This post provides a step by step guide for how to start a blog in 5 minutes and start making money with AdSense…
The Truth About Blogging
The truth is that the majority of bloggers do not make any money from blogging…
Indeed, it’s estimated that roughly 70% of bloggers make zero money.
In other words, blogging is like writing.
Success as a writer is rare…
The process is slow and painful… And rejection is the norm.
Do You Need Any Experience To Be A Blogger?
You do not need a degree or any training to start a blog.
You can follow the simple instructions below…
Then you just need to write. And write and write and write.
Should I Start A Blog?
If you want to write, then you should most assuredly start a blog.
Do you have something you want to share with strangers or your children or family or have just always dreamed of being an author?
Then you should absolutely blog… 100%.
In fact, you should not only blog… You should follow Seth Godin’s advice and blog every single day.
Why should you blog every day?
Because the most successful writers (or bloggers) are those who have a disciplined mindset and work ethic about their writing.
They write every day without fail.
They are professionals.
If you want to make money from your blog, you must treat yourself and your blog seriously.
You must be a professional.
The One Difference Between Being A Writer And Being A Blogger
The one major difference between being a writer/author and being a blogger is technology.
Everything else is the same.
The fact is that you have a better chance of making money as a blogger than you have as a writer.
According to Wikipedia there are around 300,000 books published in the U.S. every year…
Of those, less than 1% ever sell more than 250 copies per year or 2,000 copies over their lifetime. If you sell through a publisher, you might get royalties of 10-15% per book…
So, say you get lucky and get 15% per book and sell 10,000 books per year at $29.95 each…
You would earn $44,925 per year as a writer.
According to the BLS, this is slightly LESS than the annual salary of a “professional writer”, which is around $60,000 per year.
Whereas as a blogger you can use AdSense or sell things on your blog to make a small amount of money very quickly.
Or sell e-books or your own information products. Doing this you can actually make a lot of money, if you are lucky.
But at first you should expect to earn nothing or almost nothing.
Because making money isn’t the point of writing.
You should just write.
My Personal Blogging Story
In 2006 I was working for a real estate fund in New York…
I was pretty sad all the time.
I felt like my job was not meaningful to me at all… My job at the time was to manage commercial real estate properties in different states. I collected rents from tenants, and negotiated leases.
Sometimes I got to write letters to our fund investors to tell them about their real estate fund investment performance.
On breaks I would read “Success Magazine” and listen to self-help audiobooks like “Think And Grow Rich” and “Secrets of the Millionaire Mind” while walking up and down the fire stairs to the 40th floor of my building where my office was located.
On larks I would buy domain names.
The domain names were like placeholders for my dreams.
Each one represented a “brilliant” idea I had that involved solving some problem in technology or real estate…
I would buy the domains and then they’d sit there at crappy Network Solutions1 collecting digital dust.
These were probably the worst domain names in the world.
In some netherworld of digital asset speculation I would buy keyword-rich country code TLD domains like:
I literally bought these exact crappy domains… And many more that were just as as bad.
And then I would drive around in my used Honda Accord listening to Success Magazine CDs with Darren Hardy and dream about turning one of my domain names into an online business.2
One day in the middle of one of my horrible domain name buying binges, I bought a domain name called “Green-Buildings.com”.
It was a “premium” domain.
A premium domain is a domain name that someone owns but wants to resell for a profit.
I think I paid $300 for it…
Like I wrote above, I was a little desperate and addicted to buying domain names.
Green-Buildings.com called out to me, though.
As I mentioned I worked at a real estate fund…
Sometime earlier my boss had handed me an article on “green building”.
The article was about Adobe’s LEED certified headquarters in California…
Essentially, Adobe had just invested a lot of money in making its buildings “green” meaning that they had made them energy efficient.
So, they were more energy efficient, therefore better for the planet, and they were also saving a lot of money.
When I read the Adobe article, a lightbulb popped up over my head and I paraphrased Gordon Gecko:
Green is good.
The Green-Buildings.com domain name made sense to me…
I had a real strategy.
I would leverage my job at the real estate fund and make the buildings I managed “green” and write about it on my blog.
Housing and Financial Market Crash of 2008
In 2008 the real estate housing market and financial market crashed…
People in New York who worked in finance looked like surprised, cornered, starving animals.
It was no shock when our office closed and I was laid off.
I immediately had to cut our expenses because my family could no longer afford our mortgage in Westchester County, NY…
So we sold our house.
We found a smaller home, about half the size, in Connecticut and moved there.
However, with my blog I was able to avoid being ruined by the financial crisis…
I was able to blog out of a tiny office in my basement…
Creating a Blog
Today Green-Buildings.com is built on WordPress.
However ten years ago I did not know how to build a blog.
At the time I got lucky and connected with a friend who knew how to build websites from scratch.
