This post may contain affiliate links. Click here to read my full disclosure.
Hooray! You’ve made the decision to launch a blog in 2021! But you might be wondering where to start or how you’re going to make money blogging.
I’m going to share blog starting tips to help you get started and who knows? What started out as a hobby blog could turn into a profitable money-maker month after month.
It’s important that you don’t allow analysis paralysis to get the best of you. Wanna know why this blog is called Perfection Hangover? It’s because I have a tendency to seek perfection until I feel overwhelmed and defeated.
No one is perfect. No blog is perfect. No job is perfect. No marriage is perfect. So if you’re expecting everything to go perfectly and for you to just know what to do from the first time you hit “publish” on a blog post, you’ll be let down every single time.
Do you want the honest truth? Blogging is hard…just like any other business, but if you want it bad enough, you’ll put in the work and do what it takes to start and run a successful, profitable blog.
When I first started my blog in January 2018, I had no clue what I was doing. I had invested $700 in a course to learn how to start a blog, and I was determined to make it work.
I had previously failed at two different multi-level marketing businesses, and even though I was an active Realtor and it was bringing in some income, selling real estate wasn’t my calling.
I knew that deep in my soul.
I wanted to work from home because I have three kids, and daycare is just too expensive to justify earning $30,000 per year working full-time. $30k equates to 2,080 hours worked as a full-time employee per year and after taxes, insurance, and daycare, my take-home pay was pitiful.
So I kinda winged it and launched this blog and I’m not even kidding, y’all. My first few posts were terrible. But something happened as I started writing more. I taught myself how to create beautiful graphics. I learned how to optimize a blog post so that it ranks in Google on page one.
I’ve been able to grow this blog and now earn almost $4,000 per month without creating and selling products or courses.
My updated income report breaks down exactly how I earned $23,000 in the first six months of 2020.
Most of my income has come from display ads, YouTube, and sponsored posts. The best part is that I have a flexible schedule and can write and work around my kids’ schedules. If one of my kids gets sick, I don’t feel guilty for taking a day off from work.
If you’re thinking of launching a blog in 2021, keep reading. I’m going to share the top five things I wish I knew before I started my own profitable blog.
At the end of this post, I have a special offer for you! If you sign up for Bluehost using my discount, I’ll send you a free one-hour training video walking through exactly how to do keyword research, optimize, and write blog posts in your WordPress dashboard.
It only costs $2.95 per month to get started blogging with my discount, so don’t waste another minute if you’re on the fence!
This is literally cheaper than one Starbucks coffee. You’ll start off by focusing on writing blog articles.
You’ll find that pretty soon, $100 per month income can turn to $1,000 per month and more.
I’m now earning more than $4,000 per month.
This is life-changing money if you’re living paycheck to paycheck or working on paying off debt! You can’t afford to put off launching a blog in 2021. You have to get off the fence.
Just drop me a comment or email and let me know you’ve signed up for hosting through my coupon code, and I’ll send you the training for free!
Sign up for hosting with my coupon here.
1. Site Concept Matters When Launching a Blog
Your site concept is the core topic of your blog. Another word for site concept is niche. You want to choose a blog niche that has less competition and is popular with a specific audience. For example, I know a blogger whose site is all about raising chickens. She optimizes articles to rank for certain keywords such as:
- DIY chicken coop
- How to raise chickens
- Hatching Chickens
- Chicken Incubators
By creating different levels as sub-topics, she does a great job of ranking her articles on Google. Her site has become an authority on “raising chickens”.
Site concept might be one of the most important things to consider when launching a blog.
When I first started this blog, I launched it as Perfection Hangover.
Then I decided I wanted versatility with my topics so rebranded to my name, which isn’t a bad idea if you’re a Realtor (like I am) or service provider. I finally went back to Perfection Hangover because I was drawn to it. It just felt like the perfect fit for my readers.
Carefully consider what you want your main topic to be about and research domains from there. If you’d like to work with me for a one-on-one brainstorming session, book a call! I’m happy to help you come up with some ideas!
2. You Don’t Need Millions of Views to Make Money Blogging
As I said before, I’ve reached 40,000 page views per month. I’ve not gone higher than that, but my income has been up to $2,600 per month. Don’t even worry about whether or not anyone will show up to read your blog. As long as you’re writing with the intention to help a specific audience, people will show up to read it!
