How to Make Money Blogging


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So you want to make money blogging? You’ve come to the right place!

I started blogging back in 2005 with the hope that it would help bring in a small stream of income and be a means to promote the online business I had at the time. So much has changed since then, but one thing has not changed and that is that you can make a good part-time or even full-time income from blogging.

However, it’s easier and harder than you may think. It’s easy because it requires very little cash outlay upfront, you don’t need a degree or certification, the field is wide open and the profit margins are high. On the other hand, setting up a successful blog that makes a part-time or full-time income will only be the result of massive amounts of effort, determination, consistency and perseverance.

For more thoughts on this, read my post on 5 Necessary Traits of Successful Bloggers.

How to Set Up Your Blog

(Note: The Bluehost links below are affiliate links, and we will be compensated if you sign up for Bluehost by clicking through our links below. Read our disclosure policy here.)

1. Sign Up For Hosting

The first thing you need to do after you decide to set up a blog is to sign up for hosting. This is where your blog will “live” online. It’s basically like paying rent to have a site online. Hosting supports your site and keeps it live and online.

This is different than your domain name (your www. address). Hosting is like the house or apartment you rent or own, while your domain name is your address. You need both.

I recommend using Bluehost if you are new to blogging and/or just need a robust site with great customer service. I used Bluehost for a few years when I was first blogging. I no longer use it now that my site has grown very large and we need more personalized and customized service. But Bluehost is a great fit for small to medium-sized sites.

To sign up for your hosting with Bluehost, just go here and click on the Get Started Now button.

Next, you’ll need to choose your hosting plan. I recommend going with the basic plan if you are a small to medium-sized site. You can always move up to a larger plan, if need be. But the lowest rate should meet your needs well when you are getting started.

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If your blog outgrows the Bluehost shared hosting plan and you need a good next-step option, you can sign up for WpEngine Hosting. I have not personally used this, but I’ve heard great things about this company.

The main perk is that this hosting company specializes in WordPress, so the customer service team can help with all issues — even the ones that are directly related to Wordpress. One reader wrote in with her testimony of how great it works for her:

“When my blog grew too large for the shared hosting options I was trying, I knew that I wanted to move to a reliable hosting company.  Up-time was a huge factor in my move to WpEngine — as my blog was outgrowing the shared hosting plans and was down constantly.  WpEngine offers an uptime guarantee plus they specialize in WordPress — so when I have a question about something going on with my site, I know the person I’m talking to knows WordPress inside and out.  It’s great to be able to reach out to my hosting company and not hear “That’s a third party platform issue so you’ll need to get in touch with a WordPress expert.”  My blog is actually hosted by WordPress experts!  Over the past two years, I’ve had minimal issues with my site, and when there were issues, the support team at WpEngine worked them out — even when the issues might have been caused by an error on my end!  If you’re looking for a hands-off hosting option where you know your blog will be well taken care of, I highly recommend WpEngine!” -Tanya at Blogelina

Go here to get started with WpEngine hosting.

2. Choose a Great Blog Name

Once you’ve chosen your plan, you’ll then need to choose and type in your domain name. As mentioned above, this is the www. link for your site. I wouldn’t rush through this part of the process. In fact, I’d say this is THE most important thing to consider once you know what your site or blog is going to be about.

How to Pick a Great Name for Your Blog

Your blog name should encompass your blog’s mission and should clearly articulate your blog’s purpose. Don’t hurry through the process of picking a name: it’s your brand and you want to make sure you love it and it’s something you’re going to love for years to come.

Take a week or two to consider potential names. Ask a few trusted friends to give their input. Toss around ideas and, when you land upon ones you like, check to see if the domain name (the www website address) is available on before jumping ahead and settling on any one name.

Important note: Blog names can be federally trademarked. This means that an individual or company owns the federal rights to a particular name or phrase and it cannot be used by others or you will be subject to fines and required to discontinue using the name. To be safe, search thoroughly online to make sure no one is using the name you come up with or a very similar variation of it.

Tip: If you want to think long-term and hope to turn your blog into a successful business, I encourage you to consider purchasing all variations of your domain name (for instance, we own, etc). That way, you don’t have to worry about someone else setting up a site with a domain name very similar to yours. You can purchase these additional URL names through a site like

How to Make Money Blogging

Once you’ve chosen your name and verified that it’s available, go to the next page and input all your information. You can skip the extra upgrades. The only one I might suggest you consider is that you purchase the Domain Privacy. This will guarantee that your home address or whatever address you used to sign up for your domain cannot be accessed in public records.

Input your billing information and you are good to go! Your brand-spanking-new hosting and domain are set up.

3. Choose the Right Blog Platform From the Get-Go

After you set up your hosting and domain name, you’ll want to install WordPress on your new hosting. You can do this in the dashboard section when you log into your Bluehost dashboard.

WordPress is the “software” that you’ll use to actually blog. Basically, it’s the nuts and bolts of what allows you to type up your posts and upload them onto your hosting so that they show up at the domain name you picked. It makes it very simple to type and publish posts without having to mess with understanding all the ins and outs of HTML or how to write code for your website.

Important note: You must have your own hosting and install WordPress from onto that hosting. While you can set up a free site on, you are not allowed to add advertising or affiliate links if you’re hosting it there — thus disabling your ability to making money blogging!

Why WordPress?

Not too long ago, I was asked what is the one thing you wish you had done differently when setting up your blog. I instinctively replied, “I wish I had started with WordPress.”

I started with Blogger because that was pretty much the only blogging platform in existence. I moved to TypePad when the Blogger SPAM bots marked my blog as SPAM in 2008 and I was locked out of my Blogger blog for 10 days.

Near the end of 2009, my blog outgrew TypePad and I was forced to switch to WordPress. Making the leap from TypePad to WordPress was daunting and tedious. We had to move thousands of posts and hundreds of thousands of comments. There were all sorts of glitches and it was a big learning curve.

Truth be told, though it was a major headache, it was one of the best blogging moves I’ve ever made. WordPress has allowed me to have a much more organized blog and offer many features I couldn’t with TypePad and Blogger.

So, if I were to suggest a blog platform, I’d highly recommend WordPress. It gives you many more options than other platforms offer. Plus, you don’t have to worry about your blog getting locked or outgrowing TypePad.

