In today’s tutorial I am going to teach you how to make a profitable blog, step by step. This blog or website will be beautiful, simple, yet effective. Creating a blog such as the one I am going to show you will allow you to make a profit. More so this blog will allow you to make money DOING WHAT YOU LOVE!
Check out the exact gear I use for this blog and all my other online hustles!
Why Learn How To Make A Profitable Blog
It’s simple. You should learn how to make a blog profitable blog because it is 2017. Times are changing, and the potential for not only income but true financial freedom through making money online is unlimited! However making a blog is more than just about money. It is about creating something. And what you will create with this step by step tutorial is more than just what you see on screen. You will be creating a lifestyle where in you get to help yourself and help others, all while feeling good about what you do. Now it’s not going to be a completely easy road, but I guarantee you this step by step tutorial WILL BE.
So Who Would Benefit From This Step By Step Tutorial On How To Make A Profitable Blog
Well, it’s great for those who want to create a personal or lifestyle blog. This tutorial is also great for those who want to create a blog about anything from style, to food to electronics. This blog could be about gaming, cooking, designing, health and fitness, opinions, you name it! And I guarantee you almost anything you want to blog about has a market to make a profit in. This step by step tutorial is great for beginners, but also for those who want a simple and easy blog to create and maintain. This blog looks amazing, is quick and easy to create plus I’ve added some bonus content at the end to show you different ways to monetize this blog!
So Let’s Get Into The Steps Needed To Create This Blog Site
I’ve broken this step by step tutorial down into 9 main sections, or steps. As Henry Ford famously said, “Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs”. So that is exactly what we will do here for the creation of your profitable blog! Below are the 9 steps we will cover in this tutorial!
1) Picking A Domain Name
2) Web Hosting
3) Setting Up WordPress
4) Picking Your Theme
5) Creating Your Logo
6) Fixing General Settings
7) Downloading WordPress Plugins
8) Customizing Your Site
9) Some Finishing Touches
Bonus: Ways To Monetize Your Site
Step One – Picking A Domain Name
When I come up with a domain name, I think of what it is exactly I want this blog to be about. Think long term. Trust me when I tell you I’ve made the mistake of just buying domain names, and in the end everything I had planned for it changed, and you kind of have to work around that domain name. You don’t want that, you want it the other way, the domain name to WORK FOR YOU! So I guess the real first step is coming up with your niche. What exactly do you want to talk about in your blog. Once you’ve done that if you are still having a hard time coming up with a domain name, check out namemesh.com for help on generating one. Also be sure to come up with four or five domain names, as in all likelihood your first idea is probably already taken!
Step Two – Website Hosting
There are quite a few web hosting platforms out there. Many of them are very good, great even. I personally use HostGator. They’re reliable, reasonably priced, and their customer service is unparalleled. The first thing you will do is go to hostgator.com. From there, you will click on the big yellow button that says Get Started Now! The plan you choose is up to you. If you are strictly doing just one blog, I suggest getting the hatchling plan. Especially if you are just starting off, it’s all you need, because the other plans raise in price due to them allowing you to have more than one domain for them to host.
Under the Register A New Domain tab
Input your domain name > Choose a hosting plan > Enter your billing info > Use promo code MIKEALONZO23 for $19.99 off any plan (my affiliate link so I get a commission for helping you) > Agree to terms of service > Check Out
The second thing you will do is go to your email inbox. From there you will see a letter from HostGator with all your login credentials. You will use that information for the next part.
The third thing you will do is login to your Cpanel (Control Panel). Click on the link that says Your Control Panel in your letter from HostGator. Make sure it opens in a new tab, because you will use the info from this letter to sign in. Login with your username and password from your email.
Step 3 – Setting Up WordPress
WordPress is one of the most powerful platforms and most popular platforms used for content creation. Basically this is the platform that allows people like you and I who have absolutely no or minimal coding/programming knowledge to create amazing websites. Too many people use WordPress so if you want to know the who’s who, click here.
First you need to scroll down your Cpanel to the section that says “Software”.
Second click on the clock that says QuickInstall.
Third click on the middle option that says WordPress. Fill in your domain name and press NEXT. From there you will be asked to fill out some info. The title of your blog (you can always change later), first and last name and most importantly your email address, and admin username. Keep track of this username because if you lose it, you will have to reinstall WordPress and start over. Click Install Now!