When I first started writing, I was afraid to share articles on my own personal Facebook page.
I was afraid that my friends and family would judge me or that they wouldn’t like what I had to say. For a few days, my husband and my mom were the only two people I knew showing up to my blog to read it.
Then, my traffic gradually grew. In January of 2018, I had nearly 1,000 page views. After that, my traffic grew steadily.
- February 2018 – 3200 page views
- March 2018 – 4500 page views
- April 2018 – 10,600 page views
- May 2018 – 19,100 page views
Then, some personal stuff happened that caused me to take a break from blogging for several months.
I was not in an emotional state of mind to help others, sadly, so my traffic stalled at around 10,000 page views until December 2018, when I reached 18,400 page views.
Because I took several months off blogging, my income was only $1,500 in the first year of blogging.
2019 was very different. In my year in review income report, I shared how I earned nearly $30,000 blogging from home.
2019 Blog Income and Traffic Reports
- January 2019 – 26,400 page views – January Income Report – $436.43
- February 2019 – 36,500 page views – February Income Report – $5,365 (some was real estate income) – $1,455 blogging income
- March 2019 – 30,000 page views – $1,627.51
- April 2019 – 31,500 page views – $916.53
- May 2019 – 27,300 page views – $1,633.43
- June 2019 – 23,800 page views – $909.94
- July 2019 – 34,700 page views – $958.08
- August 2019 – 24,800 page views – $1,029.73
- September 2019 – 36,200 page views – $1,622.34
- October 2019 – 44,200 page views – $1,898.90
- November 2019 Income Report – 39,900 page views – $2,911.04
- December 2019 – 31,300 page views – $3,123.78
As you can see, my income kept increasing even though my page views dipped a bit! I’ve put together a comprehensive year in review detailing how I made money blogging in 2019 and goals for 2020.
See my Year in Review Here!
You can see how my traffic fluctuated every month but was more consistent in 2019, and I didn’t have astronomical page views, but my income was consistent and reliable. You can see all of the blog income reports I’ve published here.
I wish I had started a blog 10 years ago when I first started feeling the pull towards it. If you have that itch to create and write, share your story or help others, I urge you to take action now.
No more waiting like I did. The sooner you start your own blog, the sooner you can start making money and achieving your financial goals. Speaking of goals, your very first blogging goal should be to reach 10,000 pageviews so that you can be accepted into Monumetric.
Monumetric is an ad network that pays so much more than Adsense. In my Monumetric review, I shared how I earned $436 in my first full month. Since then, I don’t think I have had more than one or two months where I earned less than $1,000 blogging and most months are closer to $2,000 per month.
Things I’ve used my blogging income for:
- Paying off debt
- Traveling with my family
- Building an emergency fund
- Buying equipment to start my YouTube channel (which also makes money every day)
- Renovations on our ranch home
- Relocating from Illinois to Florida (a six-year-long goal for my family!!)
You can use your blogging income for whatever you need. I can’t tell you how great it feels being able to work from home while helping contribute to the finances.
Related Side Hustle Posts:
- 76 Side Hustle Ideas You’ve Probably Never Considered
- Side Hustle Ideas for Folks Too Busy For a Second Job
- 7 Factors to Consider Before Donating Blood Plasma at Octapharma Plasma
- 23 Best Work From Home Jobs to Make Extra Money
3. Expect to Make Mistakes
If you’re a bit of a perfectionist like me, you need to let it go. Perfectionism and blogging don’t mix well at all. They’re like oil and water. You are going to mess up at least once (if not several) times in your blogging career.
It’s okay, though! Everything can be corrected!
Remember that everyone started where you are. I love the Jon Acuff quote “You can’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle”.
That’s so true! It’s easy to get caught in the comparison trap. Be proud of each accomplishment and take it day by day.
I already told you that my blog posts were sub-par. But did you know that my graphics were ugly as hell when I first started?
Here’s an example of one of my first pins.
Ugly, right? Geez! Let’s break down what’s wrong with it.
First of all, it was sized 924 × 1386 and optimal pin sizes are 600 x 900 (a 2:3 ratio).
The colors are warm, and even though I added a semi-transparent shape behind the words, this pin is just too busy. Most of the title is in a hard-to-read script font. The color of the font is also not ideal, and the title is not the perfect title formula I use today.
