So you want to start an accounting or finance blog, make some money on the side, and get millions to read your writing? Well surprise, it is a lot easier than you think!
Starting an accounting or finance blog is extremely easy (and almost free). Even if you have little to no financial writing or blogging experience.
Now running a blog, getting traffic, and getting people to engage in your writing… well, that takes a little more work. But the first step is getting started, and you can do that right now, in the next 10 minutes (dead serious).
Why Start an Accounting or Finance Blog?
Starting this site – RestaurantAccounting.net – was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my entire life. And I have done quite a few things; such as own software businesses, move to NYC, hold high-level finance roles at fast-growing businesses, and write a few books.
It literally changed my life by giving me a sense of freedom and flexibility I didn’t know was possible.
Before starting a blog, I spent years consulting, working a pretty normal 9 AM to 8 PM job (well normal for NYC anyways). I loved what I was doing, but unfortunately, I was trapped trading my time for dollars.
Now, I have an asset that generates over $5k per month revenue and enough profit to live pretty much anywhere.
I can work remotely, wherever and whenever I want to. Much of my income is passive, meaning it doesn’t require direct input from me (i.e., I’m no longer trading time for money).
My work or brand has been featured in the Commercial Observer, Restaurant Technology Guys, The Nashville Ledger, and more.
So, why start an accounting or finance blog? Because it might give you the freedom you’ve been craving. It might lead to financial independence. It might help you forge new relationships.
It might just change your life.
How to Get Started!
There are basically three steps to launch your finance blog:
- Get a domain name and hosting
- Install WordPress
- Choose a “theme”
Let’s look at each of these steps in a little more detail.
If you’re serious about fashion blogging, I highly recommend getting your own hosting plan and installing WordPress yourself. It’s not very hard – I promise.
Step 1: Domain Name and Hosting
Let’s Think About Our Domain
This might be the coolest part of this process. You get to pick a name for your finance blog! No pressure here, you can always change it, but you should try to pick a winner.
Make a list of 10-20 potential names, then use the Namecheap domain name finder to see if they’re available. If not, no worries! You can always add a modifier (an extra word) to the domain name. Get your .com for just $8.88 with Namecheap
For example, if you want financeblog.com but it’s already taken, you could try smartfinanceblog.com.
Not my best work, but you get the point. You could also get financeblog.co if the dot com isn’t available. It’s not a huge deal these days, as many dot coms have been bought up by domain flippers, who tend to just sit on the valuable domain.
Honestly, the name isn’t all that important. It just feels really important. It’s best not to get caught up on this step. Just pick something and run with it.
Now Its Time to Talk About Hosting
If your website is a house, hosting is the foundation. It’s a little corner of the internet (think neighborhood) where you get to keep all of your awesome blog posts.
It’s important to pick a good hosting company so you never have to worry about your house falling down. Especially when you spend a lot of time building it, beautifying it and making it your own.
There are tons of hosting companies, but the best one for beginner finance bloggers is Bluehost. It’s what Restaurant Accounting ran on for years before moving to WP Engine (after traffic really picked up). Are you already ready for WP Engine ? Get it today – WP Engine – Get 3 months free on annual plans
I love WP Engine too, but it’s way more expensive than Bluehost and totally unnecessary for a new blog. Trust me on this one. Your money will be better spent on awesome stock photos.
Bluehost customer support is great (even though you probably won’t need it), and it’s very affordable (like the cost of one latte from Starbucks every month). Save yourself some time, skip the research, and go with Bluehost.
Step 2: Install WordPress
After you get your hosting account and domain name squared away, you need to install WordPress. Sticking with the house metaphor, think of WordPress as your website’s frame (or framework), built by caring contractors.
And it’s the most reliable contractor I have ever worked with, and it’s a framework build to last. In fact, WordPress works so well that over 30% of websites on the entire internet are powered by it.
So yeah, look no further. WordPress is where it’s at, and it’s easy to install from your hosting account.
STEP 3: Paint the House (Pick a Theme)
You can’t have a plain old boring website. After all, it’s a finance blog. It’s got to be enticing and engaging to keep your readers on the site. The easiest way to make your blog eye-catching is to use something WordPress likes to call a theme.
A website theme is like the paint on your house. It is like the final touches. It doesn’t change the frame or foundation, but it determines how it looks. Think of it as your website’s curb appeal. It can be changed pretty easily, without changing the bones or underlying structure.
The best WordPress themes, in my modest opinion, are from StudioPress . They’re minimal, clean, and modern.
Plus, they’re super fast, totally secure, and optimized for search engines (very important for any finance blogger).
This site is running on a custom StudioPress theme, but for a long time I used one of their ready-made themes, and it looked great right out of the box. Plus, they’re easy to customize by changing colors, fonts, etc., no coding required.
If you’re not ready to pay for a theme, check out the official directory of free WordPress themes (including some great finance blog themes).
What Do You Do Next?
When you first get your site up and running, you’re going to be tempted to play around with plugins, widgets, colors, fonts and other “branding” elements that, to be one-hundred percent honest, do not matter an ounce (we aren’t even at the field warming up for the big game yet).
My advice is to focus on one thing: amazing content.
You need some well written and detailed content for your new site. Since it’s an accounting or finance blog, you need a sprinkle of solid photos and screenshots. Trust me, this stuff is way more important than figuring out what the best color for your email signup is on your sidebar.
Here are some ideas for what to write about first (the first pages you should publish):
Your About Page
When a visitor comes to your site for the first time, they tend to check out my about page. It’s like your online dating profile: it needs to describe who you are and what your blog is all about.
More importantly, it should tell your visitor what they’re going to get out of your site. Why should they read your content? Why should they subscribe? What makes you special and worth coming back for?
Don’t be reserved here…it’s time to give them your best elevator pitch!
Your First Post
I know you have a couple of beliefs about the world of finance and accounting that you want to share. Maybe it’s a philosophy on how to better manage cash flow, your favorite accounting software or simply how to make money online. Maybe it’s a mistake you see other people making that you want to help them avoid.
Write about that! This is the kind of content that makes you unique and that will set you apart from other bloggers.
You can also start with product reviews. Think about the top 5-10 products or services that you simply can’t live without, and write detailed reviews for those products.
Your goal here is to help people who are thinking about buying these products make the best purchasing decision.
You could probably write 10-20 really great reviews right now, without doing any research!
Build That Email List
Start capturing emails from your blog. Why? Emails are one of the most powerful marketing tools in the internet game.
Don’t simply wait for your true fans to remind themselves of your blog and circle back (noob alert, they forget all about you!). Re-engage them with a weekly or bi-weekly email update to bring them back to your site.
I use ConvertKit. It’s way easier to use than Mailchimp, and more powerful and intuitive than Aweber. I switched from Mailchimp a while back, and I haven’t regretted it once.
Dollars and Cents in My Pocket
When can you start making money from your finance blog? Honestly, I wouldn’t even think about that if you’re just getting started.
Focus on great content and building an audience. Read up on basic SEO best practices. Develop a daily writing habit, and keep hitting the “publish” button.
Once you start getting some traffic, then you can start monetizing your blog.
About the Author: Zachary is the founder of Restaurant Accounting. A seasoned restaurant operator, restaurant group CFO, consultant, and author. He enjoys helping restaurants better understand their finances and creating great content. Twitter · Instagram