Another big perk of WordPress is that it has much more sophisticated SEO capabilities (i.e. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and basically refers to optimizing your site so it comes up high in search engines. People will find you a lot more easily if you come up on the first page or two of Google rather than page 133!). I don’t do a lot for SEO at this point, but I’m all about doing small things to help improve where shows up when you search for “money-saving blogs” or “grocery budget”. WordPress makes it extremely simple to accomplish this.

4. Hire a Designer

Back in the “olden” days when there weren’t many blogs, if you had great content and updated regularly, you’d have a good number of readers — even if you had a basic, free Blogger blog design. Today, because there are so many more blogs, great content is paramount, but a nice designer and ease-of-use is also very important. If people find your blog design dull or your layout disorganized, they are much more apt to just go find another blog.

Now, please don’t let this discourage you. You don’t need a fancy-schmancy blog with lots of bells and whistles. Just a clean design that is easy to navigate can make a world of difference. And paying someone to set this up for you may be every bit worth the money.

If you can’t afford a designer, at least consider paying to have someone design your header and connect your hosting and domain name on WordPress. I promise it is worth the bit of money that it will cost — and it will save you a great deal of hair-pulling.

That said, I do recommend taking time to learn at least basic HTML. I’m not techie at all, but I’ve forced myself to learn enough to make basic tweaks and do minor fixes. It’s invaluable when talking to a designer to at least have a cursory knowledge of how your site works.

5. Publish Some Posts Before You Publicly Announce Your Blog

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a new blog advertised and been all excited to check it out, only to find there were a whopping three posts on it! If you want people to stick around, you need to have depth and series and a variety of posts.

Before you “open your doors to the public”, go ahead and post 10 or 15 posts, plus plan out and write another 15 to have in queue to post after you start “advertising” your blog. Not only will this allow you to “get your feet wet” and get accustomed to blogging before you have a real live audience, it also provides some great content for people to check out when they visit your blog.

I love Google calendar for planning out post series long-term. I also have recently begun printing out a monthly calendar to pencil in specific posts for each day. This gives me accountability, inspiration and organization — well, at least it’s better than my former “blog-by-the-seat-of-my-pants” routine!

For more ideas on writing great blog posts, check out this post with 5 Tips for Writing Top Notch Content.

6. Build Your Readership

Before you jump into making money as a blogger, I strongly encourage you to focus the first few months on producing great content and building your readership. Remember, this is a marathon, not a sprint.

There are many, many creative ways to grow your readership. Check out this long post where I share some of my most effective strategies for increasing your readership and building your community on your blog.

7. Become an Affiliate

Now that you’ve set up your hosting and have posted some great content on your blog, it’s time to start talking about how to make money with your blog. The first — and easiest — way to make money is through affiliate marketing.

For those who may have never heard the term of affiliate marketing before, it’s basically when you are paid to promote another person’s product, coupon, deal, or website. It’s typically CPA advertising — which means that you only get paid per action. In other words, a reader must take some form of action (purchase something, click through your link and sign up for something, download a coupon or ebook, etc.)

You sign up for an affiliate program (I’ll share some of my favorites in a little bit), you promote your unique affiliate link that the company gives you, and then you are paid if your readers buy the item or sign up for the item.

For instance, not too long ago, I promoted a sale on Amy’s Tell Your Time ebook. She has an affiliate program that offers 50% of the sales to the affiliate. Since the ebook was on sale for $2, I earned $1 for every person who clicked through my affiliate link and made a purchase. So, if 100 people bought the ebook, I’d make $100 in affiliate earnings.

In many cases, people have to make a purchase in order for you to earn money as an affiliate. However, there are also hundreds of other options that require no purchase. To give you an example, I’m affiliate for, RedPlum, and SmartSource. If I post a great coupon that is on any of these sites, I earn anywhere from $0.02 to $0.40 per coupon printed (I have different agreements with each network and some pay per coupon printed, others pay a flat fee per print session per user per day).

As you can imagine, since one of the key focuses of happens to be using coupons, the affiliate money earned from coupons printed is one of the highest revenue earners. However, it is a win-win situation, because I’m sharing a great deal with you, it’s hopefully helping you save money and get a great deal, and then we both benefit from it.

Some of the Current Top-Earning Affiliates I Use:

Amy has a great list of many different affiliate programs here, if you’re interested.

I highly, highly recommend reading my post on 5 Strategies for Maximizing Your Earnings With Affiliate Marketing.

8. Set Up Google Adsense

In addition to promoting affiliate links for products and resources that you believe in and that are a good fit for your blog’s audience, I also recommend signing up for Google Adsense. Google Adsense is a simple way to earn a little money showing ads on your sidebar.

Typically, you’ll earn around $1 to $2 per CPM with Google Adsense. CPM = cost per 1,000 pageviews. So if you have 10,000 pageviews per month, you’ll earn around $20 per month with Google Adsense.

That might not seem like a lot, but as you continue to grow your readership, you can see those numbers steadily climb. And you do nothing other than set up the ad at the beginning and add the code for it to your sidebar, header, footer, or even at the bottom of your posts.

The thing I like about Google Adsense is that you can block any URL’s of sites that you don’t want advertising on your site. You can also set up channels with keywords to help Google Adsense serve up ads that are more targeted for your audience.

You can also consider selling your own sidebar ads to help you sell even more sidebar ads.

5 Additional Ideas

Not only are there many ways to earn income directly from blogging, but blogging also opens up a host of other ways to earn money indirectly. Here are five ways I’ve used my blog as a springboard to earn additional income.


(Note: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. Read our disclosure policy here.)

Not sure if you’re ready to start a blog? Be sure to sign up for my free online class called 3 Steps to Start That Blog You’ve Been Dreaming Of where I’ll teach the basics strategies you need to have in place to get started successfully! Sign up here.


  • Jennifer says:

    For any technophobes who want to sign up for google adsense but are intimidated by code, there’s a really simple WordPress plugin called Adsense Made Easy that does just what it says. I think I just had to copy and paste my account number and the plugin did the rest 🙂

  • Kelly says:

    I am currently using blogger to host my blog, but when I try to add the Amazon adds (as an affiliate) it won’t show up on my sidebar, no matter what I try. Does blogger have the same rules about advertising that you mentioned WordPress has? I didn’t even realize that when I signed up! Grrrr!

