How To Start A Personal Finance Blog
Have you decided to start a personal finance blog but you’re unsure about how to get started on your journey? If that sounds like you, you’re in the right place!
Today, I’m going to guide you step by step through the process of setting up a personal finance blog. Blogging has changed my life for the better and allowed me to make thousands of dollars every month with my two blogs while doing something that I love.
In fact, the income that I make from my blogs has enabled me to pursue blogging full-time and not work a 9-5!
Whether you want to start a personal finance blog just to document your journey with money, or you want to build it up to a business and make an income from it, starting a personal finance blog is a fantastic idea.
Now, let’s get into it.
To start a personal finance blog, here’s a few things that you need to get clear about. The most important ones are:
- Your Vision & What You Want To Blog About
- Your Blog Name
- Your “Why” – What’s Going To Keep You Going?
- Your Hosting
- Your Theme + Design
- Your Plugins
After this, you’re ready to get started writing your blog posts for the world.
Now, let’s dive a bit deeper into each and every one of these!
1. What’s Your Vision & What Do You Want To Blog About?
Before we dive into the technical stuff, you first want to get clear about what your vision for your blog is. What do you want to achieve with it and what do you want to blog about? What do you want to be known for?
In personal finance, there’s many niches that you can choose from. These include (but are not limited to):
- Real estate investing
- Stock investing
- Saving money
- Debt repayment
- Frugality / Budgeting
You can go ahead and choose a very small niche, or you can choose to go broader.
My tip is to start out broad and niche down once you know what your audience likes the most OR when you know what you like writing about the most.
You’ll never know before you try things, so I encourage you to try blogging about many topics within the personal finance niche!
Finally, I encourage you to choose a topic that you’re at least a little bit passionate about. Blogging is a long-term game and it’s hard to stay focused on your end goal if you’re writing about something that you’re not passionate about.
2.Your Blog Name
After brainstorming your niche, you want to create a few name options for your website. Now, I know that it feels like coming up with the perfect blog name is super important, but it really isn’t.
Why? Your blog name isn’t going to be what drives people to read your content, it’s the content itself that drives more people to your website!
With that said, there’s a few things that you’ll want to pay attention to when choosing your blog name.
- It should be short
- It should be related to your blog type and niche
- It should be a .com domain. (Check availability here!) Some bloggers in the personal finance niche also use domain names with .eu or other suffixes, but I wouldn’t recommend it as my first choice. A domain name ending with .com is still perceived to be the most authoritative one.
- Consider using your real name as your domain
Also, you will definitely want to get a professional domain name ending with .com (or if you want, another suffix like .de or .eu) and not a free domain like yourwebsite.wordpress.com or yourwebsite.wix.com. These blogs instantly give off “hobby blogger” vibes and readers will not have the same trust in you as they would with a professional looking domain.
Also, hobby blogs with a domain like yourwebsite.wordpress.com are not seen as an authority by Google, so you won’t end up getting rankings and traffic from Google. More about this later!
Now, you’ll notice that many domain names that you come up with have already been taken. But don’t despair!
I would suggest brainstorming blog names for a maximum of couple of days, checking what is available and then just sticking with the best option that is available.
It’s better to start a personal finance blog today and have a blog that’s up and running, than it is to have a blog in 3 months from now. Besides, you can always change the name of your blog in the future if you come up with something better.
3. Your “Why” – What’s Going To Keep You Going?
Now, the final thing that you want to identify before getting started with the technical stuff is identifying your “why”.
It may not feel like the most crucial thing right now, but it’s actually really important. The reason is that you WILL encounter some struggles on the way of becoming a successful blogger. Understanding your WHY will keep you pushing forward and propel you out of the dark times.
Some reasons may include….
- Share your journey to financial freedom with others. Maybe you’ve been dreaming of financial freedom and you want to document your journey to other members of the FIRE movement
- Keep yourself accountable. Maybe you’re looking to invest/save more of your money and you want to make your financials public to keep yourself accountable
- Become an authority in your niche. Perhaps you want to become an authority in your niche and be known on the internet for your advice. Many bloggers like Pat Flynn have used their platforms to become wildly successful public speakers and published authors in their niche!
- Make more money. Maybe you want to earn a little bit of extra money on the side, or maybe you want to quit your job to become a full-time blogger. Both are possible!
