How to Start a Blog & Make Money Online ($200k Per Month)

Learn how to start a blog in 7 easy steps.

Follow this step-by-step guide to discover the tactics I used to make $1 million with my blog in under two years, reach more than 500,000 monthly readers, and be featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur, and Business Insider.

Tons of advice you find on the internet regarding how to start a blog is outdated.

Taking advice from someone who started a blog years ago is like asking directions from a person who still relies on an old-fashioned map that hasn’t been updated in years.

Blogging is a much different landscape today than it was before.

The best way to start a blog is to update your strategies for the 2020s.

With that said, in this post, you will learn how to start a blog in 7 easy steps, as follows:

  • Set up your blog.
  • Choose your blog’s niche.
  • Install WordPress.
  • Choose your blog’s theme.
  • Install some easy WordPress plugins.
  • Create great content
  • Promote your blog

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Bonsai All-in-one Startup business suite

Bonsai All-in-one Startup business suite

1. Set Up Your Blog.

Here’s my favorite beginner setup at the lowest cost with the best features (based on my 10+ years of experience):

  1. Click here to go to (<- that link gets you a discount) and click Get Started Now.
  2. Choose the Choice Plus Plan.
  3. Enter the domain name you want to use (i.e.
  4. Enter your account information.
  5. Under Package Information, choose an account plan based on how long you want to py. (Remember, there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee with all plans, so no risk!)
  6. Uncheck the Package Extras (you don’t need them.)
  7. Complete your purchase, choose your password, and login to your Bluehost account.
  8. Answer the onboarding questions or skip them, but choose “blog” when prompted.
  9. Click “skip” when it comes to choosing your theme. (We’ll get that sorted out later.)
  10. From the Bluehost dashboard, click the WordPress button on the top right and you’ll be taken to WordPress.

Congrats! You now have a self-hosted WordPress blog! 😀

Here are some other things to consider when choosing a name through a domain name registrar:

  1. Your name should be memorable and not too difficult to type.
  2. Don’t confuse people with difficult spelling, so keep the name easy to spell and pronounce.
  3. Avoid using numbers and hyphens in your own domain as it can confuse people.
  4. Keep your name a little bit broad in case you need to pivot to an adjacent niche.

2. Choose Your Blog’s Niche.

We all know that your blog needs a niche.

Whether it’s marketing, cooking, Crossfit exercises, vegan dogsitting, underwater parkour solo dancing – whatever crazy personal blog topic, there are an endless amount of things to blog about.

Here’s the problem:

Most professional bloggers will tell you to start with something that you’re passionate about because it helps you “maintain a consistent writing schedule and push through failure to succeed.”

They’ll also tell you to choose a niche at the intersection of passion, skills, and experience:

Choosing Your Blog Niche


However, if you want to start a site to make money blogging (read my blog income reports), this model is flawed because it’s missing one major component: the brand of you.

As a blogger, you are the brand.

When choosing your niche, it’s time to brainstorm about:

  • What you want to teach.
  • Where you may already have experience.
  • Any leverage you may have in an industry.
  • Where you can extract value from the market.

In my premium blogging course, Blog Growth Engine, we teach a concept called “The Authority Flywheel”.

This is a detailed flywheel exercise that looks something like this:

The Authority Flywheel

It has four parts starting with “You” because your niche is based on you first and foremost; your life is your niche.

The next step is uncovering your expertise.

Not what you think you are an expert at or want to be an expert at but what you have a proven track record of succeeding at.

Your expertise is what enables you to make money as a newbie with a fresh blog.

The third step is taking an honest look at the market.

Ask: How can you monetize this market? Just because you’re passionate about this niche doesn’t make it the right niche for you.

And last but not least is the leverage you have in your life.

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • What levers can you pull?
  • Do you have connections?
  • Insider information on a market?
  • An incredible skill set compared to most people?
  • How are you uniquely positioned to leverage any and everything in your life that others wouldn’t be able to keep up with?

I am completely confident that The Authority Flywheel is bulletproof when it comes to choosing your niche and starting a blog that actually works.

3. Start a Blog By Installing WordPress.

Self-hosted WordPress is the best blog platform for new bloggers.

The good news?