He helped me build the blog and then I wrote blog posts on green building and LEED. I would do keyword research and market my articles through a combination of long-tail and high-demand keyword Search Engine Optimization (SEO).3
We started getting traffic to the site.
One thing led to another and we were able to convert visitors to the website into buyers of information products.
I learned that by writing about topics I was interested in, and selling information products through an affiliate relationship, I could still make enough to almost support my family.
In retrospect, I don’t know what I would have done if I hadn’t learned to blog.
Through a combination of affiliate programs, advertising and creating my own e-commerce information products blogging has generated over $1 million in online revenue since the start.
It’s Still Very Hard
As I mentioned above, though, it has been a hard journey…
Living in Connecticut isn’t cheap.
There have been many ups and downs to be sure.
Blogging has NOT been a path dotted with unicorns and rainbows
One of the biggest benefits has been the feeling of having a small incremental revenue stream that is generated each month.
However, perhaps a bigger benefit is psychological in the sense that I know for a fact that it is actually possible to make money from blogging.
How to Start a Blog on WordPress
As described above, learning to create a blog truly changed my life…
It changed my life because blogging allowed me to generate revenue (from an e-commerce blog) by writing articles that answered questions and solved problems for people.
This post will walk you through getting your blog set up in no time, using WordPress on Bluehost, where your blog will live.
These instructions use Bluehost as an example, but you can use any hosting service you want.
The following process makes it very easy to get started… In fact, if you follow the steps below, you can complete this process in about 5 minutes…
Then you can get working on making money with your blog.
Click here to get started, then follow the step by step instructions below to start a blog.
How to Start a Blog and Make Money With AdSense
The following steps will take you from start to finish in setting up a blog and installing AdSense on it.
Step 1: Visit Bluehost.com to Get Started
The first step to creating your WordPress blog is to go to Bluehost and click the green “Get Started Now” button. This will allow you to choose your hosting plan.
Step 2: Choose Your Hosting Plan
The second step for you to start a blog is to choose the hosting plan that you want.
For a new blog, the $3.95 per month hosting plan should just fine. This is about the cost of one Starbucks latte per month.
Of course, you can choose a more sophisticated hosting plan… but it’s not necessary. You may upgrade at any time to a hosting plan with more bells and whistles.
The $3.95 plan includes 5 email accounts. This is a very nice feature because you can create a custom email address (i.e. firstname.lastname@example.org) for yourself if you want. Other web hosts, such as GoDaddy, will charge you extra for for email.
Bluehost is not only less expensive than other hosting providers, but also it is great when it comes to certain making it easy for beginners. Also, some of the features Bluehost offers are built in at checkout and will help you rank in Google, as I mention below in “Step 4“.
Step 3: Choose or Connect Your Domain Name (Follow Steps for A or B)
The following are steps for either (A) registering your new domain name with Bluehost.com or (B) pointing an existing domain name that you already have to work with Bluehost.
A) I Need a Domain Name:
If you don’t have a domain name, Bluehost will provide one for you for FREE with your hosting package.
Just enter the domain name you want from Bluehost “New Domain” with Bluehost… If it’s available just hit “Next” and they will provide it for you for FREE as part of your purchase.
Bluehost will do all the work of assigning your new domain to your blog as part of the setup.
B) I Already Have a Domain Name.
If you already have a domain name, such as from GoDaddy, just follow the directions below for adding your domain name to your Bluehost hosting account.
Whichever registrar you used to get your domain name (eg. GoDaddy, Name.com, Register.com, etc.) your name servers must be updated to point your domain to Bluehost.
If your domain is already registered with Bluehost, log into your account on Bluehost.com and check out Modifying Name Servers for step-by-step instructions.
Pointing Your Domain to Bluehost from GoDaddy.com
Here are some example instructions for updating your DNS (domain name system) records if you bought your domain through GoDaddy:
If your domain name is registered with GoDaddy but hosted through another company (or on a server you control), do the following:
- Go to the DNS Management page.
- Select the domain name you want to use for your blog.
- On the DNS Management page, under Nameservers, click Change.
- Under Choose your new nameserver type, select Custom.
- Enter the custom nameservers your hosting provider gave you and click Save.
The new nameservers you will use for Bluehost are:
Note: After updating your nameservers, allow 4 to 8 hours for other networks to access information for .com and .net domain names, and allow 24 to 48 hours for other networks to access information for all other domain extensions.
Once you have completed the process of setting up your Bluehost account, you can assign the GoDaddy domain name to your account. Just click “Domains” and click on “Assign” to enter the domain name you want to use. Follow the steps and your domain will be pointed correctly to Bluehost.
Step 4: Create Your Account and Customize Your Hosting Package
The fourth step for you to start a blog is to create your account by entering in your name and email address, etc.