- You want a creative outlet. Having a creative outlet is super freeing and fun. Blogging is an amazing way to get some mental relief. Perhaps your friends and family are tired of hearing about your genius ideas about pension reforms, and you just want a creative outlet to express your ideas.
There are a lot more reasons why you might want to start a personal finance blog, but it’s important that you know what your reason is.
This is because building a successful and profitable blog will not happen overnight: there will be times when you want to quit and you will need to put in a lot of hard work.
At the end of it, I promise it will all be worth it! But now, just know that knowing why you want to start a personal finance blog is important.
4. Finally, Let’s Talk About Your Hosting.
Now that we’ve covered everything else, let’s talk about laying the foundations of your blog. What is hosting anyway?
Hosting is when you pay a webserver to maintain your site, so that other people can visit it.
You’ve probably heard of free blogging platforms that offer free hosting, such as Wix, Squarespace and Blogger. The truth is, even though these platforms are “free”, they’re actually going to cost you a lot of money in the long run.
Why? Because you can’t monetize a free blog nearly as well as a self-hosted blog. You’ll be lucky if a free blogging platform even allows you to use affiliate links.
Another reason is because they aren’t seen as professional: they’re not seen as an authority site neither by your peers nor by Google.
This means that you won’t get as much organic traffic. And on top of that, you’ll have ads on your site that you can’t get rid of.
The list goes on and on.
So, if you’re serious about getting traffic to your blog, becoming an authority or making money blogging, you need a self-hosted blog. But which one of them?
Exclusive Bluehost Offer
I always recommend Bluehost for beginner bloggers. The reason why is because they are the fastest, most reliable host and they take away all technical aspects of starting a personal finance blog.
They have 1-click WordPress installation, which means that the guys at Bluehost will take care of everything that happens on the back-end, and you can focus on designing your blog and creating content. Super easy!
Bluehost is also the #1 recommended web hosting by WordPress.org. They power over 2 million websites worldwide and have one of the most popular and affordable hosting options.
So, to recap, this is what you’ll get with Bluehost:
- 1 Year Premium Bluehost Hosting $2.95/month
- Free domain ($15 Value!)
- Free SSL Security
- Unmetered Bandwidth
- 1 Click WordPress Installation
- Plus Unlimited Web Space On Plus/Prime plan
- 30 Day Money Back Guarantee
So, if you’re ready to finally get started with setting up your blog, head over to Bluehost to register your domain.
Make sure you use my special discounted link that is just for my readers – this will save you up to 60% on your purchase! You can start a blog for just $2.95 /month and get a free domain ($15 value)!
3 Top Reasons To Choose Bluehost
- Cheapest prices: Their prices are incredibly cheap! You’re looking at roughly $2.95 a month for hosting or less than $36 for a year of hosting including a FREE domain name ($15 value)! Seriously, it doesn’t get much better than that does it?
- Fastest user experience: Not only are they one of the most affordable hosting providers around, they are also one of the FASTEST.
For example, Bluehost‘s average loading speed is 419 ms vs SiteGround’s 722 ms. Bluehost will also be able to carry around 500,000 monthly visitors on your website, compared to 10,000 visitors on SiteGround.
- Excellent customer service: No matter how great your host is, you’re going to run into some tech issues at one point or another.
That’s why it’s super important to choose a host who offers incredible and FAST customer service. The average chat response time on Bluehost is 5 minutes, so you can rest assured that your blog issues will be solved quickly and efficiently.
How To Start A Personal Finance Blog: The Step By Step Guide
Step 1: Pick Your Bluehost Plan
To get started with setting up your own personal finance blog today, head over to Bluehost to register your domain. Make sure to use my special discounted link that is just for my readers – this will save you up to 60% on your purchase!
You can start your blog for $2.95 and get a free domain ($15 value)!
Click on the “get started now” button and let’s get started!
Now, select a hosting plan that fits your needs. Normally, if you are just starting out I recommend the basic plan.
For 99.9% of the cases, starting out with a basic plan will work perfectly well. However, if you are really serious about blogging and want more resources & power go with their Prime or Pro plan.
Keep in mind that you can always upgrade later if you more space!
Step 2: Register Your Domain Name
Bluehost gives you a FREE domain name, which is awesome. (This normally costs $15!)
Type the domain name of your choice in the bar on the left to check out if your domain name is available – if it is, great, you’re one step closer to creating your site!