Here’s a pin I created today. Go ahead and pin it to your “Launching a Blog” board on Pinterest!
4. Blog Hosting for Free Doesn’t Exist
Well, let me take that back. You could possibly create a blog on a platform like Blogger or Wix, but you are severely limited on growth with those platforms.
And it is a pain in the you-know-what to migrate a blog once you’ve established traffic.
You will always lose traffic and money in the process. I highly suggest starting a self-hosted WordPress blog from the get-go. Don’t let the word “self-hosted” scare you off. If you’re like me, you probably know nothing about HTML, CSS or coding.
That’s why I love WordPress blogs. You get access to thousands of plugins that really make your blog easier to operate (even if you’re a total newbie and have no clue what you’re doing). There is literally no coding experience needed to start a WordPress blog.
I have used two different blog hosting companies, and I recommend either of them.
Blog Host #1 – Bluehost
I started with a this package from Bluehost. It is, by far, the most affordable blog host starting at just $2.95 per month (this low price is only through our referral link).
They offer incredible customer service and support…something all bloggers need when they’re just launching a blog.
On top of that, you get:
- FREE Domain Name for 1st Year (This is www.yourblognamehere.com)
- FREE SSL Certificate Included – Needed so that readers trust your site.
- 1-Click WordPress Install – Makes it easy-peasy to set up.
- 24/7 Support – Again…vital for new bloggers.
Blog Host #2 BigScoots
BigScoots is my new blog hosting provider. I switched to BigScoots after I had over 100 articles on my site. My hosting with Bluehost was about to expire, and I knew I wanted to upgrade to a slightly faster server.
But let me be clear. Bluehost is more than sufficient for new bloggers on a budget!
One of the benefits of launching a blog with BigScoots hosting is that you can pay for hosting monthly instead of all upfront. The downside is that it costs significantly more per month at $10.95 per month.
So, if you can afford $2.95 a month (or about $150 for 3 years) to get started, I recommend signing up for hosting through Bluehost (again, this price is only available through my link here). But if you’re on a tight budget and just want to test the blogging waters, give BigScoots a try.
Whatever you decide, make sure you stay with your host for at least the first couple of years. You want to be able to “set it and forget it” so that you can really become hyper-focused on creating amazing content that gets lots of traffic and makes you money.
5. You Don’t Need to Invest in Expensive Courses
I’m a huge fan of learning as much as you can, and I’ve taken quite a few courses that promised to teach me all of the ins-and-outs of launching a blog and making money blogging.
But not all courses are created equal. I’ll be forever grateful for Elite Blog Academy, the first course that taught me how to start a blog. But it was definitely an investment, priced at a hefty $700, and my husband was supportive in allowing me to make that investment.
You can search Google and YouTube high and low and find lots of free information about how to get blog traffic and ways to promote your website. But if you’ve ever done this, you’ve probably become overwhelmed.
You can spend all the time researching and planning, but if you aren’t actually implementing any of the tips and tricks you’ve learned, it’s all for naught.
Two other courses I that purchased that have helped me grow my blog and income are:
- Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing – The creator of this course earns over $100,000 per month on her blog. The course teaches affiliate marketing strategies to make money sharing products that you love with your audience. A couple of days ago, I checked my Paypal account and had received $170 totally unexpected from 17 people clicking links and buying products on my blog and YouTube. This affiliate marketing course has been so helpful in growing my income.
- Pinteresting Strategies – This course, created by Carly Campbell of Mommy on Purpose, offers the exact strategy she used to get 250,000 page views per month on her blog. I still use Tailwind to schedule some posts but have mostly switched to manual pinning. This course is probably the best bang for your buck. Pinterest can be a great source of traffic, and even though we all know we should be optimizing posts for SEO to get organic traffic from Google, Pinterest is an easy way to get free traffic. I highly recommend Pinteresting Strategies.
Can Anyone Earn Money Through Blogging?
The short answer is yes. But it’s going to take effort and the right blogging strategy. Decide on a niche, research relevant keywords that are low competition, and start writing asap.
The sooner you start, the sooner you can monetize your efforts and start making money on the side from home.
I firmly believe that blogging is for everyone. Young or old, experienced or beginner, business professional or stay at home mom. We all have gifts to share with the world. Don’t let another year go by without launching a blog.
