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What You Need to Know Before Starting a Money-Making Blog

Kate Swanson wrote her first novel at 15, created her first blog in 2006 and has been writing for profit, and creating websites ever since.

Some people use the word "blogging" to refer to any kind of online writing, but strictly speaking, a "blogger" is a person who creates their very own website where they can write regularly.

There's a big learning curve to becoming a really successful blogger, but there are just a few basic secrets you need to know, to lay a solid foundation for that future success!

Secret #1 - Specialise!

Some writers get frustrated with the rules set by writing sites, and start their own blog so they can write whatever they darn well please. That's your privilege - just be aware that Google won't send you traffic.

You may enjoy writing whatever you want, but will it be as satisfying if no one comes to read it?

To get readers, a blog MUST focus solely on one subject.


Why is this such an important secret? Google respects three things in a blog: age, size and authority. As a new blog, you can't do much about the first two - but you can establish authority, by concentrating on one subject and writing plenty of good solid material about it.

It's a good idea to choose a broad topic, and something you're knowledgeable about, so you don't run out of material (remember, you're going to be writing at least one post a week for many months or even years!).

Here's an article which explains in more detail:

NEVER link to any website, blog or web page that's not directly relevant to the subject of your blog. You will damage your own blog and the page you've linked to.

Secret #2 - Choose The Right Platform

When deciding where to start your blog, you have two choices: or ALL the other free sites have major downsides, the main one being transferability - so don't be tempted by fancy "website builders", they are traps!

Most seasoned bloggers will say, "if you're serious about blogging, forget the free sites - sign up with a hosting company and create a blog on their server with Wordpress software". That's called "self-hosting". Having helped several newbies launch their very first blog, I disagree! Self-hosting is the most powerful way to run a blog - but if you're not technically-minded, getting started can be very daunting indeed.

I prefer to start newbies on It uses exactly the same software, but you don't have to manage complicated installation or maintenance - it's all done for you. That means that when you're ready to take blogging seriously, it's child's play to move your blog over to self-hosting, and you don't have to redo everything or learn the ropes all over again.

You also have the choice not to move your blog at all - you can keep it on and upgrade to the paid version, which is not expensive, and good value considering they do all the "back office" maintenance for you.

Note: the one drawback of the free version of is that you can't put Adsense or other advertising on it. That's not as big a problem as it sounds - because for your first six to twelve months, you're only likely to earn pennies anyway, so you can afford to be patient. And if you upgrade to the paid version, there are no restrictions.

If you can't bear the thought of living without ads for a few months, then is your only alternative. It will be harder to transfer your blog later if you want to upgrade to self-hosted, but not impossible - though you will lose some readers in the move.

Secret #3 - Buy the Right Domain Name Upfront!

When you start a blog on, your blog name will have "" tacked on to the end of it. A blogspot name makes your blog look amateurish to both readers and Google. Also if you need to transfer your blog later, you can't take that name with you, so your loyal readers won't know where to find you. You'll have to start all over again from scratch! So you need a "proper" domain name.

You can buy your domain from Google but for the sake of transferability, I would recommend going to a site like You'll find their tutorial for "attaching" your domain to your blog here.

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On, your blog name will have "" on the end. This is less associated with amateurism or spam, but it's still a good idea to use a proper domain name, so that your website name doesn't change wherever you go. The snag is that Wordpress recently changed their rules, and now you must have a paid account to get a domain name. The good news is that if you use a free account, it's possible to redirect it to a blog when you're ready, and your readers will still be able to find you.

How to Choose a Domain Name

Choose a domain name that tells Google what your site is about (i.e. not your name, or something cutesie). Never choose a domain name with hyphens or underscores in it, and make sure it ends with .com, .net or .org, nothing else.

If you can, try to include as few words as possibly in the domain name and make sure at least one of those words in an appropriate "keyword" that helps describe your site.

