How To Start A Blog And Make Money Blogging: The Ultimate Guide – Part 1

How to start a blog and make money blogging – How to start a self hosted WordPress blog – How to set up WordPress step by step – How to start a blog step by step.

This post is updated regularly with new information and tools to help you make the most successful, money-making blog ever!

HerPaperRoute is a resource for online business development. Affiliate links may be used, which is at no cost to our readers. Disclosure.

how to start a blog that makes money how to start a blog and make money starting a blog

How To Start A Blog In 2018 And Make Money Blogging: The Ultimate Guide – Part 1

Today I am going to walk you through how to start a blog that is capable of being monetized, by setting up a self-hosted website with Bluehost!

If you are looking to set up your blog with SiteGround, read this.


How to start a blog?

How to start a blog to make money?

How do you make money blogging?

I’m going to help you with all of this!


How To Start A Blog That Makes Money

If you are new to the world of blogging, welcome! You are going to be great at it!

I’m Chelsea, a blog strategist with over a decade in the marketing game. I quit my job as a corporate marketing manager to get serious about my niche beauty blog, so I could stay home with my baby, and haven’t looked back.

Thanks to affiliate marketing, that blog made a healthy profit (You can check out my blog income reports here), I recently sold that blog for $50,000, and now spend my time running this one, HerPaperRoute.

Affiliate marketing is my thing, and I share all of my guides, tips and resources via free guides right here!

I strive to provide easy to understand, no b-s advice and inspiration to new, aspiring and blossoming bloggers, so that you can develop your blog into a money-making business too.

My tutorials always have a money-saving edge to them, as I do my best to provide information about the best low cost or free options and resources for bloggers. Helping you succeed at blogging is my ultimate goal and your success makes me so happy!


how to start a blog bluehost siteground discount BLOG MONETIZATION BOOK free blogging guide fre eblog cheatsheet make money blogging

You Have Made A Wise Decision Today To Finally Start A Blog!

Before we dive right into this, make sure you sign up for access to my members-only Profitable Blog Toolkit, it includes a ton of free resources that will help you develop your blog into a business. Including a copy of my Blog Monetization Cheatsheet ebook – a MUST have for any new blogger.

You can access the HerPaperRoute Profitable Blog Toolkit by signing up here:



How To Start A Blog:

How To Set Up A Self-Hosted WordPress Blog And Make Money Blogging Part 1


First, Lets Compare Bluehost vs SiteGround Prices & Services

When choosing a host for your blog, you have many options, but Bluehost and SiteGround are the most popular web hosts. Here is a quick comparison of the two:




Initial Price Per Month (1st year promo)$3.95 – 11.95$2.95 – 5.45
Regular Price Per Month (After 1st Year)$11.95 – 34.95$7.99 – 14.99
Load Time722ms (fast)419ms (very fast)
Secure SSL Cert. Included
Domain Includedx
Email Includedx

I can recommend that Bluehost is the more affordable option, and gives you more value (and a free domain!)

But SiteGround is a great hosting provider too. So whichever you choose, you will be in good hands.

For a step-by-step tutorial on how to start a blog with SiteGround, see this post right here.

To continue setting up your blog with Bluehost, read on.

This Is A 3 Part Tutorial

PART 1 | PART 2 | PART 3


  1. Understand what self-hosting is and why it’s important
  2. Set up a self-hosted website with hosting & domain registration with Bluehost and Install (If you already have hosting elsewhere, you can use this guide to switch to Bluehost)
  3. Secure installation of https:// SSL certificate.


  1. Change the permalink structure
  2. Set up Google Analytics
  3. Set up Google Search Console
  4. Submit your sitemap to Google



  1. Install a theme
  2. Set up website security
  3. Install plugins
  4. Create content
  5. Build your blog’s email list
  6. Begin a social media marketing campaign for your blog
  7. Monetize & make money from your blog


website in a box blog set up service wordpress set up theme install

Want To Skip All Of This Set-Up Stuff?

You can! I offer a Website In A Box service where I will set up your website for you in 24 hours or less.

Not only that, but when you purchase your web hosting via my link, send me your receipt, and I will set your website up FOR FREE!

Let me set up your WordPress site, handle all of the hosting, domain registration, tech stuff, plus plugin and theme installation so that all you have to focus on is writing your blog posts

Order the Website In A Box service here.


