So you want to blog and make money? Great choice. How about for free? Even better, but free doesn’t come easy. Here is how to create a blog for free and make money.
How to Create a Free Blog and Make Money: 5 Steps to Succeed
Did anyone ever mention there is no such thing as free money? Well, it’s a bit true. You’ll likely have to compensate something along the way to get something in return.
That’s okay. You need to start somewhere to increase your income. I’ve highlighted several ways on how to make money in my free side hustle course.
Blogging for me has been a life-changer. I’ve made over $300,000 from blogging. Much of that has come in just a 1-year span. All doing that part-time.
For my site Financial Wolves, I was able to scale it to over 100,000 monthly pageviews in less than 6 months.
I’ve heard from several people that want to start a blog but don’t have money to start one.
I don’t want that to prohibit you from starting one. You can start a blog for “free.” You’ll likely have to hustle just a bit more to get where you want to be.
Blogging makes for a great online business and is one of my favorite ways to make extra money. It doesn’t cost much to get started but offers great upside potential. A blog can become a six-figure, seven-figure or EVEN an eight-figure business.
How Much Does a Real Blog Cost to Start
In order to make money blogging, you need to start a site the right way. That means DO NOT create a site that is “MyCoolAwesomeBlog.Wordpress.com” or “MyCoolAwesomeBlog.Blogspot.com”
What does a real site mean?
Here are a few key points to consider:
- Set up your own domain name (here’s a few tips on how to come up with a blog name): There are several hosting options that will give you a free domain name.
- Use your own hosting and your own site (that’s how you capture the most upside potential to make money)
- Build a brandable name and logo (you should be viewed as an authority and be trustworthy): You can create a logo with Canva easily on your own.
- Use a simple theme for your website (site speed wins)
- Have an email list. There are a ton of free options up to a certain subscriber count.
So, what does it actually cost? It only costs $83.40 to start a REAL blog. Here’s how it breaks down:
- Domain name will come free with hosting
- Hosting you can start for as low as $3.95/month or what I recommend is a plan for $83.40 for 12 months.
- A logo can be created by you using Canva or any free logo maker out there
- Themes for your blog are available for free via WordPress
- Create a free email list option with something like Mailchimp
The first step is starting up with reliable hosting with Bluehost. You’ll get a free domain name and it only costs $83.40 for a year of an opportunity that could become a six-figure or even seven-figure business.
I’ll show you how it won’t cost you a single dime to get started.
Setting Up a Self-Hosted Blog for Free [5 Steps to Follow]
If you know anything about me, I’m all about side hustles. Financial Wolves is about creating your own path to financial success.
Think about it. Wolves create their journey through the snow to get to where they want to be. It’s all about putting in hard work, being persistent and you’ll end up in a point of success.
So, here I’ll set up how you can make money from a blog without putting up any of your own money…
Sound like a dream? It’s not. It will require more time and effort to get to a successful income from blogging, but we can get there.
Together. Let’s go through what it takes step-by-step.
Step 1: Earn Money from Sources Outside of Blogging
Okay, to get the money for our blog hosting fees and the domain name we need to raise some capital by doing quick, easy work.
There are a handful of sites that will GIVE you money simply by signing up.
Here are the steps to earn your $83.40 to start your blog.
Sign up for Rakuten Rewards
That cash back can be deposited directly to a PayPal account.
What’s not to love about that? As you earn that money, keep it in your PayPal account to save for your REAL money making blog.
Fill in with Survey Sites
Survey sites are not going to make you rich. But it’s easy cash. It’s work that requires no skill to get started and no cost to get started.
But it will help you save enough money to sign up for hosting to start a REAL blog.
One site that I recommend is Survey Junkie. You can earn up to $50 per survey.
There’s a ton of other ways to earn quick cash by filling out surveys. Actually, getting money on the internet is not as spammy as you think.
It’s pretty simple if you need money. If you have tried Survey Junkie and looking for other options, here are my top picks:
Top Survey Options to Earn
- InboxDollars: Make money in a variety of ways and get a $10 instant bonus. Claim InboxDollars Bonus Now
- Swagbucks: Make money watching videos, taking surveys, shopping online and more. Join Swagbucks Now & Get a $5 Bonus
- LifePoints: Quickly becoming one of the best survey sites out there. Earn up to $10 per survey. Join LifePoints Now For a 10 point Bonus
- Survey Junkie: Earn up to $50 per survey with one of the highest-paying survey sites on the web. Join Survey Junkie Now
Consider Posting a Gig on Fiverr
You can always ask someone for money to start your blog for free… But that usually doesn’t go over well. I’d suggest that you put in the extra effort to get $90+ from the above tasks.
It’s pretty easy enough and works with the click of a button.
If you want volume (there will likely be competition too), try these top-selling gigs on Fiverr to earn some real cash right away.