Now go back to your email inbox there will be a new letter from HostGator with your WordPress login credentials. You can always go to your WordPress admin site by typing http://yoursite.com/wp-admin
From there login with your credentials.
Step 4 – Picking Your Blog Theme
I want you to have an AMAZING looking blog. There are a few key things to know when designing websites. Look at the major companies, apple.com, ford.com. Minimalist, clean, well spaced, not too cluttered, mostly white background. This allows for better functionality and reading by the end user (reader/customer). This makes the products/services/content stick out better and more attractively. So when picking your theme we want something that will incubate that same formula, and really make your blog look professional, clean and attractive!
So for this blog we are going to be using the SILICON BLOGGER theme. Click here to download it from their site. After downloading it, from your WordPress Dashboard, hover over Appearance, and click on Themes. There will be a button at the top of the page that says “Add New”. Press that button. Once the page loads, you will see another button in that same spot that says “Upload Theme”. Press that button. Then press the “Choose File” button, and upload your recently downloaded theme!
Once it is done unloading, press the blue button/link that says Activate. There will be an automatic pop-up after the theme activates, cueing you to install the Kirki Toolkit & Silicon Folio plugins. Install and activate those plugins.
You are well on your way my friend to a beautiful website. Now let’s make a logo.
Step 5 – Create A Logo
Go to logomakr.com. Here you will be able to make an absolutely free logo! It’s easy to use, I use it myself on this site and ALL my other sites. There’s an instructional video on there, but I’ll give you a few tips for an effective logo. You want simplicity. Again, tying in with a clean yet attractive looking website, you want a simple logo that sticks out in people’s minds but is not confusing. You want it to be sized at 250px by 250px. You will also want to make sure the colors blend well with the rest of your site.
Once you’ve finished creating your logo do not forget to save it to your hard drive. Then you will want to save the credits, so you can give credit where credit is due. You will make a page on your site that credits all the content/work you got from other people/sites. With you logo in your download folder, or somewhere on your computer, go to your site’s homepage, but make sure you are still logged in through you wp-admin. So make sure you are at http://yoursite.com/wp-admin. From there click the Customize button. Then click on Site Identity. You can fill out your site title and tagline while you’re in here.
But more importantly you want to upload your logo into the Site Icon. You want the logo in your Site Icon so whenever someone goes to your website, that tab on the upper left of their browser will show your logo. That makes it more professional and more legit.
Step 6 – General Settings
Site Title And Tagline
If you didn’t already do this at the end of the last step you will want to change your site title and tagline. This can be done after clicking Customize when on the front end of your site (front end refers to the area that people see when on your site). From there you will be given the option to write your Site Title and Tagline. Now you want it short and to the point. This also goes on top of the browser when you or others are looking at your site. It is also part of the meta description, or description that is officially public in search results such as from using Google or Yahoo.
Now let’s go to the Settings area of your WordPress dashboard. If you are still on the front end of your website hover over the site title and click on the dashboard option. From there hover over settings and click on General. This is another area where you can also change your site title and tagline. Just make sure the work you had done earlier is the same as what you see now. The only thing I would change in this section is the time zone (if need be). It’s up to you if you prefer the date format to be different, I personally like it to be Month Day, Year. Save changes when you are done.
Next hover back over settings and click on Reading. Now for this blog, which I’m making as a pure blog, I would keep the Front Page Display checked off as “Your Latest Posts”. What this means is right when users go to your site, http://yoursite.com it will be a straight display of your latest posts. We will be creating your blog so it shows the image of the post as well as an excerpt and a link to read more. It depends on your preference as to how many blog posts show per page, but 10 is a good starting point. For the Syndication Feed you can keep it the same, but I prefer to put it at 5. Save settings.
Another settings change I like to make is to change the way your post url’s are written. By that I mean by standard publication on WordPress your blog posts (articles) will come out like this: http://yoursite.com/2016/11/04/sample-post/. Which does not look good aesthetic wise, and is not really good for site’s SEO. Instead I prefer, http://yoursite.com/sample-post. So check off the circle that has Post name next to it. Save changes.