Rather Do It All Yourself? Cool, Read On!


How To Start A Blog: What Is The First Thing An Aspiring Blogger Needs To Know?

The first thing you need to know when starting a blog is that it is completely normal to feel overwhelmed in the beginning!

There are so many things to learn, especially when learning how to create a profitable blog – but don’t give up!

Do a little each day, vow to never stop learning and believe that you CAN DO IT. I’m here to help you.

I have tutorials for every step of the way, from how to blog, how to make money blogging and how to grow your network with social media – but first things first, we need to get your blog set up, and set up correctly so that it is capable of being monetized.

I am going to show you exactly how to start your monetizable blog in this tutorial, and it will only take a few minutes!

When you start a blog that is going to make you money, the first step is you need to self-host.



1. What Is Self Hosting?

Self-hosting is when you own your own domain, and you pay a company such as Bluehost, or others to allow your site to be viewable and ‘live’ on the Internet.

Paying for this means that you own your website and all of your content – which is extremely important if you want to make money blogging.

Self-hosting means that you do not use a free host (such as Blogger, Tumblr).


Why self-host? What’s wrong with using a free host?

When you pay for your hosting and own your domain, you can monetize your blog, meaning you can run ads, join affiliate programs, work with big brands and even add an eCommerce cart/shopping functionality.

Free sites like Tumblr don’t allow ads, limiting your ability to earn income from your blog as well as limiting just about everything else you will want to do.

Because when you use a free host, you don’t own your website or content, the free host owns it and can shut you out whenever they please. That is why it is so important to self-host when you start a blog.

Free sites are not actually ‘free,’ because they limit your ability to earn an income, literally stopping you from making thousands of dollars a year or month!



For example, I launched a new niche blog recently and paid for a year of hosting, which was about $72 for the year.

So on day one, I was out $72, but owning my blog allowed me to monetize it, and that first month I made $1,200! So although I paid $72 to start it, it allowed me to earn $1,200.

If I hadn’t self-hosted I wouldn’t have been able to monetize my blog and would have made exactly ZERO that first month.

This is why it is recommended that anyone who is wanting to take their blog seriously and intending to make money with it, purchase their hosting/domain with a reputable host, and run their blog on (not

Related: What’s the difference between and .com?

I will show you exactly how to do this now so that your blog can be up and running and ready to monetize today.

Good News: Self-hosting Is Actually Affordable

When you start a blog, you don’t have to spend much to get high-quality professional hosting for your site.


Bluehost start a blog

Exclusive HerPaperRoute + Bluehost Hosting Discount

When you sign up with this link you get my partner discount, giving you hosting for just $2.95 per month! Plus you will get your domain for free! If you already have hosting elsewhere, you can still use that discount to switch.


How To Start A Blog: How To Set Up Hosting And Install WordPress


1. Set Up Hosting & Register Domain Name

First, you will need to register a domain name.

You can do this by checking if your desired domain name is available by entering it in the form below, or by going to Bluehost and clicking the green ‘Get Started Now’ button.


Next, choose your plan. The first time I hosted with Bluehost, I chose the basic plan, which was OK, but I ended up wishing I’d just gotten the prime plan, as you get way more space and features for only $2 more per month. Also, you can only host one website on the basic plan, whereas on the prime plan you can host multiple websites which is awesome.

Bluehost pricing start a blog



Also, domain privacy is included in the prime plan, which is very important, as you will end up paying for it separately with the other plans. Domain privacy means that it hides your personal information such as your name, phone number, address from appearing online in WhoIs. It costs about $2 per month to add privacy on later.

I’d recommend it. If you don’t have domain privacy, anyone can look up your website and your information. And I mean anyone!)

Whichever you choose, you can lock in the promo price for a set term, which is a great incentive that Bluehost offers to their customers.

You can register for 3 years and keep the promo rate for all 3 years, for example. And after that term, it will go to the regular non-promo price.

Next, you get to register your domain! Enter your choice of name and Bluehost will let you know if it’s available. Or if you already have a domain registered somewhere else, you can add it here.


How to start a blog - The easiest no stress guide - get your website up and running in 10 minutes - start a blog - grow a blog - monetize - blog for profit - make money blogging |

Next, you will be able to enter your contact information.