If you need other freelancing options, there are plenty of ways. You can do basic data entry or other items on Fiverr to earn some quick cash.
Need a blog name? Here are some ideas on how to come up with a blog name.
Also, use this niche blog list of 35 ideas to build a blog that fits your personality the best.
Step 2: Start the Blog Setup Process
Meaning your site won’t get slowed down for no reason.
I think the best way is to keep your options open.
You never know, you may want a freelance website to promote your services down the road.
In order to help guide you through the setup process, I created a video on how to sign up for Bluehost and launch a WordPress website.
I also included written instructions after the video if you prefer to read them.
Here is a step-by-step guide to getting started with WordPress on Bluehost.
Checkout should look like this and you’ll want to select the 12 month plan. Uncheck all the other add-ons. Those aren’t entirely necessary.
Step 3: Register with a Free Email List Service
The real money is in an email list with blogging. It’s a great way to directly interact with your subscribers but also navigate people to the right pages on your site.
You simply can’t assume that everyone knows everything about your site. By navigating to the right pages, you can convert affiliate sales at a better rate based on their interests.
The good news is that to start capturing email leads is that it won’t cost you a dime until you hit a certain subscriber threshold of course.
An example of what I used is Mailchimp.
That is my take on starting a real blog for free and making money from it. To me, that is the best possible route to take. By doing the above, you’ll be in control of your website and in control of your outcomes.
That’s the motto of Financial Wolves.
There are some alternate ways to create a blog for free and make money along the way. But, you won’t have full control of your outcomes like the above.
If you want to learn how to build an audience the right way, check out my free email course.
Step 4: Create Your Logo and Some Initial Designs
I use Canva to create designs on the go and through my computer. It’s completely free to use and you can use their templates for logos to get started.
Canva has logo templates, Facebook, YouTube and every other type of template you can imagine. So, you’re in good hand to creating some initial designs for your blog.
You’ll be on your way to a logo and full brand in no-time.
Again, with blogging, we want as much control as possible. We want control over our destiny, designs and brand.
Having your own hosting provider with Bluehost and your own logos means you are in control. If you use some free hosting, the host provider is in control.
Step 5: Start Writing Content
If you have limited funds to start a blog, the content that you write AFTER you start your blog should generate revenue.
This is why I created a free ad revenue calculator to help you determine the value of a blog post before you write it.
Here is a video on how to use and think about blog post profitability.
Finally, once you’ve determined your topics to write about.
Use a blog post planner to have relevancy with your site and ensure you write content that will make your site viewed as an authority on the particular niche.
Step 6: Promote Your Content and Build an Audience
When you first start your blog, you can not assume that people will see your content.
I think it’s so counter-intuitive on the internet. People get so upset about independent publishers (aka bloggers) promoting content but yet they will share republished/repurposed news that comes from massive media outlets.
Also, people pay for Facebook ads to be all over your news feed (hey, Grant Cardone or Tai Lopez). Yes, they are paying for those ads but they are also forcing products down people’s throats.
I love the people that have a personal blog that has the hustle to share, promote and build their brand. You need to do some level of that to get the wheels turning on your brand and to capture an audience.
But do that with strategy. Plan content that can capture your audience’s attention but also solve a problem they face.
See Related: How to Become a Content Creator
Step 7: Monetize
Finally, there are a ton of ways to monetize. You should likely determine the monetization event before you write the content.
But if you don’t. That’s okay! Sometimes it’s important to write and understand how blogging works.
No worries if you don’t have a very defined monetization strategy to start. You can use display ads to help recoup the cost that you paid upfront to start the blog.
Here are some common ad networks for beginner bloggers:
- Google Adsense
These are the best ad networks for bloggers. Just from display ads you can get all your hosting money back. From there, you are playing with house money!
You can then sell your site on a platform like Flippa to make additional cash.
Other Options to Start a Free Blog
Still not convinced that you can start your blog with no out of pocket costs?
Here are some other relevant ways to create a free blog (if you do you won’t be in control, you’ll be at the mercy of the social media sites algorithm):
- 9 Key Tips to Start a Blog on Instagram
- How to Make Money on TikTok
- What are the Best Blogging Platforms to Make Money?
- How to Make Money on Medium
Social media is great but when you build a blog the real way you’ll earn, grow and also have social media accounts to monetize.
It’s simply the only way to build a real online business.
A blog makes for an excellent side hustle that can be navigated into a passive income stream or a full online business.
So, why would you sacrifice credibility by creating a blog that doesn’t have the look and feel of an established brand?
Do it the right way even if it means that you have to go through a few extra steps to get there.
Are you ready to create a free blog and make money along the way?
- How to Start a Niche Blog [7 Steps to Make Real Money]
- Best Blogging Tools to Boost Your Income
- What is the Difference Between a Blog and a Website?