    Thanks for all of the great information. This was a very helpful post for someone, like me, just starting out in the blog world. =)

    • Marie says:

      I’ve been on Blogger for years (went for a while to self-hosted WordPress and hated it). I use Amazon affiliate links and have never had a problem. As far as I know, there are no rules against advertising on Blogger. I pay for my domain through Godaddy, and my hosting is free. I love it.

  • I appreciate you taking the time to share these tips with us! One thing that has totally intimidated me is HTML. What was the best thing you did to learn that? I am at such a loss on code! Thank you!

    • Phil says:

      I do not know if you are still here, but a few years ago I decided to look into it, you could do worse than checking out for hints and tutorials 🙂

      I will say this though, the site does assume you are at least basically techie minded so if you are an absolute newbie you should probably go to your local library and get html for dummies 🙂

  • This is a GREAT resource for those who are just getting started with blogging. Thank you so much for compiling everything into one place, Crystal! (We’ll be looking into a blog designer as soon as our budget allows, so I’m bookmarking those recommendations!)

    Thanks again,
    Beth Anne

  • Victoria says:

    Thanks so much for this.

  • Thank you so much for posting this. I just started a new blog a few months ago. I am so happy I found this post of yours, I will be looking into these affiliate networks!

  • Can you elaborate on setting up with Google Adsense? I’ve spent an afternoon on it and still don’t understand it. Do I import all my own ads or do they pick and choose for me?

    I did sign up with Mom’s Affiliate blogging and I’m excited to get going with that!

  • Sami Sanger says:

    Thank you so much for this post! I have been wondering how people made money blogging. I never knew there was so much involved! I’ll definitely be checking out some of the other posts you linked to.

  • Amanda S. says:

    Thank you for this extremely helpful post! Can you refer your readers to any resources, such as websites or books, that you used to help you learn html or the marketing/advertising jargon?

  • Heather P says:

    Thank you so much for this information. I am just starting out and was looking for the best place to get domains registered. This was a huge help. Interestingly enough I had asked God to show me where the night before. Found your blog the next day. 🙂 Not ready to switch over to paid hosting, yet, but hopefully in the future.

  • Sarah says:

    Thanks for the info! I’m waffling about whether to try to be more consistent with my blog and make something if it or just give up. In the meantime I am getting loads if spam comments even though I have a plugin that’s supposed to prevent/help.

    Any suggestions on a good spam filter? Thanks!

  • Thanks for the marvelous posting! I quite enjoyed reading it, you happen to be a
    great author. I will ensure that I bookmark your blog and will eventually come
    back sometime soon. I want to encourage yourself to continue your great job,
    have a nice morning!

  • Dawn Cannady says:

    Thanks for this post. I am a complete newbie to this blogging world. I’ve been reading everything I can find. I really enjoyed your site. Thanks for your advise.

  • Eileen says:

    I already have a account and discovered you have an option to set up blue host using your present domain, but when I tried signing, it gave this message: “The domain [] has been banned from being used on Bluehost. Please try a different domain name.” I wonder what’s happened since you posted this.

  • Danielle says:

    Thanks for the reminder that perseverance is the key. I’m learning so many new things and trying to look at those who have been there before for answers. Also, isn’t the point of saving money to be able to do things you want to do, like not save money using coupons etc. I’d say you’re the poster child that what you say works. People who think you have to be broke to write about saving money will probably always be broke because they don’t get it. Way to go! …..Now back to the Royals game 🙂 (Surely once a Kansas girl, always a Kansas girl!)

  • Dawn says:

    do you know of any sites that host for a monthly fee and not charge you all at once?

  • Glenda says:

    Thanks for all the wonderful advice. I am still trying to figure things out, but most certainly will implement some of these ideas!

  • Rachel S says:

    Hi I’m a new blogger.
    You post was really helpful thanks 🙂

  • Julie says:

    Thanks for this great updated post on setting up a blog. Between this, Amy’s site and the book Blog, Inc. I think I may be giving it a go. A couple questions. First you recommend having someone “connect your hosting and domain name on WordPress.” Is this a hard task, or something that can be done on my own with an on-line tutorial? Second, I see a lot of information about setting up and working with a blog, but if someone is planning on making it a business, what about that side of the process. A business license, accounting procedures, etc. Is there any advice you can give on that topic… maybe for another blog post? Thanks!

    • If you are determined enough and willing to put in the time and effort, you can definitely figure out how to do it on your own. Amy’s site is a great one to check out — her tutorials are SO helpful!

      As far as setting your blog up as a business, you don’t usually need to worry about licensing. However, I would recommend that you set up a separate bank account and have all business income run through that separate account. You can also talk to a CPA in your area to make sure you have things set up correctly.

  • Mary Jo Propst says:

    I got to your site from KItchen Stewardship’s holiday recipes today, and the easy candy looks great! Thank you for sharing this information on how to start a blog and make money. I have not read all the sections yet, but you inspire confidence that it can be done. What a challenge to me,, an older, 70+ grandmother, retired career woman, having raised a family, kept the wolf from the door, narrowing down what I can share that will appeal to younger women out there. Cooking from hard scratch? Sewing and needle arts? Looking at life from the perspective of the Elder years? In the meantime, I am searching and gathering information, a most feminine activity coming down from our grandmothers who gathered wild berries and herbs to feed their familes.

  • Kristen says:

    Thank you so much for this post! It is so helpful! I already have a blog on WordPress but I’m wanting to change it from to… I bought the domain name but not sure how to make the switch while keeping wordpress as my blog platform. Thank you!

  • KerryLynn says:

    Crystal you are such an inspiration. Thank you for all that you do and post. I hope one day I am half as successful a blogger as you are.

  • Misty Bowden says:

    Thank you for the great information! Do you have to have any kind of ‘disclaimers’ on your site if you have affiliate links on it?

  • laurenbtrain says:

    Thanks so much for this post! I have a question…what are the ads called that are hyperlinked to words in text? Are those good for revenue or how do you add them?