Bluehost pricing start a blog


Below that will be package and payment information. You will pay for your hosting term all at once now, as opposed to month-to-month. Click to agree to the terms, and click ‘next.’


Bluehost pricing start a blog


Now you should be taken to the ‘Sign up successful’ page where you can create a password.

This will be your login to access all of your website’s foundation content and hosting information, it’s important, so make sure you remember this password.

And make it a good password that no one could guess, as even if you are a small blog, there are still people who will try to hack into it.


Once you set your password, you can log into Bluehost. When you log in for the first time you may see a screen or a popup that looks like this:

How to start a blog - The easiest no stress guide - get your website up and running in 10 minutes - start a blog - grow a blog - monetize - blog for profit - make money blogging |

You can choose ‘I can do it,’ or just close the popup, as I’m going to walk you through what to do next.


2. Set Up WordPress

Alright! Welcome to your Bluehost dashboard. Look at the top for where it says ‘Hosting’, click to be in the hosting tab and look for where it says ‘Home’ or ‘Cpanel’ click either one.

How to start a blog - The easiest no stress guide - get your website up and running in 10 minutes - start a blog - grow a blog - monetize - blog for profit - make money blogging |


On the ‘Home’ or “CPanel’ page, scroll down to the ‘website’ area and look for ‘Install WordPress.’ Depending on your version, it may look like either of these images:

How to start a blog - The easiest no stress guide - get your website up and running in 10 minutes - start a blog - grow a blog - monetize - blog for profit - make money blogging | How to start a blog - The easiest no stress guide - get your website up and running in 10 minutes - start a blog - grow a blog - monetize - blog for profit - make money blogging |

Click the icon, and you will be prompted to install WordPress. Click Install, and give your new site a name, and attach it to your domain!

Fill out the information to set a username and password for the new admin to WordPress – the admin is you, and you can name yourself anything that you like. You will use this to sign into your website to create posts and content – so again, make sure you save this information somewhere secure.


How to start a blog - The easiest no stress guide - get your website up and running in 10 minutes - start a blog - grow a blog - monetize - blog for profit - make money blogging |


While WordPress installs, a green bar at the top of your screen will show you its progress. While this is happening, you may be prompted to choose a theme from Mojo Marketplace.

You don’t have to choose a theme a yet but it’s worth checking it out. Check out my recommendations for Responsive & Beautiful WordPress themes while you’re at it!


Once WordPress is finished installing, you will be able to log in. The login page looks like this:


How to start a blog - The easiest no stress guide - get your website up and running in 10 minutes - start a blog - grow a blog - monetize - blog for profit - make money blogging |


You can always access this login page at any time by typing into your address bar.

Once logged in to WordPress, you will be on your WordPress dashboard. On the left side is where you will see tabs to create pages and add your first post. Take some time to familiarize yourself with this dashboard – you will use it a lot!


How to start a blog - The easiest no stress guide - get your website up and running in 10 minutes - start a blog - grow a blog - monetize - blog for profit - make money blogging |




3. Install Secure HTTPS:

Bluehost now provides free SSL certificates for all assigned and parked domain names set up in your account. In most cases, the SSL will automatically assign and install itself to your new and existing domains; however, some customers may need to manually enable the certificate.How to activate your free WordPress SSL Certificate

  1. Log into your Bluehost control panel (CPanel)
  2. Click the Addons tab.
  3. Locate SSL Certificates, and click on the learn more button.
  4. Click the get started button under WordPress Free SSL.
  5. Click the Install button.

Once you’ve turned the SSL on, it can take a few hours to install and activate. In some situations, you may need to take action to complete the process. If so, you’ll receive an email with instructions.

Once that is complete, you will have a working SSL certificate for your domain name!

Now, You Can Finally Log In To Your WordPress Dashboard

You can access this dashboard by going to and entering your password.



You now have a self-hosted WordPress website that is ready to be monetized!

You can access your WordPress dashboard and work on your blog anytime by going to

But before you begin creating blog posts, there are a few necessary tasks we need to do to ensure your website is set up correctly.

Head on over to part 2 to complete the next steps.



