I started blogging when I was 14 years old. Just a couple years later, I was making some decent side change. As a 20 year old, blogging and graphic design is my full time job. There are many great tutorials on how to start a blog for fun, but I couldn’t find a blog post on how to start a monetized blog for teens. A lot of the articles written by 40-somethings forget that a major hinderance can be the inability to legally enter into an ad contract. Here is a step by step guide on how to make money blogging as a teen. (This is a detailed guide that anyone can use, but there’s a lot of information specifically for teens!)
Disclaimer: Some of the following links are affiliate links. I make a small commission from some of the links on this site. You can read my full disclosure here.
How to Start Your Blog
I write this assuming the person who wants to begin blogging is over 13 and wants to blog for profit. If you’re just wanting to create a blog for fun, some points may not matter as much as others!
1. Come up with a name
This may seem obvious, but the first thing your blog needs is a name! Your name is your brand. Check and see if your domain name is available. Then, check all of the major social networking sites including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. (Make sure your name also isn’t too long! For example, some sites put a cap on how long your username can be.)
You will want your name to be consistent across all sites or at least on all of your major social sites. Once you decide, take your social media handles ASAP so no one else does!
2. Buy your domain name
After settling upon a name, buy your domain name ASAP! It’s typically about $9.95-$15. Buy any domain ID protection that comes with it (around $7-22 – it is worth it). Companies can track what domains have been looked up, and occasionally snatch it up themselves and hike the price.
3. Buy hosting
I would recommend buying hosting the same place you buy your domain, to prevent a lot of headaches in the future. I use Siteground, and have been really happy with it. They have top-notch, instant 24/7 customer service. For your first year, they offer a student plan where hosting is only $2/mo for the first year!
If you’re wanting to start solely an e-commerce site, I cannot recommend Shopify enough!
4. Set up your blog
If you are wanting to blog professionally, use WordPress. It is slightly more of a learning curve than Blogger, but it’s a widely-used platform used by sites that receive millions of views.
5. Find a theme
There are plenty of great WordPress themes for beginning bloggers. Choose something simple, easy to read, and responsive (most themes are!).
As a side note, a completely black site/completely black backgrounds with small white text is so difficult to read! Responsive themes adjust appropriately on mobile and tablet devices so you don’t have to zoom in and squint to read the text. A good bulk of your traffic will come from mobile, so it’s important to have a good looking mobile site. Creative Market also has great themes, including some nice ones for under $30. Look on other sites in your niche to see what you want your site to look like.
6. Download plugins
There are thousands of great free plugins on WordPress. Simply go to Plugins > Add New and search away. There’s a plugin for virtually everything, from verifying your website with Pinterest to preventing spam comments.
My favorite plugins include:
- Askimet (anti-spam)
- Comment Reply Notification
- Digital Downloads
- Pinterest hover button
- Yoast SEO
- Google Analytics
- Cresta Social Buttons (or any social media share buttons)
7. Set up a menu
This menu will have your basics: Home (that leads back to your homepage), about me, and contact. Sometimes, bloggers have a second menu with their most popular categories.
8. Start writing content
Start publishing awesome content! Remember to proof-read and keep posts error-free.
As you craft content, keep your audience in mind. How is this going to help somebody a year from now?
Creating Your Own Images
I recommend using Picmonkey to create your own images. There’s also Canva, but Picmonkey consistently yields quality results while Canva’s images tend to be blurry in my opinion. I know hundreds of bloggers who use Canva, so I’m definitely in the minority.
Ideally, the best programs are Adobe PhotoShop and InDesign, but these can be expensive and have an intense learning curve if you don’t already have experience. (The more you gain experience blogging, these two programs are great to learn and are great skills when you hit the job market.) Picmonkey is simple and yields pretty good quality.
In our visual world, beautiful, eye-catching images and photography is a must. My first images were in no way “pretty” and were in fact very ugly. Content is king. Ultimately, my posts were about the content, not the images, so while nice images have improved my blog, they weren’t that way in the beginning.