Step 7 – Download Plugins
For each plugin we are going to download you must first hover over Plugins in the WordPress dashboard and click on “Add New”. I will list off all the plugins you need to download in the following paragraph. Go through them one by one, by entering the title of the plugin in the search bar (within the add plugins page). Once you find the plugin you are looking for hit the Install Now button.That same button will turn into a blue “Activate” button. You can click that once it does so, but then you will have to go back to the add new plugins page, and you will have to keep doing that until all these plugins are downloaded.
Once you’ve hit the Install Now button, and the “Activate” button pops up, DO NOT press it. Instead search for your next plugin and install it. Continue that for all your plugins until you’ve completed the list below. Once you finish the last one, then you can press activate. It will take you back to the plugins page and the last plugin will be activated. As for the rest, you will simply check each one off in the box provided to the left of each plugin. Then you will go to the scroll bar that says “Bulk Actions” and click on it. Then click on Activate and all your other plugins will be activated.
The list of plugins are as follows:
Simple Contact Form Plugin – PirateForms
All In One Facebook Like Widget
SiteOrigin Widgets Bundle
Page Builder by SiteOrigin
Add Social Share
Birds Author Box
Step 8 – Customizing Your Site
Now the real fun begins. As I said before, making a profitable blog is not just about the money. More importantly, making a blog is about creating something you can call your own! This is your creative outlet that will allow you to make money doing what you love! That’s why I found it important to make this step by step blog tutorial.
So first off let’s add some pages. In the beginning these pages are all you need to add. Over time as you come up with more content, such as events, or products to sell, or different sections or galleries, etc. you want to showcase, then you will create more pages. Until then all you need is the home page (posts page), the about page, the contact page, and perhaps a few pages for your different categories.
In your WordPress dashboard hover over Pages and click on “Add New”. It will take you to the Pages section and from there you will see a button that also says “Add New”. Press that button. Title this new page About. You will see three tabs, Visual, Text, and Page Builder. Click on Page Builder. Now we are going to add 2 rows. You do this by pressing the “Add Row” button. In the Set Row Layout section replace the number 2 with a number 1. Then click on the button that says Insert on the lower right hand button. Repeat that action one more time.
Creating About Rows
Now you will see two empty rows in front of you. Click on the Add Widget button and then choose Site Origin Editor. You will see it pop up in one of your rows. Hover over it and click on “Duplicate”. Put one of those widgets in the empty row and leave the other one in the row it’s already in.
In the first row, click on the site origin editor widget. It will take you inside the widget. From there click on the “Text” tab. Copy the following: <center><h2>Your Name</h2></center> . Now paste it into that widget and press the blue button that says Done.
Now open up your second site origin widget located in the second row. Click on add media, then click on the Upload Files Tab. Then press the Select Files button. Choose whatever image you’d like and in the alignment section scroll to center. This will center your image. Then click the button that says “Insert into page”.
Underneath your image you will type your About Text. Of course this is up to you as to exactly what it will say. However once you are done with it, highlight your text and click on the Align Center symbol. Then press the “Done” button. Under “Page Options” checkmark Hide Page Title and Set As Full Width. Now click the blue “Publish” button. After that click on the link that says View Page. You now have your About Page!
On the right side of your dashboard you have a few tabs. Find the tab that says “Hide Title?”. This is from your Title Remover plugin. Check mark the box that says “Hide the title for this item”. This will hide the About title on your page, as it is redundant and unnecessary.
In your WordPress Dashboard hover over + New and click on Page. For the page title enter Contact. Now hit the “Add Row” button and change the number 2 to a number 1. This will make it just a single column instead of 2. Now press the blue “Insert” button. Now press “Add Widget”. Choose the Pirate Forms widget. Then hover over that widget and press Edit. You can put whatever you’d like in the title, something catchy perhaps or simply, Contact. Then fill out the text below if you’d like to say a few words to those who are about to contact you. Click on the blue “Done” button when you are finished. Now check under page options both the “Hide Page Title” and “Set as Full Width” boxes. Then hit Publish! You can then “view page” to see how it looks!