Don’t forget to download my free Profitable Blog Toolkit below:


Pin This:

How To Start A Profitable Blog - Easy WordPress Set Up- - Best Hosting - Affiliate Marketing - ecourse course training compplete blogging business marketing |


How to start a blog and make money blogging |

how to start a blog that makes money how to start a blog and make money starting a blog


  1. Lynette May 8, 2018 at 3:40 pm

    I love this information! I am actually creating a blog site for my boyfriend and this is going to help me so much. I created my church’s website but I think I used for that. My question right now is do I have to use Siteground’s themes or can I use WordPress theme?

  2. Sachi April 24, 2018 at 7:44 pm

    Hi Chelsea! I wanted to thank you so much for this post! I just launched my blogs Sachi’s Letters where I talk about and lettering and online selling. When I was setting it up I constantly referred back to this post because it was so detailed and helpful!

    1. Chelsea | Profitable Blogging Tips | - Site Author May 1, 2018 at 10:37 pm

      Thank you! I’m so happy it helped you! <3 <3

  3. Scott Denham April 4, 2018 at 3:55 am

    I think you have me convinced to sign up with Siteground. I used WP several years ago and while I got my blog up and running at times it was frustrating. I often felt overwhelmed with the entire process. I had been looking at WIX but your step by step process looks simple enough that even a non tech bozo like me should be able to figure it out. I have been reading various blogs and watching YouTube videos trying to decide what to do. The problem with many of the experts is that they talk to you like you shot out of the womb blathering on in HTML! This stuff can be very intimidating for us commoners.

    1. Chelsea | Profitable Blogging Tips | - Site Author May 1, 2018 at 10:39 pm

      Ha! Oh my gosh your comment is so funny, I totally know what you mean about tutorials where people talk about coding and tech-terms as if everyone knows what that stuff is! I try to explain things in as much of a straight non-jargon way as to not confuse anyone. I appreciate that you stopped by to say that 🙂

  4. Apoorv March 14, 2018 at 4:59 am

    It’s a very elaborate and rich content article. Very nice. Everything included even the permalinks settings. Full info at one place. Nice.

    1. Chelsea | Profitable Blogging Tips | - Site Author March 14, 2018 at 7:38 pm

      Thank you for your comment, I’m happy you found the article helpful! 🙂

  5. Shake Them Beauty January 6, 2018 at 5:59 am

    Thank you very much for this very informative article! I’m thinking of doing this probably by March. I just have some questions I’d like to clarify.. Even if they’re using WordPress, why is that the main WordPress still more expensive? Also, if I started my blog in WordPress, do I still have to consult their support to transfer it? Sorry I’m just a little bit confused and overwhelmed. I just started to become active on my blog two months ago. Thank you Chelsea!

    1. Chelsea | Profitable Blogging Tips | - Site Author January 15, 2018 at 1:52 am

      Hi! To answer your questions:
      “Even if they’re using WordPress, why is that the main WordPress still more expensive?” WordPress .com has is free to use to start, but they limit what you can do, and in order to access these features, you’d have to pay for their own upgrades which is very expensive. You are better off to use WordPress .org so you can access all the features with no limitations. The difference is explained here: What’s The Difference Between And

      “If I started my blog in WordPress, do I still have to consult their support to transfer it?” You just contact Siteground if you need to migrate your old site to the new self-hosted one. If you are keeping the same site, but just changing hosts, all you have to do is change your name servers. You dont need to contact Siteground for that (but you can if you need help setting your nameservers)

  6. Li Chee October 28, 2017 at 12:49 am

    Hi Chelsea
    Love your blog….Lots of Awesome tip as well as step by step tutorial.
    I am not a native English speaker,nor can i write good content but i really love to start a blog written in English,the reason-i want to target international audiences.
    Do you believe that it is possible for a non-native English speaker to run a successful English written blog?
    Do you have any articles that is written around this topic?
    I welcome any suggestions..

    1. Chelsea | Profitable Blogging Tips | - Site Author October 30, 2017 at 3:20 pm

      Hello Li Chee, Absolutely. You can run a successful blog, even if English is not your native language. Grammarly is a free app that will help you with English spelling and Grammar. Your comment here is well written, I wouldn’t have known English isn’t your first language 🙂

  7. Paolo B. September 17, 2017 at 5:25 pm

    Such a great article for new bloggers. Which I found it when I started out but still tons of great information on here. Digging it and the blog. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Chelsea | Profitable Blogging Tips | - Site Author October 24, 2017 at 7:04 pm

      Thank you Paolo!