For example:

  • doesn't really describe your website or what topic you specialize in.
  • is much too long and can hurt any possibility of a visitor remembering your site and typing it into the address bar.
  • is a great name. It's short, ends in ".com", describes what the blog is about (mountain biking), and is memorable.

Spend some time searching through available domain names on a website like and make a list of available domains. Then from your list of available names, pick your favorite one.

The quantity of content on your niche site matters enormously to search engines.Get used to writing and don'e be discourage if it takes awhile to get traffic. Most sites need to "age" at least 6 months. Use that time to write!

The quantity of content on your niche site matters enormously to search engines.Get used to writing and don'e be discourage if it takes awhile to get traffic. Most sites need to "age" at least 6 months. Use that time to write!

Secret #4 - Write, Write, Write!

The biggest mistake I see newbies make is that they agonize for hours over what their blog looks like. Google's robots can't judge the prettiness of your design - they judge your blog based on content. So, you need content before anything else!

Be content with a basic layout in your first few weeks or even months. Most bloggers change their mind about their blog design several times in their first couple of years - and with Wordpress or Blogger it's easy to do, so don't stress about getting it right first time. Focus on creating wonderful content to enchant your readers and they won't care too much what it looks like.

Secret #5 - Menus, Menus, Menus!

The other big thing newbies forget about is navigation - how your readers find posts of interest to them.

Traditionally, a blog lists posts by month, because blogs were originally online diaries. That navigation is less than useless for most of your readers! Think about it - would you trawl back through twelve months' worth of posts on the off-chance there might be something interesting in there?

Your blog needs at least one menu which lists your posts by category. You might even have separate menus for some sub-categories. It all depends how big your blog is and how many categories and child categories you have. The easier you can make your navigation, the longer your readers will stay on your blog and browse.

Secret #6 - Build an Email List

Many people transition to blogging from article writing sites, and try to make money as they did there - by using Adsense and affiliate ads. You can read more about those methods of monetizing your blog here.

Sadly, revenue from that type of advertising has declined over the years, and now the best way to earn income from your blog is to build an email list. You do that by offering a regular newsletter (monthly is fine), or a free product, and inviting your readers to sign up for it.

That's another reason why you need to specialise: it's very hard to get readers to sign up for an ebook of anecdotes - and they will soon unsubscribe if your newsletter isn't consistently useful and relevant to their needs. Whereas if you can establish yourself as being knowledgeable in a subject, and offer ongoing advice on that topic to your email list, people are far more likely to sign up and stay with you.

Once you have an email list, you can start to make money from it. You have several options. The best one is by selling them product - your own products, or products you earn commission on. You can also approach suppliers, with your email list as proof of readership, and invite them to advertise on your blog or newsletters for a fee.

It may take you some time to think of (or create) products to sell, or to have enough traffic to be attractive to advertisers - but you should start collecting your email list immediately! That way, by the time you're ready to use the list, you've got a decent number of names. Use a mailing list company like Mailchimp or Mad Mimi to ensure you meet all privacy regulations.

My Experience

I started my first blog because learning about affiliates and layout on HubPages whetted my appetite to create something of my own. And about that time, a new eBay affiliate software became available - and I couldn't use it on HubPages. It seemed like a perfect opportunity to have some fun, and make money at the same time. Even though I'd learned a lot on HubPages, creating that site was a big learning curve. That's one of the reasons why I say, don't start a blog because you "should" - start it because you want to, because you'll need that enthusiasm to carry you through!

© 2010 Kate Swanson


Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on April 24, 2017:

One more thing - your header. Photo headers are going out of style because Google says you must have good content "above the fold". If you want to use one, make it shallow. My blog,, has a photo header and it's 300 pixels deep, which is bordering on too big! I would aim for no more than 250.

Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on April 24, 2017:

I don't believe there is a standard size that's suitable for all images. Simply look at the size of your website template or theme, then judge based on that. For instance, if your blog is 1000 pixels wide, then if you want to use a full width image, you need an image that's 950 pixels wide. If you want a half-width image, you need an image that's 400 pixels wide, UNLESS you want people to be able to click on the image and see it full-size. There's no need to provide that facility if your photos are simply pretty pictures to go with your text.