Related Articles on Blogging in 2021
Launching a Blog on Bluehost in 2021: A Simple Tutorial
How I Earned $28,000+ Blogging in 2019!
Starting a Blog in 2021 as a Side Hustle: Tools and Resources
I’ve done all the things! Girl, I’ve washed my face. I’ve trashed everything that doesn’t spark joy. I’ve walked the baby steps. I’ve cried. I’ve prayed, but my perfectionism has really held me back.
Perfection Hangover can be crippling. Stop comparing yourself to others and start living your best life! That’s why PH exists! I want to encourage you to take control of your money, your blog, and your business.
26 thoughts on “5 Things You Need to Know Before Launching a Blog in 2021”
Thank you for sharing and being so transparent. You have definitely ignited my passion for writing and exploring new options to grow my new business!
I am going to sign up for the blog hosting site, so woukd love to receive your additional info!
Thanks so much!
Greta tips, Melisa! Thanks for sharing this helpful information for new bloggers. Regards
Thank YOU, Bethany!
I signed up for bluehost through your link. Can you please send me the one hour course? I’m looking forward to it!
Hi, Rena! Sure! Can you please email me a copy of your domain to coaching [at] melissablevins.com? Thanks!
Thanks for the push! I am not accepting any more obstacles, so I signed up tonight.
Awesome! Can’t wait to watch you grow!
This was the first time I read a blog fully without skipping bits and I must say your content really does keep the reader glued to their screen! You’ve inspired me to start my own blog (that is once I decide on which niche I’d like to go in of course) 🙂
Pingback: How to Start a Blog - Plus How I Make Money Blogging | Perfection Hangover
Amazing content. I also started blogging around 5 months ago and i am reaching around 1k visitors a month barely. I hope everything goes better the more i create content and go forward. Thanks for the information now i see what i can expect if i keep working hard.
Awesome, Ronald! Keep up the good work! Just keep creating great, valuable content, and if I can give you any advice (what I wish someone had told me), focus on SEO and Pinterest. Don’t spend your days on Twitter! It’s a madhouse!
Pingback: What is IDX? Broker Websites in Real Estate? | Perfection Hangover
Pingback: Income Report Update - How I Earned $23,000 in Six Months Blogging
Hey, thank you for this informative post. I’m still skeptical about the whole blogging concept, just because it’s 2020, and honestly, I’m a bit scared – of all the competition and the market probably being saturated and all. On another note, I don’t really know which niche to start a blog in. Could you please help? Thanks again for this comprehensive article 🙂
Hi, Joshua! There’s nothing to be skeptical of. There are so many different topics and sites, and they all have a purpose. You just have to find something you’re super passionate about and could write about/talk about every day. Don’t chase profitable blog niches, but choose something that means something to you.
When you’re ready to get started, if you sign up for hosting using my affiliate link, I’ll send you my 1-hour video tutorial to help you get started. Here’s my affiliate link
First time I read a blog fully and enjoyed a lot.mam I love the way you accomplish your words.thank you very much.
Could you tell me mam how can learn from you more?
Hi, Rahim! Take a look around and if you purchase hosting through my Bluehost affiliate link, I’ll send you my free 1-hour video training!
Well done Melissa, you real hit the nail by the head, infact this is the best “how to start a blog” post I have ever come across. But I have a little question, how do you build links, I mean authority links to your blogs
Great information for new bloggers.
Thanks for sharing
Reading from ur experiences, i just felt the sense of hope. my courage has just been built back by ur words of encouragement. i appreciate what u shared to make others not to lose hope. u are a model. thks
That’s so kind of you to say! Thank you! Have a blessed year!
I love that you’re transparent about what you make and how you spend it for the blog. This is much needed in the online space. Thanks for sharing all your tips. I definitely plan to up my Pinterest game.
Thanks, Bethany! I think it helps people who have no idea what it truly costs to run an online business.
I love this Melissa! I think you bring up so many great points about not having to invest in expensive courses. Learning about how you’ve been able to successfully build up your business working from home is so amazing. I can’t wait to see where the road takes you next!
Thank you, Melody! I am so excited to see what’s in store for you as well!
Way to encourage the rest of us. It would be easy to be superior, but you are always encouraging us. Thanks!