  • Caitlin Foc says:

    Thank you so much for this insight. I am new to blogging, have no idea what I am doing with Adsense, ShareASale, and WordPress, but I am learning all of those slowly, and I love teaching myself about coding. Its hard, I am praying it will be worth it in the end.
    I read your blog (for the most part) daily. We have many friends in common, so I saw your blog from them, and I have to say, you have helped me desire to make money doing something that I love, while getting to stay home with my kids.

  • Phil says:

    One thing I will mention that was omitted though few people may be aware of it, if choosing a domain name then do not go to any registrar to check if it is available and then go away to think about it, chances are it will be gone since there are sniffers out there that will register and charge you heavily to get it in the future. Godaddy is notorious for this therefore if you type the name in be prepare to buy it then and there without hesitation.

    A tip would be that if you absolutely had to be curious then to do a bulk search of your domains with completely random mish-mashes of domains (100+) for each one scattered all over the place, so that if they wanted to buy your one ‘valuable’ domain they would have to search through them all.

    For instance: (The one I am really interested in is in block capitals)

    You get the point, in order to get my desired name they would have to buy the entire list which is a lot less feasible than if they were simply picking out those who are only looking at one at a time 🙂

    Anyways, love your articles, Philip

  • Tina says:

    Thank you for this well laid out list! I am 1-1/2 months into my first blogging experience and it can be very overwhelming. As somebody who is very interested in helping people improve their personal finances I know that I can provide a lot of great information, but I’m struggling with how to find those people and really get started. I love that you have it broken down into a step-by-step format.

  • Ehi says:

    I found this very helpful. Thank you!

  • Carolyn says:

    Thank you! This is the second time I’ve seen the Bluehost and WordPress combination from a blogger I trust. Now the hardest part for me, a name.

  • Erica says:

    Hi Crystal,

    Thank you so much for the time you put into reaching out to your readers and helping them jumpstart their businesses! I’m in the process of starting up a blog, but I’m just curious…are you ever worried about security? I mean, you never give away your physical address, obviously, but have you ever had that thought cross your mind? Thanks for the help!!! 🙂

  • Rachel says:

    If I start with the WordPress hosting and no ads, but decide to include advertising on my blog later, how difficult would it be to move hosting to Bluehost down the road? Would I lose any posts or have to transfer them by hand?

  • Kim says:

    I would like to add that many times you can get your domain names for .99 cents from godaddy. That’s how I get mine. I google .99 cents domain godaddy and it usually comes up. Also go daddy has deals all the time for hosting, web design and even email that usually comes with a free domain. The other day I purchased 2 domains and a year of hosting that comes with WordPress (as well as other helpful programs) and unlimited email addresses for 13 dollars. It was 12 dollars for the hosting and 99 cents for the additional domain.

  • Maria says:

    Thank you for all you for all your hard work and effort! You have blessed me tremendously. My blogging efforts have been sporadic and sparse because I feel so uninformed. NOW, thanks to you, I feel empowered to go for it! God bless you and yours. And count me in…I’ll be hanging on your every word from here on out 🙂

  • Ita says:

    I love your blog and am inspired to try on my own. I am on a tight budget and am wondering if I can do this without a designer at first .

  • Claudine says:

    Hi Crystal,
    I want to thank you for the very informative article. I started a blog on blogger a few months back because I enjoy writing and also wanted to share our farm journey. After reading your advice/information on choosing a name, I realized that the name we have chosen for our farm has been taken. When I visited our name includes the word “the” and theirs doesn’t, but it still is not listed. Having said that, I did a google search on our name and I found the website minus the “the” and also found another farm who uses that name, but their www address is different. What is your suggestion for me here? Should I consider changing the name even though we really wanted this name due to our families name and generations of farming or go ahead and use this name, but buy a different www. name. Thank you again for putting all of this helpful information together.

    • If the http://www.the—- site is not being used currently, you can find out who owns the domain (you can usually search on and find this info) and then you can email them and ask about buying the domain name from them. I’d start with that first and see if you’re able to purchase it inexpensively.

  • Carrie says:

    Hi Crystal,
    Thank you so much for the tutorial. I just purchased your Makeover Your Mornings course and I am working through it this week to hopefully use my mornings to finally get my blog off the ground. I am thinking about going with Bluehost/Wordpress. My biggest concern with going with paid hosting though, is that if I do the blog for awhile and then stop, is there any way to keep it online without having to pay a monthly host forever? I don’t want to go into it with the mindset of already quitting, but I know so many people that started blogs and didn’t stick with them. Most of them were on blogger however and they can still pick back up at any time. I’d hate to put all the work in, and then have it gone if I can’t continue to pay a host for a blog that I am no longer writing on. Thank you for your time!
    ps. I am loving the e-course!

    • You can set it up on blogger first and then it will always be available to access and then you can move it to WordPress at a later date. It’s quite a bit of work to move it — especially if you have a lot of posts and comments already — but it might be an option for you while you’re getting your feet wet.

    • Renee says:

      I know you didn’t ask my feedback, but I thought I’d throw it in since I blogged casually for 5 years on blogger and just switched to wordpress to “make a go of it.” For a long time blogging was a hobby, although I LOVE writing and hoped it would just “take off” on its own. [insert hilarious laughter- Hahaha!!!] Anyway, long story short, I felt more and more like I really wanted to get serious, so I switched from blogger to wordpress after 5 years and 1000 posts. It was definitely a hassle. Not impossible, but a major headache. Some things that you really have to change manually are all the tags/ categories and the formatting of the posts. The paragraphs are created differently and so the spacing doesn’t look right from the old posts. Not a huge deal, but slightly annoying for a borderline OCD gal like myself. haha. I agree, though, that I really liked that I wasn’t spending money on blogging for the few years that it was more of a hobby… (although a few dollars a month isn’t a very expensive hobby). You could give yourself a year on blogger to test the waters. Also, blogger’s platform is simpler. Less of a learning curve. (That means, less customizability, but still, easier to learn.) You can customize some things on blogger especially if you learn a little html (just google search as you go.) My old blog on blogger was (you can purchase a cheap domain name to use on blogger if you want instead). You can still go there and see the look – it wasn’t fancy or anything, but it was slightly customized. Also I read the I Heart Organizing blog and she blogs on blogger. I’ve stumbled a cross a few other monetized “big” blogs on blogger too. But many designers don’t work with blogger. (I’m sure there are many who do too!) Good luck!! I DEFINITELY DO NOT have all the answers, but feel free to get in touch if you have any questions about getting started on blogger or making the switch 🙂

      • Carrie says:

        Thank you both so so much for the responses! I actually took the leap and went with WordPress and Bluehost. After thinking it over for awhile I decided that paying for hosting rather than going with Blogger, might be just the push I needed to take myself and my blog more seriously and force me to stay more committed rather than already thinking about what would happen if I don’t follow through. I’m still a little nervous, but I am also really excited to get started! Thanks Again!!!