If you’ve already bought a domain from a third party provider, you can set it up with Bluehost using the bar on the right-hand side. Super simple!
The next few steps are about filling out your account and billing details.
Using my link will save you a total of 63% if you choose the 36 month option.
You’ll get the biggest bang for your buck if you choose the 60 month or 36 month options, but you’ll still get amazing savings even if you choose the 24 month or 12 month option.
I would actually recommend sticking to the 24 month option, because you want to try out blogging at first to see if you even like it. Also, your blog might grow exponentially in the next 2 years, which means that after that, you might want to upgrade to a bigger hosting plan.
In this step you can also choose any package extras that you might want. I HIGHLY recommend getting domain privacy protection.
This will protect your site from hackers and keep your personal address private. You can skip the other extras (if you want to add them on later, you can always do this.)
Next, review your package information. Bluehost charges you for the entire year up front – this is how you’re able to get such a good deal!
And…..you’re done – congratulations! Your hosting account has now been created. Bluehost will now send you an email confirming your account and FTP details.
The next step for you is to finalise your account and create a password. Now, you’re almost done with the technical stuff!
Step 3: Install WordPress
Bluehost makes this step super simple.
WordPress will automatically be installed on your hosting account after you’ve completed set-up. WordPress is the platform that you’ll be using to create your blog content and it’s separate from your hosting account.
This is unique among hosting providers and it’s the number one reason that I recommend Bluehost for beginner bloggers – everything is as easy as it can possibly be.
Now, it’s time to pick a free theme. You don’t want to spend too much time doing this – it’s just to get you started. You can change and update your theme at any time after this step.
Now that you’ve picked your theme, let’s get started with WordPress!
Bluehost will ask you if this site is going to be personal or business. To be honest, it doesn’t really matter what you pick at this point, you can pick either personal or business. I’ve your goal is to start making money with your blog, I suggest you stick to business.
Now you’ll see Bluehost and WordPress integrating. You can manage blog posts, pages and plugins here. (I’ll come back to the plugins that you need later on in this post – don’t worry about it now!)
Now, if you are ready to launch – simply click ‘launch your website’! If you would rather build your website privately before sharing it with the world, you can skip this for now.
At this point, BNluehost will ask you to decide on a site title and site description – I recommend sticking to your blog name and a tag line that is descriptive of your website.
(For reference, mine is: Millenieal Money Talk – Helping You On Your Way To Financial Freedom.)
That’s it! You’re all done with installing your site on WordPress. You officially have a blog – wohoo!
You’ve officially registered your domain, your host and set up your site on WordPress. That’s fantastic!
Now, let’s step away from the technical stuff and start looking at the design of your website.
5. Your Theme: Design Your Site
When you start a WordPress blog, you can either choose to have a free theme or a paid theme.
The advantage of having a paid theme is that you can customize it more, add premium features, get continuous updates and have a unique looking blog.
Themes aren’t that expensive, so if you have the budget for it, I would 100% recommend getting one. However, in the beginning, you can get by with a free theme as well.
The theme that I use on both of my blogs is called Divi. It’s one of the most popular WordPress themes in the world with 1,4 million active users in the world!
Divi is great theme for both new bloggers and advanced bloggers alike. What I love about it the most is that it has a drag and drop builder. It makes it super easy to create dynamic pages that look exactly like you want them to look like: you can create a professional services site OR a great blog with it. It’s very versatile.
It’s also great for advanced bloggers because you can create advanced features such as sales pages and other landing pages without having to pay anything extra (with other themes, you would need to purchase a landing page template, which would be at least $79, if not more.)
Other Options: Free WordPress Themes
If you want to start out with a free theme, that’s perfectly fine too! There are plenty of options for you to choose from in the WordPress dashboard. Here are a few of my favorites:
6. Install Basic Plugins
Now, you’re essentially ready to start blogging! However, I recommend installing a few plugins before you start writing your first blog post. You might be wondering: what the heck are plugins?
Well, they’re tiny snippets of code that will make your blog run better and faster. Here’s a few that I recommend installing. By the way, they’re all completely free!
Yoast SEO. This is the go-to plugin for search engine optimisation. By utilising the tools that this plugin offers, you are more likely to rank higher on Google for keywords that matter to your niche. Yoast SEO also allows you to create meta tags, optimise your titles, and create a sitemap for Google.