Well we don’t really have to create these pages as WordPress will automatically do that for you. We do however have to create the categories themselves, and then after that we need to put a link to each one in your Menu. So from your dashboard, hover over Post and click on “Categories”. Now for an example I will create 3 different categories. I will do Fashion News, Lifestyle, and Looks For Less. You of course will replace those three with whatever categories you believe you will be writing about in the future. Now if you don’t know your categories yet, you can skip this section. And you can always add them later when you know what categories you want to write in.
So for the first category, Fashion News, type in Fashion News in the Name section. Do the same in the slug section (fashion-news). However make it all lowercase in the slug section (First letter uppercase in the Name section). Keep parent at none. If you would like to add a description of that category you can do so in the box provided. For the purpose of demonstration I will add the following: All the latest news in the fashion world. From trends, to new looks and more!
Click on the blue Add New Category button when done. Repeat this action for each of your categories. So in this demonstration I will repeat this action for Lifestyle, and then for Looks For Less. In the future whenever you are making a blog post, you will check off the category that it belongs to and it will automatically show up on that Category page!
Now let’s head over to the front end home page. Do this by hovering over your site’s name and clicking on Visit Site.
Let’s fix your navigation (menu)
While on your site, click on Customize. Then click on Menus. Press Add Menu. Name it Main Menu. Under Menu Locations check off “Main Menu”.
Now go back and click on Main Menu. Press Add Items, Click on Pages then select “Home”. Again click on Pages and in the “Add New Page” bar, type in Shop. Press the Add button. Now click on Pages again and add “About” & “Contact”. You can arrange the order of the menu items as you please. For those who will be creating a portfolio click on Add Items again. Add “Portfolio”, then in the area that says Add New Portfolio, type in Portfolio and press the “Add” button. Hit the Save & Publish button to save your work.
Now let’s go back into the customize Menu. Click on “Menus”. Press Add Menu. Name It Social Menu. Assign it’s display location to “Social Links”. Then press “Add Items”. For each social link you will add a “custom url”. Enter in the url of each social media link you would like to display. For example, for Facebook, you would enter “https://www.facebook.com/yourpage”. Then in the Link Text you will use the FontAwesome Icon Text. From FontAwesome search for each social media link you need. For example, for Facebook, type in Facebook. Once you find the logo you like, click on it. It will provide a piece of code that looks like this: <i class=”fa fa-facebook” aria-hidden=”true”></i>. You will copy that code and paste it into the “Link Text”. Follow this process for each social link you would like posted on your blog. When you are done press Save & Publish.
Now here again you will have to experiment. The color scheme all depends on the mood and theme of your blog. From the customize menu click on “Colors”. From there you will be able to change around the colors for your blog. Take your time with this, but also remember your blog will be evolving over the days, weeks, months and years.
Step 9 – Some Finishing Touches
Now you probably don’t have any blog posts yet. And that’s okay. However this blog will not look as it should until you do. So if you want to fill the space and see how it actually looks, got to my test page, and copy and paste some of the blog posts. Copy and paste the text, and get some free images from unsplash.com & stocksnap.io for your “featured image(s)”. Now to get the slider effect of three post images on the top of your home page you must do the following. For each post you want in the slider there is an option on the right side where you edit your posts under “Display Settings”. For each post you want on the featured slider, scroll the answer to “Yes”. Another great thing about this theme is you can provide “sticky” posts. So for the posts you want stuck up there as a “featured post”, go to quick edit from the “All Posts” page. Under tags you will find a box next to the phrase, “Make this post sticky”. Click that and save.
Let’s set up this plugin that will showcase your Instagram images. In your dashboard you will see on the left side a link called “InstaShow”. Click on that. First off you will have to Connect this plugin to your Instagram account. Simply click on Connect and follow the instructions. Once connected, you can see below the different customization options. For the sidebar, you would want a 2×2 display. For underneath blog posts I suggest a 4×1. At the bottom you will be able to get the shortcode. Copy and paste that shortcode wherever you would like it displayed.
Birds Author Box
The great thing about this plugin is it will show your credentials through out your blog, at the end of each of your blog posts! From your WP dashboard, hover over Users and click on “Your Profile”. Fill out your nickname and make sure Display Public Name is set as Nickname. Scroll down and fill out the url’s for all the social media links you would like displayed. Fill out your biographical info and make sure you have a profile pic. Then press, Update Profile. Now hover over Users again and click on “Birds Author Box”. From there customize your author box look as you please.