If you use right-size images then there is less need to compress them. However on a Wordpress blog, install EWWW Image Optimizer and that will take care of it for you, for every image you upload.

H Lax on April 24, 2017:

More valuable info I will add to my blog. If you're looking for another subject to approach here on hubpages, I would love to read an article put together by you about images, graphics, and maybe animations, or videos - the proper size, type, compression, etc. e.g. 800 x 600 jpg for images, 800 x 600 png for graphics for this or that, what size should you submit for a website header, what free compression sites to try, etc. The articles I have read have given some great info but it's thrown together in bits and pieces from one site to another. I still haven't found a site that gives me a clear idea on the what sizes to use when and maybe the proper way to compress them in photoshop or hopefully some free app people could use. You make learning easy so that's why I'd love to find this info from you.

McKenna Meyers on November 15, 2016:

Thanks! I incorporated your suggestions!

McKenna Meyers on November 15, 2016:

Wow, Marisa, thanks for looking at my blog and giving me some valuable tips. That's SO nice of you. Last night I couldn't sleep because of the election and felt so gloomy. So an act of kindness like yours was very much appreciated -- more than you know!

Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on November 14, 2016:

I just took a look at your Superhero Stay At Home Mom blog, love the idea! Good luck with your blogging. Two tips: the most important one concerns labels. Labels are not titles - they are Categories. If you have a different label for every blog post, you're doing something wrong. Think up some categories for your blog, e.g. Home Schooling, Art Projects, Craft Projects, Cooking Projects, Songs & Poems, etc. and assign your posts to them.

Second tip - if you have a patterned background AND unusual fonts AND bright colours, it becomes hard on the eyes and distracts the reader from the content. Your blog design is just the background for your blog, not the main game!

McKenna Meyers on November 14, 2016:

Thanks, Marisa. Now I know to change my blog name -- used hyphens! This was incredibly helpful.

Molly Layton from Alberta on February 22, 2016:

This is very helpful advice. Thanks!

Shannon from Florida on November 03, 2015:

I think I am about to take the plunge and transfer all my hubs over to a blog as soon as I get some free time. This has been quite helpful! Thank you so much!

Marlene Bertrand from USA on July 29, 2015:

You have answered a lot of questions for me. I had wondered what the pros and cons were about having a blog instead of HubPages. I tried blogging and it just did not bring in the same kind of traffic I get with HubPages. While I wish I had more traffic here, I am happier with the results I receive with HubPages than with any other Internet platform.

skperdon from Canada on July 07, 2015:

Thank you for your advice Marisa.

Tran Thanh Lam from Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam on July 05, 2015:

thank you very much for your advice!

peachy from Home Sweet Home on January 26, 2015:

i have as my own blog for recipes and i promote hubs there too

Nadine May from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa on June 23, 2014:

Thank you for your great advice. I will keep coming back for more!

Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on November 23, 2013:

Good luck!

Kelly A Burnett from United States on November 23, 2013:


I always find your information worth the time and I really learned allot in this hub. I have not started my blogs, I purchased a wordpress site a longtime ago and that is essentially dormant.

I started here to compare general writing to fitness. Being new to fitness, I felt I needed a basis to compare and see if my fitness information was "good enough". The experiment was more than a success, to my surprise, the fitness articles have proven to be the most rewarding.

One great item about HubPages is the feedback both from the community and from the statistics. It is easy to navigate and compare.

I especially was impressed with your advice, if you love it just write it. My formal background is finance and economics, this area is simple for me to write and it is simply a conversation for me given that is what I did in my career for decades but I have avoided it because I can see the keywords pay very well. You have encouraged me to simply go for it and write what I love. Today I will purchase the blog and keep you posted. Thank you for terrific guidance and encouragement.