Marketing and SEO
Everyone’s niche is different. My first success blogging was when one of my first posts (this one!) received 100 repins overnight. It was then when I realized I might actually be able to make money blogging. I realize I got very lucky and had made the right connections very early. Everyone’s success looks different. My readers primarily love Facebook and Pinterest. Fashion bloggers may have better luck on Pinterest and Instagram. Still others might have better luck on Twitter. Know what your audience uses.
Comment on blogs in your niche. Make them authentic and relative to the post. Network with those in your niche. Share other’s content, and many will return the favor.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Using keywords that are being consistently searched helps you rank higher in Google.
There are four main ways to earn money blogging. They are affiliate marketing, ads, sponsored posts, and creating products.
In order to begin making money, set up a checking account. There are several banks that offer student accounts, complete with a debit card, if a parent co-signs. Check and see if your parent’s bank has this option. I would recommend creating an EIN (Employer Identification Number) to use for tax purposes. It’s quick and easy to set up and will require a parent’s co-signature. As tempting (or accidental) as it may be, do not have your account with a parent’s social security number. This can be a huge pain to change in the future!
When in doubt, use a parent’s name/SSN, and get it switched when you turn 18.
1. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate links are links that have a unique tracking code. I’m an affiliate for several sites, but my #1 is Amazon. I have many book/movie lists and receive a small percentage of sales. Many clothing retailers have affiliate programs, if that’s where your niche is. When using affiliate links, be sure to have proper disclosure! It’s required legally and makes you more reliable.
There are many different ad networks out there, but the most common among beginners is Google Adsense. The payout isn’t the best, but the ads are very easy, you’re in control, and it is a fantastic choice for beginners. After you begin gaining momentum, I’d recommend Mediavine. You need 25,000 sessions, around 30,000 page views, monthly to qualify.
3. Sponsored Posts
I use the network Clever for sponsored posts. Others have luck with Tapinfluence. (You can have both if you want!) There’s not always a lot of options for a 15 year old, but it never hurts to sign up. You can also pitch brands asking them for products in exchange for a sponsored post.
4. Creating Products
Creating your own products is one of the best ways to make money as a blogger. You have an asset; something to sell. Choose something related to your niche that your readers will find valuable.
Whatever you use, try to avoid spammy pitches you receive from your email.
Fonts, Images, and Copyright Fun
For years I used Picmonkey to make my images, until I started to use Photoshop. I still use Picmonkey for their great features and collage maker.
For images, if you did not put it on the internet, it doesn’t belong to you. Never use images you found from Google. I know bloggers who have been faced with hefty fines because of this. Take your own images or use Unsplash or Pixabay for stock images that you can use for 100% free, no credit required.
Commercial use means anything for-profit and that you are making money from. If you’re blogging for profit, everything you use must be for commercial use even if you’re not directly making money from it.
Personal use is for when you are not making any money. If you are blogging for money (or want to in the future), always choose things that allow commercial use.
You can use any fonts already installed on your computer. You can find more fonts on dafont.com, and when searching be sure to click “100% free.” If a font says “free for personal use,” check out the creator’s website to find a price. Some fonts are just $5! (Kimberly Geswein has a large collection of fonts that are just $5/each to use on your blog.) Fonts you pay for, such as any you buy from Creative Market, are allowed for commercial use.
Tips to Remember:
1. It’s NOT overnight cash.
2. Write what your audience wants.
3. If something’s not working, adjust your plan.
4. There’s a million “experts” with a million different opinions.
5. Have fun and don’t forget why you started! 🙂
6. Remember you will grow and change. My blog today did NOT look like it did when it started. Constantly be willing to learn, adapt and grow!
This is a great post, with lots of helpful tips! Thank you for sharing! =D
Thanks, Micaiah! 🙂
Samantha, thanks for the info! Sorry if this is a silly question, but if I select Wix (or whoever) for creating the blog on, can I use them to check for the name? Or is that done in some other manner?