  • Jeniece says:

    How much is WordPress? When I clicked on the link to go to, the description says free. I thought that was Thanks!

  • Alison Haines says:

    great advice, thanks so much!

  • This is such a great post. I wish I had seen something like this when started my first ‘real’ blog. I started by doing a blog on a free writing platform blogger. I then wrote for Ehow, Examiner, and Hubpages. I got tired of all the changes these writing communities go through and got hosting and started my own blog using WordPress. I now have four blogs and work full time from home. It was a process but you learn something new every day. I will take you advise and look into some affiliate marketing.

  • Lori says:

    I wondering if you can help me out in an area. I am having a hard time finding the answer I need. I am starting a blog about fitness deals….. I am wondering if I wanted to have a link to a deal on my blog from a certain store, such as REI for example, and use their picture for the product they are selling, to share this sale with my readers, am I able to do that? Can I link directly to their sale and use their picture to advertise it? I am not sure if there are legalities or copyrights involved, or if you need to contact each company for every deal you want to share. If you could give me some insight I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you so much, and thank you for all of your helpful information! =)

    • It depends upon the situation, but usually if it’s a store and you’re advertising their deal and you get the photo directly from their site and are linking to them, you’re allowed to do so.

      • Lori says:

        Thank you for the helpful information! Do you by chance have any articles on your site or know of any information that discuss this subject? And are there certain times when this would not be allowed? I don’t want to get into any trouble. 🙂 Thanks again!

  • Thank you for your advice. I have drawn up a timeline of when to take some of the steps you have suggested. That is so I don’t try to do everything at once and burn myself out. I am lucky in that there don’t seem to be any other blogs like mine in and for South Africa! On the other hand I do have to compete with really great American bloggers.

  • Natalie says:

    Is there any way you can work on your blog and get it perfected before it appears on the internet? I tried creating one through WordPress but haven’t put any content yet and it appeared it was already available for others to see. I would like to go through Blue Host anyway. If I disable my new “blog” which I created through the free WordPress host will I still be able to use the same name for it? And is it hard to later transfer to a premium theme if you start out with a free one? I’m sorry for all the questions. I greatly appreciate all you do to help others. Thanks, Natalie

  • Zoe says:

    Thank you so much for this awesome article!
    I am currently in the process of setting up a blog (based off the success of my facebook page) and trying to choose a web hosting option..
    My issue with BlueHost is they don’t register international domain names (I am in Australia and want to register both the .com AND version of my domain). They have said I can register the domain elsewhere and ‘transfer’ the hosting over to BlueHost. BUT for the cost of registering the domain locally it doesn’t seem worth then using BlueHost as the web hosting option?
    Are there any GOOD web hosting providers (for a wordpress blog) that also registers international domains as part of their package?

  • Matt Longley says:

    Great stuff, thanks for sharing.I have been affiliate marketing since 2006 and it’s had it’s ups and downs. I definitely recommend it and would also suggest checking out the pepperjam network. That is an ebay owned affiliate network.

  • brenda says:

    Thanks, very good info. I will definetly give it a try 😉

  • aimee says:

    I just started my blog two months ago. It’s a wordpress blog, but I bought my domain through godaddy. I want to start hosting my site. Should I do it through wordpress or godaddy?

  • sazzad says:

    That is right; blogging in the right way will really make money. Thanks for the encouragement.

    I am running a small blog which is related to make money. I will definitely share your article with my subscriber.

  • Nancy says:

    Hi, I like your blog a lot!

    I have a couple of comments/questions for you. I just started my main blog within the past few months at

    I am using Blogger because I just can’t seem to use WordPress without going crazy from frustration, WordPress and I just don’t get along.

    I find Blogger so much easier to use, so I purchased my own domain name.

    Do you think I can still make money on my blog if I’m not paying for hosting? I need to make a side/full time income from my blogs soon and could really use your help.

    Thank you!

  • Robin says:

    So happy to have found you on Pinterest. This post is incredibly helpful to me. Foolish or not, I have been paying Dreamhost’s yearly fee for the past 6 yrs with the hope of having either a website or blog or both some day. But, alas, life happens, and all I’ve done is purchase a domain name from them. May I ask for clarification on your point about using a “free” site from WordPress? Do you mean, considering my situation, that if I start a blog through them, I wouldn’t be able to do what you do ad-wise to make money? I’m paying for the hosting right? I’m not all that savvy about this subject, but, want to learn. Any advise you can offer would be terrific. Thanks.

  • Milan says:

    Hi! I just wanted to say THANK YOU! This post has been so helpful for my and starting my first blog. I am not ready to start the advertising side of it yet, but y our tips helped me get my blog up and running! I am having so much fun with this whole process and I am so excited to see where it goes! Im thinking about submitting one my recent DIY projects for a Guest Post Spot!

    I would love any feedback about my blog too if you ever get a chance!

    Thanks again <3

  • Amy says:

    Thank You for sharing what you have learned as a blogger. I have just started a blog that I plan to move to a paid host soon, so this information is greatly appreciated.

    • Diane says:

      where did you start your blog? I am just starting to start! 🙂

      • Amy says:

        Hi Diane,
        I started my blog on blogger. So far it is still there, I haven’t decided where to move it to. Blogger has been easy to use but I don’t like that I have to use blogspot in the URL. Eventually I will move it, I just had things come up in life that have kept me busy.

        • Mr. L says:

          HI Amy
          You can’t connect your own Domain to blogger i was planning on that for another blog kind of like a sub blog of my main one looks like i’m choosing someone else.