Jennifer Suchey on June 20, 2013:

Hmmm. Makes sense. Thanks. ;)

Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on June 20, 2013:

Yes, but backlinks have two functions. One is for real readers to follow. The other is to impress Google, so Google will feature your website and Hubs higher in the search engine results. When Google is assessing a site, one of the things it measures is how many other sites refer TO it.

You need the search engine ranking to attract readers, so in many ways, the links are more important for Google. If Google sees two sites referring to each other, it won't count those links so you've completely lost their benefit.

Jennifer Suchey on June 20, 2013:

How does it cancel out the benefit? I'm confused on this one. If people come to my blog through some other means than hubpages, doesn't it make sense to draw them to my hubs as well?

Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on June 19, 2013:

There's usually very little point in having links from your website TO your Hubs. Usually, your Hubs get more traffic than your website does, so it's more useful to have links on your Hubs pointing to your website. Never link in both directions - you'll cancel out the benefit.

Jennifer Suchey on June 19, 2013:

Thanks for all the info you shared here, Marisa. Good to know about how too many links from your website to your hubs can backfire. Does this affect your website or your hubs . . . or both?

Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on February 25, 2013:

How exciting! Do PM me when you get the belly dance site set up! Hostgator are very helpful - if you get signed up then can't figure out how to get started, use their live chat and they will either talk you through it or do the base setup for you.

celticmelody from Chicago IL on February 25, 2013:

Great Hub! I was wondering if there is anyway to create a website with wordpress on my own domain. I don't know HTML code. I need a couple of sites for my belly dancing and my writing.

Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on February 09, 2013:

Good luck with the blog, Viryabo!

You'll get lots of advice about the need to blog every day - but I've yet to see a convincing argument as to why. The bottom line is that Google wants to see that your blog is being actively updated over time. If you don't have the time or material to create a lot of posts, the best thing to do is to post about once a week.

What I do is write posts whenever I have time or the inspiration strikes, then schedule them to be published in the future, one every week or so. For instance, my belly dance blog has posts scheduled until the end of April, which takes the pressure off and allows me to do other projects.

You can also "beef up" your blog by accepting guest posts. You could invite Hubbers to contribute, and you can also sign up to MyBlogGuest. Quality is variable, so do be fussy about whom you accept, but you should be able to get some good contributions. You'll have to publish guest posts immediately rather than schedule them.

viryabo from Lagos, Nigeria. on February 09, 2013:

This is such good advice, thank you Marisa.

I planned to start a blog, writing about something on a lighter note that i'm really passionate about. I thought to use blogger, but i have to change my mind about that and go for buying a domain name.

As you rightly said, having to start all over again after building up those kudos on a free site will make all that effort a sheer waste of time.

I think im going for it now.

I have one question please, how often should one post material on a blog, that is acceptable? That seems to be the only thing that's been holding me back for a while. I cant possibly post everyday, and don't want to be swamped with such additional work, but really want to develop this blog.

Nathan Bernardo from California, United States of America on January 18, 2013:

This advice you're giving here makes a lot of sense. I agree with you about Blogger, and I'm very convinced that WordPress is the way to go. I also very much agree that HubPages is very valuable in learning about what's going to work; it's a good classroom, no doubt about that. Thanks for the info.

Sondra Rochelle from USA on January 17, 2013:

This was very interesting, but I doubt I'll ever start my own blog. I always wondered how people did that, and now I know. Thanks for this one.

Jamie Brock from Texas on January 06, 2013:

I will definitely look into some domain names. Yes, I did have my account disabled but they reinstated it a few weeks later. I still don't know what any of it was about but I'm just glad to have it back. I quickly learned how rare that was so I'm super grateful but I've been scared ever since to monetize my blog with it. Thanks for the link about affiliate networks and for all of your help on this! I've got lots of reading to do :)

Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on January 06, 2013:

So does that mean you managed to get your Adsense account back? Well done you, as it's usually permanent!

