Everything You Need to Know Before Making Your First Blog

Building a blog on a budget can be tough, and it’s even more complicated once you factor in things like disabilities, health problems in general, and chronic pain.

Nevertheless, making and maintaining a blog is still one of the best ways to build a passive income stream, because you can do so much with just the one thing! You can easily post about things that you care about, share your knowledge, promote your shop/digital products/etc., you can make your own ads for other things you offer even though they don’t quite “fit” in your blog, you can use affiliate links, get ad revenue…

There’s a world of money-making tools out there, and a lot of them can be used through a blog.

Where to Begin?

A good place to start is to ask yourself what you want to talk about. To a degree, choosing a popular subject (or “niche”) is not all that it’s made up to be. While there are subjects that will work better than others, and some subjects that aren’t talked about as much as they should, in the end… You can make money talking about pretty much anything. So, as far as niches go, remember one thing:

We’re not in the business of being miserable.

If you’re here, chances are that you’re disabled, as my blog is mostly about disabilities. If that’s the case, chances are that you’re already pretty darn miserable. Don’t choose a “money-making” niche that you hate just because it’s supposed to make more cash. First, the lack of passion will most likely show in your writing, and second, a blog is something you have to nurture for a long, long time, and you shouldn’t spend that much time on something you hate.

“Money-making niches” are kind of a myth, anyway. My first blog, which I still nurture now, was a gaming blog. I was talking about video games, and I still made some good ad revenue out of it. I didn’t even write about very popular games, either! Still don’t.

Need to Know

Here are a few things you should already have answers for before you dive into that blogging life.

  1. As previously mentioned, your blog subject. You should know what you want to talk about, why, and you should also verify that you have plenty to say on the matter
  2. How do you plan to monetize that blog?
  3. How tolerant are you to unexpected things and learning new things?
  4. How much time can you realistically spend on that blog on a daily, weekly or monthly basis?

Your Blog Subject

While you don’t need a niche “certified money-maker”, you should spend some time thinking on a few subjects you would like to tackle. When I think of making a blog, I write down the main subject, the audience I’m talking to, and finally, I start a mind map of all the blog post titles i can think of.

Elaborating on your main subject will show you how much you’ll be able to write about it in the long run. If you can’t find upwards of 25 blog post ideas in your first sitting, chances are that you don’t have as much to say about it than you thought. Don’t worry about that, though, it can happen to anyone. It happened to me!

Here’s the breakdown: you start with your main subject, then you find 5 more specific subjects within it. For each specific subject, try to see if you can write 5+ blog posts revolving around it.

Aaaaand you got 25 blog post ideas. You can even make that 50 if you want to! Just rinse and repeat.

Monetizing the blog

While you don’t necessarily have to get into specifics yet, you should think about how you’ll be monetizing that blog. You have your subject matter already, so what do you do with that? It could be a lot of things.

1. Ad revenue. Ads can certainly be annoying, but they’re free from the viewers’ side, and that’s certainly a plus.

2. Digital products. There is a plethora of options here, ranging from full-on video courses, memberships, eBooks, guides, templates, art brushes and stamps, stock photos… Chances are that you can make one or more of these things.

3. Affiliate marketing. I know a lot of people feel a bit slimy about it, but affiliate marketing is very legit, as long as you make sure to promote things you have tried and approved.

4. Non-digital products. You’ve probably heard of Print-on-Demand and ecommerce before. Those two can also be incorporated into your blog, either more actively by making posts about it/teaching how to do it, or more passively if your subject matter is different (like ads leading to your shop).

Your blog will have more chances of making you income if you monetize in many ways. For example, you could have ads, a digital products shop, and a membership. You could mix affiliate marketing with a Print-on-Demand shop + ads you made yourself, to direct people to your Print-on-Demand shop. You could do all the things, too, but that may get a little heavy and overwhelming to deal with!

Knowing which paths you will be taking is crucial, because it will help you prepare before the blog is set up and ready.

Learning, Figuring things out, and Unknown Variables

I don’t know about you, but my specific mental health cocktail of “ADHD-Anxiety-Depression-And More!’ makes me extremely resistant to change, as well as making it very difficult to learn new things efficiently.

On top of that, any slight disturbance in the Force can make my sanity crumble. It’s about as sturdy as a house of cards on a balcony!

  • Learning things can be complicated, and they require a good day.
  • Being unfamiliar with a system and encountering a problem that I don’t know how to fix will deplete my energy at record speeds, then I’ll need a week to recover from it.
  • Executive dysfunction will show its ugly head and I won’t be able to work on my blog for a while, or it’ll just make me feel like crap about not doing anything about the blog while also being the reason why I’m not doing anything for the blog.
  • Analysis paralysis will appear once I’ve made a solid plan for 8 blog posts, 2 income streams intertwining, and all I have to do is stop overthinking and start doing the thing… but I can’t.

Any of these feel familiar? Yes? I am so sorry.