  • Rhonda Swan says:

    Great ideas here! I always say that you should only sell things you can put your heart into. It’s so important that you don’t sell your soul for the sake of a buck. Always important to only promote things that you find value in.

  • Angela says:

    This has been very helpful! I have a blog on WordPress right now for free, but would like to move to Bluehost or Godaddy. When I switch, will all my former blog posts tranfer, or do I have to start over from scratch?

    • I personally would check out DreamHost, it is employee owned company. And very good uptime. And fast as they use SSD solid state storage in their shared hosting by default. I am not affiliated and do not use it. 🙂 But I do plan to go to them in the future 🙂
      They are more expensive but definitely worth it

      BTW I love this blog with valuable information here which I am going to use 🙂

  • Addi Ganley says:

    Thank you for this post.
    Many people ask me how to get started blogging and you definitely laid it out very nicely in this post. You also shared many resources to use which is so helpful in starting this process, which can at first be overwhelming.

  • Matt Atwell says:

    This is great advice. I recently started blogging to share my secrets of living frugally and finding deals. I especially am taking to heart your comment about getting 10-15 posts before going public. I was starting to go public, but now I am going to wait a little while and build up my arsenal.

  • Candis Lynn says:

    I <3 this Crystal! I'm currently going through your course earn a full-time income from home, and loving it 🙂

    My favorite tip on here is the one about affiliate marketing. I've found success with that myself, and it's a great way to earn income in the interim if you're planning on launching your own course/book but not quite ready yet.

    Looking forward to the rest of your course!

  • Elissa says:

    Thanks for the ideas, I agree with the one about building up some content before going too public – I did this and quietly learned a few things for about 6 months before announcing my blog last month. Really glad I did, as there is a bit to learn and it can take time to develop your “voice” and focus, plus all those extras like search bars and share buttons, etc etc

  • Dawn says:

    Hi Crystal! Thank You so much for sharing this awesome information. You truly have been blessed with a gift. I have just started your 5 day video course and just one day as given me great encouragement. I have been raising my Grandson for almost three years now, after the death of his mommy. I started a blog about his life and raising him, with the lost of my income to stay home and raise him I want to turn the blogging into income to support him.
    Looking forward to completing your course. Bless You

  • Brittany says:

    I have been contemplating starting a blog for a while now. But I don’t have the slightest clue what I am doing. About how much does it cost to get started under blue host? I went through the steps you mentioned but was surprised at the total I was going to be charged. Thanks!

  • Rhonda Swan says:

    Great tips here. I definitely agree that having a usable website is key. If it doesn’t look inviting or easy to use, then people will get frustrated and click away.

  • Nkem says:

    Hi Amy,

    I stumbled across this article on pinterest by mistake. But it caught my attention because l have been struggling with making money from my blog. I have made zero money since l started. Sad face.

    I have been blogging for a few months while but so fustrated because it’s like l am talking to myself. Traffic to my blog is practically non exisitent so l am not making any money. But l am determined to keep blogging and putting good content out there.

    I got interested in this article because l just wanted to know what l was doing wrong with respect to blogging and HOW l could correct IT. When l went online to find out how l could get traffic for my blog, l just saw a lot of write-ups that were just not “real”. Either write-ups were beating around the bush or just too technical for me to understand.

    But your simple, practical ways have helped me understand how to draw traffic to my blog which will translate to making money.

    Thanks once again for being real and helping others!

  • Ashley says:

    I just have a question abour WordPress – to install it after I am hosting and have a domain, is it free or do I have to purchase it (i.e. $399 for the All-in-one)?

  • Mary says:

    Thanks for the blogging ideas! I’m brand new to the blogging world (1 1/2 months). I’m especially appreciative of the readership ideas. Trying to build mine up right now, and it’s tough! But I love writing and I’m determined. Love your site and I’m so happy you’ve been successful blogging!

  • Blogging is a wonderful way to earn a living. I actually began by writing for eHow. As a newbie, I began to learn the basics of online writing and went the writers program at eHow ended, I continued my education at Hubpages. Finally, I stepped out and created my own blogs, using WordPress. It has been quite a journey and a wonderfully rewarding experience.

  • felicia says:

    thank you so much for this whole series on blogging but i have a few questions if you have time to answer in time please .???????

  • Laria says:

    I just wanted to say thank you for posting some affiliate program ideas. I’ve been looking all over the place for programs that would fit into my blog.

    You have no idea what a relief it is to finally have found other options that are relevant.

    I love your blog!

  • Hi Crystal,
    You recently joined my and I was just going through the pins and this one caught my eye that you posted! I am in limbo at this point with my old blog and was going to upgrade it to a new wordpress blog, which I did do, but I haven’t blogged in so long that I decided that I am going to do a new blog, but under my name! So that I can blog whatever strikes my mood. I am going to use an etsy theme that I have found and base it on my lifestyle and my likes and interests. So thanks for this post as it will come in handy as I am building my new blog. Again, you are such an inspiration and I hope one day that I could grow my blog by leaps and bounds as you have done.
    xoxo, Christina Charles

  • Elizabeth says:

    Great info ! I also recently made a blog so this is very informative for future use. Thank you for sharing !

  • Jonny Pean says:

    Great tips. When I started my blog I was really struggling with readership issues– not because I had doubts about who I wanted to reach out to but because I was apprehensive of the fact that my friends wouldn’t read my posts on finance. I reached out for their opinion before starting the blog. I was like ..”Would you read my posts on the current financial issues, general finance tips and tracks..? And they were like.. “Why finance? Why not travel instead?” That was what psyched me out initially. But I knew what my forte was (and it is Finance!!!) and stuck to it to get dividends..

  • Kathy says:

    I would love to have a blog. Would love to be able to stay home longer and do this as a part time job. Going to look over more and see if I can. Thanks

  • Awesome post! I wish I had stumbled across this a few weeks ago. I just started a blog at and I can’t wait to use these tips. Thanks so much!

  • Jackie says:

    I have paid for bluehost and installed wordpress but do I have to pay for a theme with wordpress or are there free ones for us beginners that are broke?


  • You’ve proven that hard work pays off! Thanks for the great list!