Yes, you can put advertising on your blog without the domain name, there are no limits. However Adsense on a blog won't make a lot of money - you'll do better with affiliate networks. I wrote a Hub on it here:

The reason for using a domain name is that it makes your site look more authoritative - I mean, which site would you trust more, or You know the first one is just an amateur! Yes it will change the URL, but you are pointing your blog to the domain name, so any old links should still work.

I've sent you an email.

Jamie Brock from Texas on January 06, 2013:

Marisa- Thank you so much for explaining that! It definitely makes more sense now. Let's say I do stick with blogger.. could I just monetize it with AdSense right now without having to get the domain name or is the domain name required? I am going to look into domain names for sure. Also, if I do get the domain name, will that change my blog URL? Hope I'm not confusing you.. I really appreciate all of your help. Thanks for the namecheap link as well. Going to go check it out right now!

Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on January 06, 2013:

Jamie, I took a look at your blog and I can't see anything "wrong" that's not fixable!

Every site on the internet needs to sit on a PC somewhere. Your home PC isn't nearly powerful enough, so you pay a company like Hostgator to put it on their machines. That's all hosting is. Because all they're doing is providing the server, you have total freedom to do what you like with it. You then use free software called Wordpress to design your site.

If you have trouble with technical stuff, you're likely to find setting up a hosted blog really stressful. An alternative is the paid version of Wordpress which combines hosting and site software (similar to Blogger) It costs around $99 a year (you can't use the free version as it doesn't allow advertising). You get the same powerful software as a hosted blog, but don't have to worry about all the technical bits.

Or you could stick with Blogger. There is always a small risk that Google (who owns Blogger) could delete your blog if you break their rules - but you're unlikely to do that with a craft blog, so I wouldn't worry about it. To get your domain name, go to a site like and buy a name that describes your topic. Then point the name to your blog.

Here are the instructions from Namecheap:

Jamie Brock from Texas on January 06, 2013:

Marisa.. THANK you for this..I do have a blog but it's blogger and I'm sure I've probably done everything wrong.. I've posted on it for a while but I'm scared to monetize it because of my experience with AdSense early on and getting my AS account disabled. I was wondering if you could explain a little bit about what hosting means and also what it means to pick a domain name and use it on Blogger. From what you said, it seems the best thing to do is get hosting and use word press but I really am clueless about how hosting works. I get confused trying to search for the answer from various sources and I KNOW you know your stuff. Would so appreciate if you could give a brief explanation from you when you get time. Thanks and again, great hub!

Chen on December 26, 2012:

You really have wonderful wisdom to impart. Reading through your hubs is really going to be helpful. Thanks so much for sharing! VU & Useful.

Jean Bakula from New Jersey on February 02, 2012:

Thanks for your kind consideration Marisa. It took me this long to "get" it, but now I do. I never gave much thought to the Blogger blog, but now I'm brimming with ideas and want to take my time and decide what I want my new blog to look like. It is exciting! Talk soon.

Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on February 02, 2012:

That's exciting! I'm so glad Weebly is working for you!

You're getting the picture - write in your own style, just try to break each topic up over more than one platform and interlink them.

Jean Bakula from New Jersey on February 02, 2012:

Thanks for the advice and support! I am learning fast and already like Weebly better than Blogger, it is made for untech people like me. I got the DNS support to have the domain name point to Weebly, and a day ago I never heard of such a thing. I've been playing around with ideas, and have to decide what kind of layout I want. I have considerably branched out on topics since I began, New Age is called Metaphysics in the US, or they are trying to make it so to make it sound less spacey! It's really ancient wisdom being relearned. Hmmm, that's an article right there. I got into other religions and spiritual issues I didn't plan on, but it just happened that way depending on what I was reading or what I was interested in during class. I am trying to write on Atlantis and Lemuria, the lost continents, but my rib has been killing me since before Christmas, and every time I think I'm improving I have a set back. But I know there is much to discuss. Plato talked about Atlantis, so did Edgar Cayce. Now we have technology that shows pyraminds and whole cities under the ocean. So I get it now, one of my "subheadings" is probably a whole hub, or wizzle. I will still write in my style, but move the "pieces" around. I realize I'll have to rewrite the beginning or end so it makes sense, but that's easy when I have written a few 3,000 word pieces. Helium actually cured me of that, they won't even let you go one word over 500! Take care.

Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on February 02, 2012:

Don't be afraid, Jean, you have the ability!

Jean Bakula from New Jersey on January 30, 2012:

Hi Marisa,

I'm checking out more of your hubs for learning purposes! I appreciate all of your advice. I have time to write, as I have a chronic back issue, and know I can't continue to work on anyone else's specific schedule for much longer. So I love metaphysics, and am used to being patient, since I always had limitations. I am a little scared to take the plunge, but was thinking ahead to what new pieces I would be writing in the future. So now that I decided I can not freak out about details of building a site yet, I can get some new material ready makes me feel better. I began my Astrology studies in my 20's, and although this trip down memory lane has been fun, metaphysics is just "to know" and there are so many other topics in the niche to explore and discuss. I was feeling in a rut at HP though I love it, so thanks for giving me the boost I needed. I was dawdling because I knew I couldn't go further here, but still not ready to move on. You really are a very good person, and have me well pegged. I'm trying to figure out how to trim stuff! But I think I can learn. Take care.

Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on January 23, 2012:

I've been curious about this process because I may be taking the plunge soon. Thanks for offering this overview. Voting this Up and Useful.

hungrymouse from North America on July 20, 2011:

I look forward for articles this informative and experience based because there is so much information to sift through the internet and it just goes to show how persistence always pays, if the strategy is right.

Aficionada from Indiana, USA on July 05, 2011:

It's great to find this article, just when I needed it - not only for myself but also for an acquaintance who is interested in HP and new to the world of online writing. Thanks for this!

spsingh from on February 23, 2011:

very useful for beginner like me thanks.

lex123 on September 18, 2010:

In my case, my own websites do better. Though I had joined two years ago with hubpages, only recently I started writing more hubs, and hope they too will do better in due course.

Spider Girl from the Web on August 16, 2010:

I've got plenty of blogs and a website too but there's no match for Hubpages!

toddlerboyclothes on August 16, 2010:

Hi! Marisa your Hub is really nice you've done it well.

Keep it up. I rated, bookmarked and followed.

Thanks =)

Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on July 18, 2010:

@Baileybear, I have several websites now - you'll find links on my profile.

If you use Wordpress, you can create a website without knowing a single line of code - I wrote a Hub about it. You can find lots of ready-made designs, and anything fancy you might want to do, someone has already designed a plugin for it (plugins automate various features).

Baileybear on July 17, 2010:

Very informative read. So what is the link to your other website, Marisa? I'm glad to have found HP, as don't have a clue about writing code or anything like that - is easy to use so can focus on content and not too much technical stuff

Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on July 17, 2010:

@Marty, thanks for your comment - which is a great example to your students of how to self-promote successfully, by the way.

I would normally delete any comments on my Hubs that contain a blatantly self-promoting link. However, you've taken the trouble to make your post meaningful and informative, it would be a crime to delete it. Smart!

MartyWare from New South Wales Australia on July 17, 2010:

Thanks for the great Hub. I agree this is a top place to start out. Hubpages has massive potential. I even get my students to create articleS here for promotion, and to drive traffic to their blogs or website.

My advice to others is to start a Blog in wordpress and brand yourself.

Example: I have my own website/blog and it grows with me as I grow and develop online.

I hope this helps some to realize about self promotion as it can really help you make more money online!

So, my advice is create a blog in your name and drive traffic back from Hubpages too!

Have a great day

Marty Ware


hubpageswriter on July 14, 2010:

You are right actually. I do promote my Hubpages links on my blog and I find it pretty mundane. It's just double work. It's high time I concentrate on Hubpages more.

green tea-cher on June 20, 2010:

Thanks for the many valuable tidbits of information. Good advice for someone just starting out.

blue parrot from Madrid, Spain on June 20, 2010:

I think that Wordpress has just launched something to make changing a free blog into an independent web site more simple:

Making Redirects Permanent

Raanan Bar-Cohen

Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on June 17, 2010:

Rebecca, Blogger may not have been the best choice, but if it exists and has some age, it's worth keeping it going. There are people who make money on Blogger. Lrohner comes to mind.