W3 Total Cache. This Plugin will speed up your website by creating saved copies of your website, saving WordPress from having to generate them for every site. This cuts down the work that your hosting server has to do and ultimately makes your website run a lot faster.
EWWW Image Optimizer. Optimising images is essential for great website speed! Adding big images to your blog posts can slow your website a ton, so it’s essential to properly size and compress your images. If they aren’t properly formatted before you upload them to WordPress, they will take up more space than necessary. This plugin is so good that I’ve upgraded to the premium version!
Lazy Load by WP Rocket. This plugin is essential for bloggers who are planning to include a lot of images in their posts. What this plugin does is that it only loads pictures on a post as the user scrolls down a page – speeding up the loading time a lot.
This improves the user experience on your site and makes it less likely that people will click away from your site.
Akismet Anti-Spam. This plugin will provide protection against hackers and spammers – better be safe than sorry.
UpdraftPlus – Backup/Restore. This one is a MUST. UpdraftPlus creates automatic backups of your site on autopilot, so that if anything goes wrong, you can just restore your website with the touch of a button. There’s nothing worse than losing your whole site to a cyber attack, or trying out something new with your website that ends up completely destroying it.
Google Analytics. Remember to sign up with Google Analytics and connect it to your website. This is by far the most detailed analytics data provider that there is. Once you have Google Analytics set up, go ahead and install Google Analytics for WordPress by MonsterInsights. This is a light plugin that won’t slow your site down.
Open in New Window Plugin. This is a great plugin to encourage people to stay on your site. It will open external windows in new tabs, meaning that your site will remain open.
Really Simple SSL. Don’t have an SSL certificate yet? No problem. This nifty plugin will take care of it for you. (Having an SSL security is essential for your website to show up on Google! If you signed up to hosting with Bluehost, you will automatically get a free SSL certificate.)
Classic Editor. WordPress recently upgraded their platform to a new system called “Gutenberg”, which is quite confusing not only for new bloggers, but old bloggers who are used to having the classic WordPress look. Secondly, not all blog themes are compatible with the new Gutenberg, which can be very irritating.
The Classic Editor plugin takes care of all of this and provides a more seamless experience inside WordPress.
These are the best essential WordPress plugins to get you started growing your blog. Remember that less is more – having too many plugins will slow down your site and that’s something you definitely do NOT want.
6.Start Building Your Blog
Finally it’s time to start ACTUALLY blogging! Your blog hasn’t technically been launched at this point and when visitors arrive to your blog, they’ll see a “coming soon” notice.
This is great because it gives you time to work behind the scenes and develop your blog before you’re ready to launch it to the public.
I recommend writing at least 5 blog posts and having a brief “about me” page as well as a “contact” page you want your visitors to have something to read when they do arrive on your blog, right!
Step 3: Launch Your Blog
Now that you’re finally ready with your blog, it’s time to launch it! To launch your website, simply click the orange “coming soon active” button at the top of your dashboard menu.
BOOM. Now you’re officially a member of the blogging world. Welcome!
Other Tips To Start A Personal Finance Blog
Blogging is definitely a lot of fun, but remember that it takes hard work for anything to pay off. Don’t expect to put in zero work and get amazing results from blogging – that’s not how it works.
With that said, here’s a few more tips that I have for you:
- Come up with a regular blogging schedule. How often will you write new blog posts? Once a week is ideal, but not necessary. Some bloggers in the personal finance niche only publish monthly reports, for example. Think what fits your own lifestyle the best.
- Commit to at least 6 months of blogging. It’s a well known fact that Google has a “sandbox” period of about 6 months. What this means is that Google is most probably not going to rank your articles in the first 6 months and you’ll see little to no traffic. Usually, this all changes after 6 months. That’s why it’s really important that you push through this period of time and get yourself into the habit of blogging consistently from the start.
- Set up social media profiles on Facebook and Pinterest. You may not have used Pinterest before, but it’s one of the best sources of traffic for bloggers. On my other blog, The Chic Pursuit, I get over 50,000+ pageviews every month from Pinterest.
- Create an email list from day one. Email is the best way of getting in contact with your regular readers and informing them about any new blog posts that you have or any promotions that you may want to tell them about. You can get started with Mailchimp for free, or choose a more advanced e-mailing service like ConvertKit that is specifically designed for bloggers.
Good luck and happy blogging! 🙂