  • Vivian says:

    Thank you Crystal for such a wonderful outline on starting a blog and how to make money doing it. Following your layout made sense to what seem to be a difficult process to maneuver around. I felt like I was going around in circle and missing the target. I can’t begin to tell you how many websites about blogging I’ve looked at but yours help me to make sense of it all.
    Thanks again and I will continue to follow you:-)….

  • jackie pippin says:

    Hi, how do i sign up to get your blog? At the bottom of this page there is a place to sign up for email updates but no place to click. I don’t want to miss you blogs/newsletters!

  • Kim L. says:

    Google AdSense has often kicked me off in the past because they don’t like to share. Like they don’t want me to work them and with another ad program. They called it spam. How do you get around that, because Google AdSense does NOT pay well all by themselves.

  • Wow you shared a lot of helpful info….thank you!!! I’m trying to get my thing going (I made thirteen cents LOL) but I’m going to check out some of the other links you posted.

    I use blogger even though I have self hosted WordPress because I’m so used to it…that’s probably why 13 cents LOL.

    Thank you again, have a great weekend!!

  • Missy says:

    Thanks for sharing the affiliate programs you use! I’m launching my new blog on May 1st, and I plan to apply for several of the programs you’ve listed. I’m not new to the blogging scene, but in the past, I’ve primarily earned money from AdSense and Amazon. Amazon is currently banned in my state due to some tax nexus issues, so I have to find other affiliate programs that work well for my blog.

  • Ashley says:

    I don’t know if this makes any sense or not, but I love the “idea” of blogging, but I DESPISE actually writing/typing. I am passionate about helping women live healthy life styles, attaining their fitness goals, sharing recipes, cleaning and organizing tips and how to be a home economist (couponing, cloth diapering, gardening etc). I have so much I want to get out there but I just have no idea how I can accomplish this without writing. Am I just crazy?

  • hina altaf says:

    Thanks for the helpfull information. I just started blogging and got my domain from bluehost, I am still trying to figure out how to sign up to some affiliate programs and draw audience to my blog.

  • Toni Overby says:

    Can’t wait to take my blog to bluehost. Thanks for the info!

  • Jaycie says:

    Hi there,
    I just recently started with SquareSpace and I’m curious if WordPress is easier or what your thoughts are comparing those two…

  • Tasha says:

    I’m wondering if you have any tips for going from hobby to business. I am considering adding as an affiliate to my blog but I am a little reserved due to the fact that I have not made any money with my blog as of yet. Since it has only been a hobby up until this point, I have never had to deal with tax issues, etc.

  • Laurie says:

    I just wanted to thank you for your website and all your encouragement to “push through the fear and do it”. I have been subscribing to your site for years and always wanted to start my own blog. Well, thanks to your encouragement and guidance, I finally did it! It’s not where I want it to be yet and I have a long way to go but at least I finally did it and it is giving me confidence in my writing and to keep going! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!

  • Erin says:

    Crystal (or her team),
    Not sure if you’ll see this reply, but I tried clicking the link for ” The Blog Design Network” you have listed under Recommended Designers. It redirected me to some strange site that froze my computer for a bit. I think the site might have been hacked or changed?
    Just a heads up so you can update the post.
    And thank you for all your helpful money saving and blogging tips! 🙂

  • JJ says:

    Crystal and Team,

    I am setting up my first ever blog. I didn’t see mention of a business license. Do and/or when do you need a business license? Also, all the set-up costs are those tax deductible? Should I be keeping a record of it?

    Thank you!!

    • You should check with your state and local laws as far as a business license goes. It varies by state, but typically, you wouldn’t need one for a blog. However, you should always keep your $$ earned separate for tax purposes — so that you can report your income correctly and so you can deduct all of your expenses correctly, too.

  • Fahim says:

    Thank you so much for sharing. I would love to work with amazon affiliate and savings

  • Elaine Watkins says:

    Thank you.

    This was so helpful.

    I’ve set up blog on WordPress…Yay!…and have started writing posts…Yay! Now I’m working through the glitches (like why posts aren’t showing up on my front page but are showing in the separate menu areas. Haha. I love challenges…especially when they end up being something crazy easy, so I can checkmark that item on my To Do list. There is power in the checkmark!

    I just retired from homeschooling and am back in school myself to become a functional health coach while also completing a digestive mastery study….definitely divided brain time.

    Blogging is really fun. I love to write, and I’ve now discovered I Love taking pictures. I’ve already repeatedly mentioned, casually of course, that I want a camera to hubby. haha

    Thank you and have an awesome day!!!

  • Tammi says:

    Hi Crystal,

    I started my blog last year around this time and totally fell off the blog wagon in the spring. I’m back at it and determined to be a bit more successful this time around. I’m back to this fabulous post of yours that got me started in the first place and under the Build your readership section, number 5–Participate in weekly memes, that link doesn’t work anymore. Just wanted to let you know. I’ll try some of your other suggestions for building readership.

    Mostly though…a BIG, heartfelt THANK YOU for all you do on this blog. I’ve been a follower for many years and I adore your tender, giving heart! It’s so easy to see how much you want to help others. This post about “How to Make Money Blogging” has been so helpful to me along with so many other of your posts. Thank you for doing what you do! 🙂

    Blessings to you!

  • Norm says:

    Thanks Crystal for an awesome post. I personal have just started blogging for the past 3 months and it is definitely tough going. Like you said it is marathon and not a sprint.

    Do you have some words of advice on how can I attract more visitors to my blog? Or is keep blogging and keep networking?


    • Matuloo says:

      Blogging, networking, guests posts … these are all vital methods that you simply must be doing, and don’t cost anything, except for your time.

      I would also suggest to invest a few $ into paid traffic, to get a small but steady stream of readers. It’s always a good feeling to know somebody is actually reading your posts.

      Facebook is the best platform to start with, I would suggest to make a FB page, post link to your articles on it and “boost” them. There are 3 basic methods you can use : 1.boost the post to get eyeballs on just that post, 2.create an AD for the facebook page itself in order to get likes for your new page and 3.create an AD that links directly to your posts on the blog.

      To get instant readers, go for option 3. Make sure you target your audience properly – pick interests that relate to your niche, the right age-groups and don’t forget to choose a country too.

      Good luck!

  • I have and bluhost is my hosting servivce, but i’m confused about the ads. Does also not allow ads?