Rebecca E. from Canada on June 17, 2010:

Once again reading a hub of your means a) I learn something new and b) I have a lot more to learn and c) I am busy with blogger, which I have done since before hubspages and (darn!) it was the wrong way to go, but it does have a following so it's a toss up... maybe dip into the websites now...

Om Prakash Singh from India, Calcutta on June 16, 2010:

So far writing articles is concerned I decided to stick to HP cz the amount of effort I put to market my site/blog will be lot more then 40% of earning that HP charges from us. So I thought like this, "HP is giving me a strong platform to publish my articles and in turn is charging 40 of the earning from AdSense!". That made sense to me and I decided to stick to it. If at all I plan to start some site of my own it will be for anything but publishing articles.

Nice Hub!

Karen Banes from Canada on June 16, 2010:

A quick comment about bluehost. I'm using them as the host for a wordpress blog and am happy with them. I've heard they suck (not my words) in terms of trying to run full websites with forums etc. I suspect they are set up to host basic blogs and maybe not so good for full service websites with all the bells and whistles! Just thought I'd mention it as they are good value and wouldn't want bloggers with limited funds who just want to run a basic wordpress blog to be put off!

shazwellyn on June 16, 2010:

Thanks Marisa... I will do that. Now just have to learn to by trial and error - create with wordpress!

Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on June 15, 2010:

@karanda, is a free blogging platform, like blogger. is free software that you use to create your own website.

Karen Wilton from Australia on June 15, 2010:

It seems the more you do on the Internet the more you have to do if you want to keep pace and earn any sort of income. Thanks for the useful information but now I am more than a bit confused about the difference between and -- it looks like I need to do even more reading and researching!

Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on June 15, 2010:

I've moved to Hostgator because so many other Hubbers use them. Happy so far! I'm sure there are lots of other good hosts, but I saw someone posting a cautionary tale about Bluehost on the forums recently.

LarasMama from a secret location, Australia on June 15, 2010:

I'm planning to move my main website over to wordpress from blogger because I'm not happy with their limited options. What host would you recommend, Marisa?

Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on June 15, 2010:

@LarasMama - yes, you've done the right thing (though bluehost may not be the best choice of host, but it's done now).

@allpurposeguru, you're missing a great opportunity to promote all your blogs with hyperlinks on your profile.

@Austinstar, building from the bare bones may appeal to some people, but if you're looking to make money you must think of your priorities, IMO. Why lose time learning to build a website from scratch,when Wordpress makes it so easy to create one off the peg? Redesign it later, if you like - but get it going.

@Shaz, yes you can buy your domain name at one place and host at another. I do. However, if you're signing up to a new host, you'll often find they'll do you a deal, like give you a domain name free if you pay a year's hosting upfront - so check that out first.

Sandy Mertens from Wisconsin, USA on June 15, 2010:

Still working on the money part. Good advice on bringing it to your own site.

shazwellyn on June 15, 2010:

Thanks Marisa... this has come just at the right time! Can I just ask a quickie... can you buy a domain name from one place and have it hosted at another?


peacefulparadox on June 15, 2010:

I agree with the advice given... If one do decide to start own site, I agree that one should buy a domain name and webhosting and install own (rather than use Mainly because you can not monetize, but you can customize you installation with Google ads, amazon, etc. Althought it does require some technical skills (but you can hire someone). And domain name ($10/year) and webhosting ($10/month) is inexpensive -- and many times you can find them for less than that. You can usually (and would recommended) to buy domain name from same company in which you buy your webhosting.