Bluehost automatically one-click installs WordPress right from your hosting dashboard making starting a blog a piece of cake.

The first time you get to your dashboard, you’ll need to pick your theme.

How to Start a Blog - Bluehost WordPress Installation

There are plenty of attractive free WordPress themes to choose from, including free blog themes.

However, if you want to pick your theme later, you can skip this step for now by clicking on the “Skip This Step” option at the end of the page.

How to Start a Blog - Bluehost wordpress

From here, you’re directed to a new blog page where you need to click on the “Start Building” option.

How to Start a Blog - WordPress

Next, select what type of blog site you plan to create, and WordPress will help you with prompts. You can also just click “I don’t need help” to go right to your dashboard.

How to Start a Blog - welcome to wordpress

Finally, enter your “Site Title” and your “Site Description.”

How to Start a Blog - launch your site with wordpress

From here, spend some time making yourself familiar with the WordPress dashboard.

This brings us to our next step – choosing a theme for your blog.

Are you ready to start your blog? Get started for just $2.95/month (63% off your hosting plan) with my link below:

4. Pick a Theme for Your WordPress Blog.

A WordPress theme is a collection of templates, files, and stylesheets that dictate your blog design.

Right now, your blog might look something like this:

How to Start a Blog - WordPress theme

This is the default WordPress theme, and on the left side is a menu that helps you change its appearance.

Now, there are two options when it comes to themes:

You can either get a free theme with limited options or go with a paid theme. 

I recommend you pick a theme from ThemeIsle to get a nice looking theme for your blog. 

Here’s how you can install a new theme for your WordPress blog:

First, log in to your WordPress account (admin page).

You can always access your WordPress login page by going to

How to Start a Blog - WordPress login

Once logged in, your WordPress dashboard looks something like this.

How to Start a Blog - WordPress dashboard

Here, click on the “Appearance” option from the sidebar menu.

Next, select the “Themes” option from the “Appearance” section.

How to Start a Blog - Theme

To search for the theme options WordPress offers, click the “Add New” button at the top of the page.

How to Start a Blog - add new theme

As you can see below, there are a ton of free themes to choose from.

How to Start a Blog - wordpress themes

You can scroll down and preview as many WordPress themes as you want before picking one for your blog.

To install an external theme from a site like ThecmeIsle, go to “Appearance” – “Themes” and click “Add New,” upload the zip file, and click install.


Ready to launch your blog and follow along with this guide? Get started for $2.95/month and get 63% off your blog hosting plan:

5. Install a Few Simple WordPress Plugins.

Plugins are sets of tools that integrate with your website and extend its features.

When starting a blog, it’s important to choose the best ones for SEO and site speed.

WordPress Plugins Directory

Here’s a list of four of the best ones you should add to your blog:

1. Elementor Pro.

Elementor Pro is a WordPress landing page builder, and it’s the tool I used to create my home page and about page.

They have a free version of Elementor, but the Pro version takes it to the next level with much better templates.

2. ShortPixel Image Optimizer.

ShortPixel compresses all of your images and screenshots so that they are smaller files and your pages load faster.

I’ve tested lots of different image compression tools, and ShortPixel has been the best.

3. WP Rocket.

WP Rocket is an all-in-one site speed plugin that can do everything from minifying HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, integrate with your CDN, reduce database bloat, and more.

I’ve tried other speed tools like Autoptimize and had some issues with it. WP Rocket is the best, in my opinion.

You can get started with WP Rocket for $49/year.

4. Yoast SEO.

I use Yoast SEO to manage my sitemap, robots.txt, page title, and meta descriptions.

6. Create Great Content for Your Blog.


You started a blog and are ready to start blogging by creating your first blog post.

This is where the rubber meets the road.

One thing first:

Blogs are no longer places where you simply write updates and gain a following.

They are now Google-driven websites that require organic search traffic.

When you write your first blog post (and ever one after that) focus on one main target keyword, and here’s where it should be included:

  • Put the keyword in your blog’s permanent URL.
  • Include the keyword in the title of your post.
  • Add your keyword to the first or second paragraph.
  • Include the keyword inside of your headings.
  • Add the keyword throughout your blog post.

You’ll see in my example below, the target keyword is in the title, URL, and first paragraph.

Table of Contents

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