Hey Matthew! Yes, you can use them to check the domain name! If you’re debating between Blogger and Wix, I would go with Blogger, which is specifically meant for blogs. 🙂
this stuff is very cool i have been wanting to build a website or even a blog thank you so much for the information
Hey girl! Thank you so much for these tips… i started a blog last August and it’s been so hard to stay consistent but now that i have these brilliant tips i can hopefully see some more traffic coming in soon! Thankss
Hey? Do you have any tips to get literally ANYONE to see it because I’ve been trying but I have no idea for how to spread it without the word of mouth lol
Thank you for these tips! I just created my blog and am so excited to get started!
I just checked it out – your logo is ADORABLE!
Wow! Thanks Samantha. As a newbie teen blogger (I just started my blog 3 weeks ago) this is super helpful. I haven’t been able to find much teen content so I’m glad that I stumbled upon your page. Thanks again!
Thanks! I just checked out your site, very cute 🙂
Should I make a blog when I am only 11 and my Parents say Maybe not? Can you please tell me!
Hey Alex, your parents have the final say but I would definitely recommend waiting until you are 13 to be able to start a blog. If you really want to, you could ask your parents to create a private blog on Blogspot. Set the privacy settings so only people you know and trust can view it.
Hey! Blogging as a teen is really not an easy thing, especially with so many posts to read on the internet! Well, I created mine last two months and I’ve gotten quite an audience and a clear setup, from disclaimers, privacy policies and stuff. I sometimes deal with anxiety from this, is there any way I can avoid being depressed from anxiety? PS: I’m 14.
Hey Charles! Blogging can be a lot, but I definitely wouldn’t worry too much about it. I suggest taking some time away from the blog and working on a screen-free project in the meantime!
Okay, duly noted! Thanks by the way.
I hope this helps 🙂
Heyaaa any help on how to get any traffic on it? Thanks x
i would like to make a blog and have wanted to for a while but my parents are worried that i will not make anything or no-one will read my content, then i will lose money and every thing will fail. any tips? ( my parents are happy for me to do it i just like your stuff and wanted you opinion.) Thanks! also im 13
Hey Tilda! One good thing about blogging is that even if you end up not making money, you can learn a lot of valuable skills along the way that can help you in the job market. My blog has taught me a lot about marketing, social media, and writing – that classrooms could not teach me. Starting a blog is not very expensive so you wouldn’t be losing that much either.
I loved your post. I just started my blog and this was so helpful. Thank you.
What if anyone use free blog sites such as wix, weebly?
Thank you so much for this post. I’m 16 and I just started writing my own blog which is called Youth Sapient. Really needed this post at this time.
Thank you, Mariam! Good luck with blogging! I just checked it out and your site looks great.
I think you loved Mariams website.
Hai…tq for this blog and comment at here my parents give me permissions to started a blog a week ago at 13… anyway visit my blog https://afiqahnadhir.wordpress.com/
I am 15 years old and Chinese. I am very surprised to see your story. In my country, it’s almost impossible for students at the age of 14 to write a blog. They don’t even know what a blog is. And most parents forbid us to build blogs because they think the Internet will affect our academic performance. (Of course, except for children living in very developed cities)
Hi! I am Chinese too, but am living in America! My story is not common, but many people have blogs here.
I just adore your blogs. However, I have a question. Every month, I would need to pay a certain amount to run my blog. So where am I going to get all that money from. Do you have any ideas?
What did you do when you started?
I’m 16 right now, still 2 years to go until 18…
Siteground hosting is $1/month for students for the first year! Then, a domain is pretty cheap (under $20 for the full year.) I would see if you can do some yard work, babysit, dog watch or something to earn your first bucks!
i want to start my own blog i am 14 years old
Hi Samantha, are there any tips you can give me in getting traffic in the first place? I can only seem to get people I know to check it out by word of mouth and it’s really annoying that I can’t it beyond that :/
Also this is a bit of a duplicate ask but I’m genuinely desperate
hey samantha can I get a free domain name from OR should I have to purchase it
hey samantha can I get a free domain name from OR should I have to purchase it
Hey Samantha! tysm for this i have been wanting to start a blog for a while now and did not know how to start! These tips were SO helpful! i just turned 15 and hope to start and grow my blog!
Thank you Grace!