  8. Pamela Randal September 1, 2017 at 10:50 am

    Hi Chelsea – great article on setting up with Siteground and wordpress, going to follow all your info and do it this weekend. My question is, I want to set up a membership part of the site, monthly payments, and also sell online courses, do you recommend any plug ins or service provider of such things? I was looking into Mailchimp, need something so people can sign up, get an instant download when they buy, or get into the membership section when they buy that… many different things offering shops, when I only need a paypal button and a method of downloading for customers. Any recommendations? many thanks!

    1. Chelsea | Profitable Blogging Tips | - Site Author September 2, 2017 at 1:47 pm

      Hi Pamela, for a simple solution to your needs I would recommend Mailerlite (it is free up to 1000 subscribers) and after that plans start at just $10. Mailerlite is a better alternative to Mailchimp, and handles your emails. You can set up automation so a new subscriber gets an email with a download and a link to the members area:

      Then you can use a membership plugin like member press – this will allow you many membership-site features and will handle the payment gateway. You can even run an affiliate program for your members with it:

  9. neyaonline August 25, 2017 at 1:29 pm

    Do you recommend purchasing a domain name from a domain site or registering along with hosting?

  10. Allie Barke August 21, 2017 at 3:36 pm

    Helpful post! Thanks for sharing.


  11. Miya July 31, 2017 at 6:29 pm

    This is so useful!!! Thank you so much! I finally am able to use all the tools and work with them, because I had no idea what is what so far 😀
    I’m putting it in my bookmarks for sure!
    Life saver!! :)))))

    1. Chelsea | Profitable Blogging Tips | - Site Author August 4, 2017 at 11:42 pm

      Woohoo! Ok great! I’m glad you can use it. Let me know if you need any help with any of them/blogging in general!

  12. shehroz haider July 27, 2017 at 12:28 pm

    thanku very much its very helpful for me thankx again

  13. Kali Borovic July 21, 2017 at 6:05 pm

    Two questions for you! If I’m going from a to Sitegrouns, do I need to transfer to first? Also, will all my content transfer over with this tutorial or do I have to start fresh? xx.

    1. Chelsea | | - Site Author July 21, 2017 at 10:18 pm

      Hi Kali, You will be able to set up .org via the install wizard in Siteground, it will be separate from your .com site. You can transfer your posts from your old site into your new one 🙂

  14. Alison Rakoto June 29, 2017 at 6:16 am

    Great post. I confirm all you wrote as I have recently done this myself! Next up for me is a better template than the free one I chose…

  15. f4freelance1 June 29, 2017 at 1:17 am

    In, one of the articles we posted was about setting up your own website for your freelance business. I’m going to have to link them to this post, because it was awesome. And while I’ve been using BlueHost, I keep hearing nothing but great things from siteground

    1. Chelsea | | - Site Author July 2, 2017 at 2:48 am

      I would love that, thank you! Siteground has really been awesome!

  16. The McGills June 29, 2017 at 1:00 am

    Thanks for sharing! I really need to change my blog from .com to .org.

  17. Pingback: Create Your Social Media Game-Plan Strategy (Plus Free Planner!) | HerPaperRoute

  18. My Feet Will Lead Me June 21, 2017 at 5:11 am

    Oops, I meant VS .org. Like for example right now, it says I am “commenting using your account”. Yikes, I’ve heard I should have the .org version.

  19. My Feet Will Lead Me June 21, 2017 at 5:08 am

    Great post! I use Bluehost and like it, but it wouldn’t have set me up with bs .org would it have? What’s the difference? Also what is the difference between www and http ://? Are they interchangeable?

    1. Chelsea | | - Site Author July 2, 2017 at 2:50 am

      Hi, you will want to use .org as it is the one that allows you full control of your site and you can do so much more with it. This tutorial with Siteground shows installation of .org 🙂

  20. Kimberly (@delight_fully) June 20, 2017 at 5:11 pm

    Very thorough post! I’ve never worked with Siteground but I see many people recommending it. Either way, self hosted is the only way to go when you decide to have your own website. Freedom is very valuable!

  21. Gillie June 20, 2017 at 4:14 am

    Great post. I have found working with Siteground has been very smooth. Self hosting really takes your blog to the next level. It can be intimidating but posts like this are a great start.


I want To Hear From You! What Are Your Thoughts?