Lela from Somewhere near the heart of Texas on June 15, 2010:

Hi Marisa,

I've had my own website since 1995. I made a lot of money at first, then it tapered off. Then it died. I'm currently rebuilding the whole site from scratch.

All of your advice is very good and I wish I had read this hub years ago! Better late than never, eh?

I would add that wordpress is good, but I like building from bare bones html to keep it clean and simple. I've used CoffeeCup software for many years and I guess I'm used to it. Others swear by wisiwyg programs which I think is like wordpress or dreamweaver.

Having your own site is great for the thousands of affiliate programs, but most anti-viral programs like Norton are blocking the cookies needed to get credit for the referrals. Got any advice on how to handle that?

Karen Banes from Canada on June 15, 2010:

Love this hub. Unfortunately, I already learned a lot of what's in it the hard way! My first blog was a blogger blog that earned me about $2 in google clicks in six months! I've now switched to and, though it's early days, I already see much more potential.

LarasMama from a secret location, Australia on June 15, 2010:

Phew scared me for a minute Marisa! Just checked and I had to download a platform and went with a host called bluehost, not the .com easy version... I believe that's the correct way? I didn't even realize - WP is very new to me!

Techtree from India on June 15, 2010:

Great hub marisa, keep it up. But still i would like to own my website and would love to write for my website.:)

David Guion from North Carolina on June 15, 2010:

I wish I'd gotten this advice when I first started on the Internet. I started with a blog that combined all my interests, then spun off two blogs with better-defined niches. I only discovered HubPages later. Now I'm trying to keep three blogs fed, figure out how to promote them, and still find time for HubPages and a couple of other sites. I'm very glad to be here. A disproportionate amount of the best advice I've read is right here. BTW, my blogs are on Blogger, but I got my own domain name for them.

Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on June 15, 2010:

@LarasMama, I do hope you're talking about a wordpress.ORG site on your own hosting, and not a wordpress.COM site - which you can't monetize, so it's pretty much a waste of effort.

Disillusioned from Kerala, India on June 15, 2010:

A typical, no-nonsense style of advice from Marisa!

cupid51 from INDIA on June 15, 2010:

I am still in the learning curve! This hub would certainly add some solid base in my learning process! Thanks for the great hub; I have voted it up and bookmarked.

LarasMama from a secret location, Australia on June 15, 2010:

Thanks for the great answer Marisa! I just started a word press site but it's definitely a learning curve - even getting it set up! I've only worked with blogger before which is very basic.

Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on June 14, 2010:

@Art, I'm pleased to hear your website is doing so well!

@Nelle, I opened HubPages this morning with the intention of adding a third criteria to the "are you ready" section, to mention other selling avenues. You've given me the words now!

@Sufi, good point - a professional image is another reason for having your own site.

drbj and sherry from south Florida on June 14, 2010:

Very comprehensive, Marisa, with good advice from someone who has been and is there and done that. Thanks.

NOW from Ohio on June 14, 2010:

Great info for a newbie. Thanks for taking the time.

Sufidreamer from Sparti, Greece on June 14, 2010:

Really good Hub, Marisa - for a professional, having a website is essential and having lots of HP links pointing to it is a great bonus :)

Nelle Hoxie on June 14, 2010:

Great analysis of the subject Marissa. I would suggest that affiliate income diversity is a reason to have your own website. At HubPages you really only have access to 3 affiliate programs (out of thousands) - unless you try workarounds with other affiliate programs, which I think is too cumbersome. That aside, Hubpages is a wonderful place to make money (and friends!)

Tattoguy on June 14, 2010:

Nice hub Marissa, I love hubpages as it's ease of making a hub is great but I get more pleasure earning on my own personal website, plus it pays about 5 times more per click ; )

BRIAN SLATER on June 14, 2010:

I too like this hub it's been well thought through and does give you an option for them wanting to build a site.

William F Torpey from South Valley Stream, N.Y. on June 14, 2010:

I'm not here to make money, Marisa, nevertheless it's nice to have a better understanding of how these things work. Thanks for the good information.

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