How to Create Your First Blog for Less Than $50 & Make Money Online
Blogging can be a good way to supplement your income, and with time, even make a decent living out of it. There are numerous successful bloggers whether in the field of IT, travelling or marketing that have managed to make their blogs their primary source of income. But don’t leave your day job just yet, because success didn’t happen overnight for these people. Getting to the point where you can easily live off your blog may be a little more strenuous that what one might imagine. On the upside, however, you don’t have to be a tech savvy person to create a blog, but you do need to get familiar with content marketing, SEO, blog monetization techniques, social media and other ways to promote your blog.
If you’re looking to make money with your blog, self-hosted blogging platforms like WordPress are definitely the way to go about it. Depending on your learning curve in areas like marketing or SEO, you may not want to invest too much in a blog from the very start. Thankfully, you can create your first blog even on a shoestring budget.
Here is our take on the steps it takes to start your blog for less than $50, and make money with it too:
Choose WordPress to Create Your Blog
If you lack any programming and web design skills, you may be inclined to choose a hosted blogging platform (e.g. Wix) instead of a self-hosted one like WordPress. However, hosted platforms either don’t give you the possibility to monetize your blog at all or they impose strict limitations on the monetization tools that you can use. They also don’t give you full control over all aspects of your blog. Therefore, a self-hosted solution like WordPress is the best choice if you’re looking to make money with your blog.
WordPress is by far the most popular free and open-source blogging platform thanks to its beginner friendly nature, customizability and scalability. You can use WordPress even without learning programming or getting into web design. The multitude of free and premium plugins and themes offer ample opportunities for you to customize your blog to match your taste and requirements.
Register a Hosting Account at iPage for $1.99/month
Before you can get started with generating content for your blog, you’ll need a web hosting and a domain. iPage is a reliable, yet budget-friendly hosting, where you can get a free domain name, unlimited disk space, unlimited email accounts, unlimited MySQL databases, access to hundreds of free mobile-friendly templates, 1-click WordPress installer, access to Google AdWords advertising credit, SEO marketing tools, all for only $1.99/month or $23.88/year.
Setup Your First Blog Now!
With iPage you can start your WordPress blog in minutes. Use the one-click installation tool to speed up the process!
At iPage, you also have the option to purchase domain privacy for your domain to protect yourself from identity theft, spamming or unwanted solicitation, and domain hijacking. iPage’s Domain Privacy service costs $9.99/year per domain, and it’s designed to mask your personal information in the WHOIS database.
Install WordPress to Your Domain
Once you’re all set with your hosting account and domain name, it’s time to install WordPress to your domain using the one-click install tool at iPage. 1-click installer tools are commonly used by hosting providers to facilitate the installation of software and applications in an effort to help you get started as soon as possible with your blog or website.
Choose a Free Theme from WordPress Repository
The WordPress repository includes thousands of beautifully designed free themes that you can use for your blog. Thus, you can have a professionally looking blog even by choosing a free WordPress theme from WordPress repository. Depending on what tools you might need for your blog, you can also add some necessary plugins (e.g. SEO plugin, contact form plugin, etc.).
Define Your Blog’s Niche
Now that you have everything set for your blog, you can start defining and determining your blog’s niche, and choose the topics for your blog that you are interested in and that have monetization potential. It’s important to narrow down your blog’s profile to a particular niche and target that niche accordingly. If your blog is too generic, you will have a hard time in dealing with competition and establishing a strong readership base.
Start Adding Content and Start Monetizing Your Blog
The content you generate will ultimately make or break your blog. Make sure to put in the extra hours in creating quality content. Depending on your skills, you can look into ways to diversify your content and don’t limit yourself to text-based content only. Spice up your articles with interesting illustrations, stock images, infographics, and video content. Rich, unique content will engage your readers and help you rank higher in search engines.
Once your blog is getting some traction in search engines and people start noticing it, you can start monetizing your blog. One way to monetize your blog is to use pay-per-click programs like Google AdSense, which is easy to set up and has the advantage of placing ads that are relevant to your blog’s profile. To qualify for Google AdSense, your blog must meet certain guidelines, so make sure to consult the Google AdSense Guidelines before applying. Other ways to monetize your blog include publishing sponsored posts and advertisements, enrolling in affiliate programs, selling your own products like an app or an e-book, etc. If you consider that AdSense is not the most suitable network to monetize your blog, please check our list of best AdSense alternatives and choose the ad network that works best with your niche.
Start Promoting Your Blog for Free
Getting visitors through organic searches is not the only way you can promote your blog. Find blogs with a similar profile to yours and look into guest posting opportunities. Guest posting on other blogs is a free method to draw more visitors to your site and get some quality backlinks for your site. Don’t ignore the power of social media either, and tap into that traffic source as well by branching out on social media platforms.
Starting a blog with minimal investment (less than $50) is an achievable goal, but it takes time to build up a strong audience, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t see the results right away. Make your blog a side project at first, and once it’s starting to grow and make you money, you can start investing more money into it, devout more time to it, and maybe make the transition to become a full-time blogger.