Most importantly, you can customize your hosting package under “Package Information”. I recommend choosing the options I’ve selected below:
- Domain privacy protection
- Site Backup Pro
- Comodo PositiveSSL Bundle
Domain Privacy Protection: This option will make your personal information that is associated with your domain private. This way, you are less likely to receive marketing calls from people who are trying to sell you things like SEO services, etc. from India or wherever.
Site Backup Plan: This option will keep a backup of your website, database and code on a regular basis. This is critical because once you start blogging, you will want to have a backup of all your work.
Comodo PositiveSSL Bundle: This option provides you with the green padlock icon. The green padlock indicates to your readers that your site is secure. An SSL certificate SSL is short for “secure sockets layer”. Google announced that, starting early in 2017, any site that does not use SSL will be listed in search results as “non-secure”. This also translates to ranking less well, all things being equal, in Google search results pages (SERPs) than a site that is using SSL.
These choices are optional, but are smart to consider. You’ll thank yourself later for making the small investment in your blog from the beginning.
Step 5: Congratulations! Time to Set a New Password
Congrats! Set a new password. If you’re not already aware, password best practices have changed.
The best passwords are long strings of words or phrases that you won’t have trouble remembering, but that other people won’t be able to guess. An example might be “auntednasmeatloafisawesome” or something like that… FYI, a 26 letter password such as this would take 5 quintillion years to crack!
You can check how long it would take for a brute force attack to crack your password here.
Step 6: Pick Your Theme
Pick a theme. You can do this now, or later. It’s a good rule of thumb to write 10 blog posts before publishing your blog. So you can always wait to find the right theme later. Also, at any time in the future, you can play around with options for your theme, make changes to it, etc.
If you want to skip this step, just click “Skip This Step” at the bottom of the page.
Step 7: Start Blogging
Congrats! Your blog is now up and running.
Now let’s go over how you can start earning money from your blog posts as visitors start coming to your blog.
Step 8: Incorporate AdSense On Your Blog
Reliable passive income streams for new bloggers are hard to find, but AdSense is still one of them…
Even though many people use ad blockers, AdSense is still a great choice for making money as a beginning blogger.
Indeed, if you’re a new to blogging, AdSense may be one of the few ways to earn some extra money while you build a following…
Initially it will probably be just a few pennies.
But as I mentioned above, the point of creating a blog is to write.
What is AdSense?
AdSense is free software from Google that places ads on your blog automatically.
AdSense reads the content of the blog posts on your website and places relevant pay per click advertisements in the text.
Each time a reader clicks on an ad on your blog, you earn a little bit of money.5
Earning Passive Income With AdSense and Blogging
Blogging is one of the best ways to develop a daily writing habit.
Indeed, marketing guru Seth Godin suggests that daily blogging can be one of the best choices you ever make as an entrepreneur.
And now that you have created your blog you can easily follow these instructions to create and incorporate a free AdSense account and place ads on your blog.
It will take about 24 hours for the AdSense ads to start to appear on your blog…
But don’t worry, they’ll appear.
Like anything you are new to, you won’t make much money at the start.
At the beginning your earnings will only be a few pennies…
But if you don’t need the money to live on, and can make the disciplined choices I describe below, penny after penny of AdSense income can compound over time.
Indeed, even pennies of AdSense revenue can grow to be like the proverbial tiny “acorns” that grow to become a giant oaks.
Follow these instructions for reinvesting your AdSense income using Acorns.
When Will I Get Paid?
AdSense has a minimum threshold before Google will pay you for the ads on your blog.
Google requires you to have a minimum of $100 in your AdSense account before they will distribute funds to you.
Even if you’re a disciplined blogger, at the beginning it can seem like an eternity before you reach the $100 threshold that Google requires to receive a payout.6
But whether you’re young or approaching retirement age, if you’re just starting out, don’t think about the money.
Just work on developing a habit of daily blogging.
- I hate Network Solutions and would NEVER recommend using them as a domain registrar… But remember this was circa 2008.
- My car was weird and rusty and beige and it vibrated a lot… At stoplights the car would stall unless the engine was revving at around 3,000 RPM… A car isn’t supposed to idle like that. I swear I am not making this up… One time I picked up a friend of mine and when he got in the passenger seat he looked around and said,
“Dude, I’m not going to get electrocuted am I?”
- SEO was easy back then. Indeed, you could literally put up a webpage and optimize it and Google would rank it almost immediately if you knew what you were doing.
- This is how Pat Flynn got started.
- The amount of money you earn per click depends on the type of ad that is being served and how competitive the topic is among advertisers. Advertisers compete in a bidding process to have their ads seen throughout the online AdSense network across the web.
- Of course, Google benefits from this. Google doesn’t have an incentive to reduce the threshold for the many millions of small accounts that have not yet earned enough to be paid out because, essentially, by letting Google hold your money you are giving Google an interest free loan on your earned, but unpaid, AdSense earnings.