Blogging will require a lot of learning, dealing with issues that crop up, and being slightly lost at all times. It’s not easy, but it IS rewarding and pretty fun once you get through the early stages of confusion. Know that most of the tools you will be using have guides and customer service ready to help out, and that there is nothing wrong with encountering an issue and letting it sit there for a while due to mental health. IT’S OKAY.

It is also possible to deal with a lot of the confusing parts BEFORE having a live blog to deal with. Here are a few things you can get out of the way:

  • Get Canva’s free version and familiarize yourself with it. It has a LOT of useful tools. If you can spare money for the Pro version of Canva, it’s not a bad idea to get it; there are even more good tools hidden behind Pro, and you’ll be using Canva… a lot.
  • Take a look at Creative Fabrica for commercial-use graphics and fonts. You’ll be able to upload them to Canva as well, so you can learn that part too!
  • Rip off the band-aid and sign up for your first affiliate marketing program: Amazon Associates. I explain in this post about affiliate links why Amazon Associates is a great worry-free first choice for beginning with affiliate marketing.
  • Make a Printful account if you’re thinking of working with Print-on-Demand items. There are many POD providers out there, but Printful is my favourite.

A note about Canva: you will be doing all your graphics there. From logos, to brand colors, to building images for your blog’s guides/explanations/concepts, to Pinterest images, to Print-on-Demand designing, to eBook covers, to any social media images you’ll need… IT NEVER ENDS.

Things you won’t be able to learn beforehand:

  • You can’t set up an email marketing service without having a live blog
  • Many affiliate programs require a website address or social media link
  • You can’t set up ads without having a website address, and preferably 25+ blog posts already live. Also setting up ads can be hell, but once it’s done, you don’t have to think about it.

How much time can you dedicate to it?

There’s no denying that being disabled takes time away from the things you want to do. Maybe you also have a job, kids, or both. You need to be honest with yourself about how much time you’ll be able to spend on your blog, and keep your expectations at that level, in order to avoid being disappointed at yourself or at the results.

On a good week, I spend a few hours on my blog daily. On a bad week, I spend a few hours on my blog weekly. And on the worst weeks, I don’t touch it at all.

I want to take a minute to address the “you need to post consistently” argument here, and say that yes, posting consistently helps… but posting inconsistently is better than not posting at all. You will still get results.

You may be the type of person who can set goals about how much time you want to put on a task each day/week/month, or like me, you’re more of a “one minute at a time” kind of person. There’s no wrong answer here, as long as you know how you operate and work with it instead of against it.

Whether you can work only in bursts, or you need a routine, blogging is something you can do.

The pre-blog list

Before spending money on hosting, there are a few things I like to prepare for my blog. Some people will say that having a live blog early will motivate you to get things done, but I disagree. I had a live blog very early on, and I got so overwhelmed that I ended up barely touching it for the first 5 months. That’s 5 whole months of hosting fees down the drain, and I could have used that cash back then!

Here’s your blogger prep list:

  1. Check your domain name validity, then see if you can get the name on social media handles. You may not need them, but who knows what the future holds? While it’s preferable to get the name on most social media, it’s not a deal breaker either. The domain and social media should match if possible, which is why you should do this step before buying the domain name.
  2. Buy your domain name on Namecheap. That is the only necessary expense early on, as you need to make sure the name is available to you, and you might as well secure it before making branded content with the name possibly showing on it.
  3. Using Canva (free version is fine enough if you can’t afford to pay right now), come up with a signature look: brand colors, logo, fonts, etc. Everything can be swapped easily later, but getting the original choice out of the way will save you time once your blog is live.
  4. Write blog posts. I don’t feel comfortable starting up a blog until i have at the very least 20 blog posts, preferably more. It’s not about the blog looking bare, and more about my brain panicking about lack of content, which makes executive dysfunction kick in, sometimes.
    • While we’re here, make a few blogs posts with affiliate links from Amazon Associates. Refer to your digital product, or make a whole article about it!
    • Did you end up choosing the Print-on-Demand route, or maybe an eBook or template route? Now is the perfect time to get back on Canva and make ads for you to add to your blog posts. You can make the image clickable with a link to the POD shop/your shop!
  5. Make your products. No matter which path you take, some things need to be built, and they might as well be built, set up, and talked about from the get-go.

And that is how you can have an entire blog ready to go for the mere price of a domain name, which is usually in the 10-15$ mark (yearly).

why the blog starter kit works

When you’re ready to bring your blog live, you won’t have to create; you will be able to focus on learning, and there is a lot to learn in a short amount of time.

You will be able to repeatedly go through the process of adding a new post from start to finish without getting hung up on “what” to write. All you’ll need to figure out is where the buttons are, what needs to be added, the pictures, the links… You’ll be working with an entirely new system, and you’ll be entirely focused on figuring out that system.

With most of the work already done, learning the blogging part will be a breeze!

Interested? Head over to to my shop for my brand-new Blog Starter Kit!

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