Now SumoMe is an amazing, and very powerful plugin. You can do a lot with it, and if your blog starts to grow, there are premium features you can take advantage of with a paid subscription. For now we only need the free items. On the left side of your dashboard click on the link with the crown that says Sumo. Click on My Apps. For now I suggest just turning on the “Shares” app. You can customize it’s appearance and behavior as you please.
Add Social Share
From your WP dashboard click on Social Icons Share. Now this may seem repetitive so for some of you you may want to choose either between this app, or the SumoMe app. However for this particular blog I think it will look good to have both. After clickin on it, it will take you to it’s settings page. Click “enable”, and also click on “show on posts”. From there, customize as you please.
Now you won’t really need this plugin if you don’t have an email marketing platform yet. To learn more about email marketing, building your subscriber’s list and more, check out my post Email Marketing & How To Build Your Subscriber List. Now if you already have a list building service, then you from the Widget section, click on WP Subscribe and add it to your Sidebar of choice. I think it’s bet to put it on both your regular and post Sidebar sections. Simply fill out the info and follow the instructions to connect your service.
All In One Facebook Like Widget
From the widgets area, click on AIO Facebook widget. Add it to your desired area. I like to have it in the Primary Sidebar as well as the Posts Sidebar. Simply enter your profile/page name and make sure the width is 300 px. I like to title it “Like Us On Facebook”, but you can title it as you please. You have options to show the entire stream, etc. but I prefer it just the way it is, as showing the entire stream can cause problems especially for mobile users.
The great thing about this theme are the multiple sidebar options it has! Sidebars are important because they provide links to other content and to your advertisements. From your WP dashboard hover over Appearance, then click on “Widgets”. Now it’s up to you how exactly you want your different sidebars to look, but for a starting point I’ll give you an example. The following images shows what I put for my Sidebar, Hidden Sidebar, and Posts Sidebar.
In order to add widgets to the widget areas, you either drag and drop or click, and then assign to desired area.
Bonus: Ways To Monetize Your Site
WooCommerce + Printful Products
Now you have already downloaded the WooCommerce app, so the next thing to do is to register with Printful. Check out my Step By Step Tutorial to learn how to integrate WooCommerce and Printful into your WordPress site! After you’ve done that, you can now put products in your blog posts, in your sidebars, and of course you will have your own Shop page that displays your products!
Disclaimer: I do apologize however this particular theme will not work with WooCommerce unless you integrate it with a workaround. Please CLICK HERE to learn how to do so.
Amazon Affiliate Links
One of the first and most common places bloggers become affiliates at is with Amazon’s Affiliate Program. The reason for that is because they sell practically EVERYTHING. So whether you’re blogging about cameras, clothes, pet detergent, you name it, you can monetize your blog with Amazon. Simply sign up, fill out the info and you’ll have links and banners, and even store pages at your finger tips!
Google Adsense & Other Affiliate Networks
Google Adsense is another popular way to monetize your blog. It is one of the most profitable ways to earn automated income for your blog in all actuality. Simply go to Google Adsense Start Page fill out the info, and you are on your way. You will be placing ads in no time, it takes some practice, but you will figure it out quickly. Now there are other programs, and I will share with you two affiliate sites I use in creating profitable blogs. The first is FlexOffers, which is an Australian based affiliate network. Almost any product you can think of is offered here. And secondly I use ShareASale. Both programs are great.
Email Marketing & List Building With Aweber
I personally use Aweber for my listbuilding and email marketing needs. You’ve probably heard it before but if not, I am here to assure you that even in 2017, the money is in the list! Build that list, because it is an asset you can monetize for the rest of your online career! Check out my post on Email Marketing & List Building to learn more. If you are already convinced than check out Aweber now and sign up!
In the end, how to make a profitable blog is simple, easy and more importantly very fulfilling. I hope this step by step tutorial on how to make a profitable blog helps you begin your blogging journey! If you’re anything like me, you may even become addicted to blogging! I started off from a tutorial very much like this, talking about how to start a profitable blog and following the step by step instructions provided. It has allowed me to do what I love all while making money at the same time. So until next time, the hustle never ends!