Name is the URL or web address visitors will type in - or click on - when visiting your blog. My Domain Name is www.kellyzugay.com. When visitors type in or click on www.kellyzugay.com, they arrive on my blog. 

domain name

choose your domain name

Choose a Domain Name you believe will stand the test of time. Your name, or a business name you love, are great options. (Just be sure your name isn't already taken, or trademarked in any way!) 

Visit Bluehost - my favorite Domain Name and Hosting provider - and:
(1) Click Get Started Now
(2) Choose a Package (I recommend Choice Plus!)
(3) Type in your desired Domain Name
(4) Follow the prompts to purchase your Domain Name and Hosting

purchase your domain name + hosting package

Every website or blog needs a place on the Internet to call "home." Services like Bluehost offer Hosting services - which allow your blog to have a place to call "home" on the Internet. 

hosting

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Step 2: Install WordPress and Choose Your Theme

WordPress is the system that powers your blog. It allows you to write, publish, and share blog posts. It's where you'll log in to compose new blog posts. It is the most high-powered blogging system - which is why it's so highly-recommended!

wordpress

INSTALL WORDPRESS

When your Domain Name and Hosting package have been purchased, you will be prompted to install WordPress. With just a few clicks, BlueHost will install WordPress - which will allow you to use WordPress to begin blogging!
(1) Log into Bluehost
(2) Find your Website section and select Install WordPress
(3) Click the Install button
(4) Choose your Domain Name
(5) If you'd like, you can edit the email address, username, and password. (This will be your login information for your soon-to-be blog.)
(6) Read your license and service agreements, and check the boxes
(7) Click the Install Now button

When your WordPress installation is complete, you will be prompted to choose a Theme for your WordPress blog. You may choose a free Theme, or a premium or paid Theme. (You can also choose to have your blog custom-designed by a professional design business!) When it comes to Themes, please know:
(1) Your Theme can be changed, so you can experiment with various Themes.
(2) Your Theme's appearance can be changed, so you can experiment with colors and fonts.

CHOOSE YOUR THEME

A Theme is the "design" of your blog. While some designs are custom-made and one-of-a-kind, many come from themes, or easy-to-customize, pre-made designs. Your Theme is can be changed, so don't worry about choosing!

theme

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Step 3: Customize Your Theme + Install Plugins (Optional)

Your Theme's appearance - colors, fonts, and more - can be customized to meet your needs. Whether there is an on-brand color palette you'd like to stick to, or there are fonts you love - you can experiment with your Theme's appearance.

THEME CUSTOMIZATION

CUSTOMIZE YOUR THEME (optional)

When WordPress has been installed and you have chosen your Theme, you can begin to customize your Theme to meet your needs. 
(1) Log into your WordPress blog using the username and password you created.
(2) Visit Appearance > Customize to open the WordPress Theme Customizer.
(3) Experiment with colors, fonts, and more - until you are happy with your design.

Tips:
(1) When it comes to design, less is more.
(2) Choose easy-to-read fonts and a welcoming color palette.

Maybe there are extra features you'd like your WordPress blog to have. Visit Plugins > Add New > Search to find plugins that can boost your WordPress blog. Here are a few of my recommended plugins for blogging success:
(1) Yoast SEO: A plugin that allows you to enter keywords for Search Engine Optimization.
(2) Akismet Spam Protector: A plugin that allows you to protect your blog from spam.
(3) Jetpack by WordPress: A plugin with a wide variety of WordPress super-powered features.

INSTALL PLUGINS (OPTIONAL)

A Plugin is an "add-on" or an added feature you can bring to your WordPress blog. Plugins can provide added features or added elements to your WordPress blog to meet your needs.

PLUGIN

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Step 4: Develop Your Content

Every blog post you write is made up of content - a combination of words and photography to make each post unique and engaging. Content is the most important piece of your blog, as it keeps your blog fresh, new, and engaging.

CONTENT

WRITE 3-5 BLOG POSTS TO LAUNCH YOUR NEW BLOG

Before you begin sharing your blog with friends, family, or social media, write 3-5 blog posts, focused on the topics you'd like your blog to be focused on. Lifestyle, wellness, recipes, decor, and travel are just a handful of the topics your blog may be focused on. Each blog post should have:
(1) An engaging title
(2) A written portion
(3) Media, such as photos or videos
(4) Links, whether the links go to another part of your blog - or to an external website

Maybe there are extra features you'd like your WordPress blog to have. Visit Plugins > Add New > Search to find plugins that can boost your WordPress blog. Here are a few of my recommended plugins for blogging success:
(1) Yoast SEO: A plugin that allows you to enter keywords for Search Engine Optimization.
(2) Akismet Spam Protector: A plugin that allows you to protect your blog from spam.
(3) Jetpack by WordPress: A plugin with a wide variety of WordPress super-powered features.

create an editorial calendar

An editorial calendar is a calendar or schedule to help you plan to create diverse, engaging blog content on a consistent basis. An editorial calendar can help you stay on track as you build and grow your blog.

EDITORIAL CALENDAR

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Step 5: Monetize Your Content

Monetization is the process of creating revenue through your blog. Blogs can be monetized in a variety of ways: advertisements or ads, one-on-one brand partnerships, and affiliate links.

MONETIZATION

EXPLORE MONETIZATION OPTIONS FOR YOUR BLOG

There are a wide variety of monetization options you could use to generate revenue from your blog:
(1) Embedded advertisements through Google AdSense
(2) Affiliate links through Amazon.com Associates
(3) "Shop the Post" links through ShopStyle Collective
(4) Sponsored posts through ACTIVATE
(5) One-on-one brand partnerships

When you have monetized your blog, it's important to ensure your visitors know you have monetized your blog. For legal reasons, visitors need to know when or if the link(s) they click on or make purchases from can lead to a commission for you. For this reason, I recommend consulting a blogging lawyer regarding the type(s) of disclosure(s) you need to share with your audience to ensure you are monetizing your blog legally and ethically.

PROVIDE FULL DISCLOSURE TO YOUR AUDIENCE

Affiliate links are links your visitors can click on, which can allow you to earn a commission. Sometimes, affiliate links generate commission from clicks, and sometimes, they generate commission from purchases. 

AFFILIATE LINKS

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Bonus: Tips for Success

FIND YOUR NICHE

Before you begin blogging, decide what your niche will be. What are 1-3 topics you can write about extensively? What do you feel most excited about? Choosing a niche will allow you to create meaningful content consistently.

find your target reader

Before you begin blogging, decide who you'd like to read your blog. When you know who your target reader or target audience is, you can write every post with that reader in mind.

WRITE AUTHENTICALLY

Write about topics you genuinely love and care about - and only partner with businesses you truly love and want to share more about. When you write authentically and genuinely, you'll have more fun blogging.

USE SOCIAL MEDIA

Create social media pages to showcase and share your blog content: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest are a great foundation. The more you share, the more attention you can bring to your blog.

© 2013-2018 kelly zugay.

Kelly Zugay partners with several affiliate programs, meaning that commission can be earned from purchases/clicks by those who visit this site and on any Kelly Zugay social media platforms.
All products submitted to Kelly Zugay are subject to review at will be noted with a “c/o” (Courtesy Of) next to the credit upon its first placement.
All views expressed on Kelly Zugay are my own.