  • Thanks for the great tips Crystal! 🙂 I finally launched my blog last month and this post helped me a lot to get started.

    Also I agree that you should hire a designer but if you are starting in a budget you might want to check It has a lot of helpful information and tutorials.

  • Karen says:

    At what point would you recommend looking for affiliates?

  • Pamela Tibbs says:

    I started blogging from 2015. Now I have my blog set up. How can I start Amazon affiliate??

  • Amanda says:

    Hi Crystal,
    Thanks for sharing these tips. After reading this I have decided to go ahead and start my own blog. Do you suggest adding the Domain Privacy Protection, Site Backup Pro, Search Engine Jumpstart, SiteLock Security-Find and the Comodo Positive SSL Bundle when signing up with Bluehost? Your recommendation would be greatly appreciated.

  • Justin says:

    I don’t know if anyone is still responding to this, but I have been “starting” for a while. I have always wondered if I have to pay for a theme (rather than use a free theme) in order to do ads, affiliates, etc.

  • Laura says:

    Hi there, all of the hosting sites require you to pay up front for a year or more. I just cannot spend that right now….how can I get started for minimal amount of money? Buy my domain name, and??

    Thank you!!


  • Isabelle says:


    Thanks for all the tips. I just started blogging to document the start of a new chapter in my life. I’m not planning to make any money out of it, but hope that what our family has been and is going through may help and/or inspire other people.

    My blog is:

    Thank you!


  • Great post I found it very informative. Thank you for sharing on how you make a income blogging.

    This really helped me out Im still learning on how to monetize my blog.

    Not many bloggers share on how they earn a income from there blog and it really has helped me out.

    I will check out the affiliate programs you recommended.

  • JJ Gutierrez says:

    Crystal, I wanted to thank you for sharing the steps to launching a blog. I followed your plan. I just launched my blog I did decide to pay for a theme and hosting. I am happy I did because I was able to get support. I am not actively seeking an income with it yet. Just getting out there and seeing what the interest is in what I have to say :). Thank you again. If you can check it out…It is called Chickening IN and it’s purpose is to encourage and inspire women to live their best life.

  • Nikki A says:

    Crystal this article just validates what has been going on in my heart lately. Gods been dealing with me a lot lately to just go for it, and it’s been on my heart to just start for awhile now!!! Now is the time! You have inspired me so much over the years thank you so much! FYI I will probably email you to with some additional question lol and I know you have a course coming up if I remember correctly?

  • These are the steps I used to set up our blog and it works! Good luck everyone! Now is the time!

  • Monica says:

    Thanks so much for the article. I just started a coupon blog so any tips are appreciated. I didn’t know about the affiliate links so I am slowly making my way down your list! Monica@attitudechangesthings

  • Manush says:

    Thank you Crystal for posting this article it is very helpful. I have a question regarding choosing the right platform in the important note section, you said “While you can set up a free site on, you are not allowed to add advertising or affiliate links if you’re hosting it there — thus disabling your ability to making money “. What did you mean by that? Would you please clarify that for me? Thank you!

  • Nancy says:

    Thank you for the clear suggestions – very helpful!

  • Angie says:

    Thank you for all of your fabulous suggestions!!

  • Thanks so much for this information. I’m getting ready to set up a blog and need to find a way to make it pay for itself. I can see that with any attempt at making revenue I still have to go through the trials of building up my reader base and email base. Looks like I will need at least 3-6 mos revenue up front before I start seeing income to cover costs?

  • Thank you, Crystal! This post is so informative and helpful to new bloggers like myself! Thanks for being such an inspiration!

  • Patricia says:

    Thank you Crystal for being such an inspiration for so many. I’ve been trying to get going with a blog for some time. Actually, I started one years ago and found myself frustrated as a non-tech person just trying to figure it all out, eventually giving it up. I’ve been following you for some time and am convinced that I just need to buckle down and get it done. Thanks again!

  • Amanda says:

    Thanks for the article! Such great suggestions I’m going to try!! Your website is awesome!

  • Christie says:

    Great post! I am in the process of taking the Elite Blog Academy course and it has been amazing! In addition I am starting to work with a web designer to redesign my blog. I can’t wait to see the finished product and I hope my readers will love it. Thanks again for your wonderful content.

  • Jaclyn says:

    When is your new website launching! I am so excited…. I signed up for the email launch.


  • Thanks for the tips. My blog is 2 years old, but money from blogging is not that much for me. I know I still have lots of things to work on especially the consistency of posting but I’m hoping I’ll be able to improve before 2017 ends.

  • Hannah says:

    Is it possible to do affiliate marketing by only having a WordPress site, or do you absolutely have to do all of the steps?

  • PX says:

    Thanks for such content! Loved your approach

  • Karen says:

    I have been blogging since August and have not really increased my readership. I have commented on other blogs, but honestly, that has fallen by the wayside recently. I’m committed to writing good content 3-4 times per week. I think I have some affiliates but I haven’t made anything from them, though I did post for Thred Up and got a $40 credit at their shop, which is nothing to sneeze at. Is there more I should be doing? Do I just need to plug along longer and be patient? Please help me! Thanks!

  • Cindy says:

    Thanks for this amazing information! I am looking at starting a real estate blog to generate leads, not necessarily ad money. It’s fantastic to drop in on your website and get all I need in one spot! The internet is such a big place and there are so many articles about how to start blogging, but I trust yours! Thanks again!

  • Mr. L says:

    Thank you for the article i am restarting my own wood working blog it isn’t open yet the first time i tried this it was the biggest online disaster out there. now i figure out Ad sense & Ad word this article is steering me in the right direction along with your other blog Your blogging mentor By the way WordPress is pretty good i was using blogger and some of the gadgets did not make sense like the home button in the middle of the page that you can’t do anything with and it never gets used!!!

  • Linda says:

    Also, to check that your text is correct I use proofreading service and I grateful that my friend suggested me to do this. I tried this one

  • Wendy Cope says:

    Thank you so much for this article. I have a website that is “morphing” into a blog and I’ve been lost in trying to grow my audience and monetize the site. You offer great, user-friendly tips and suggestions and I truly appreciate them. I didn’t realize there were so many good affiliate marketing sites and I am definately going to look into them. Now, to go back and read some of your linked content 😉

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