I have been blogging full-time for over two years now, with a small following. I make around $10,000 a month while working less than 10 hours a week (Blogging is kinda the best job ever). I started a blog called Smart and Simplistic a few summers ago so I could share my life being young married, and in college. I started it with the hopes of turning it into my full-time job because I am a big dreamer, but I knew it was going to be hard.
I blogged about lifestyle stuff like the struggles of college, debt, travel and being married young. I started making money my very first month blogging and next thing you know more questions started coming in about how I did it, and how to start a successful blog so that is why I decided to start TaylorStanford.com so I could teach other people what I know about blogging so that we can all get to have amazing blogs, and live our best life working for ourselves from home.
Blogging has allowed me to travel the world, and pay off so much debt. Not to mention I get to stay home with my husband and I could not be luckier to have this job and help others
HOW TO START A BLOG:
Ever since I started talking about how I make money blogging, and what I do to make money blogging there has been one question that I get asked more than any other question:
The question that I get asked the most is, "How do you start a blog?" and "Is it hard to blog/make money blogging?" I decided that today I should finally get answering all these questions so that I can help people all over start following their dreams.
Making a blog, or learning to make money online is not as hard or intimidating as it may sound. When I started blogging I had no idea how to design anything, how to install a theme, I had never even seen WordPress. Here I am exactly one year later blogging, and helping other bloggers create careers.
You can do this! and if you need any help along the way click my contact button above.
In this post, I am going to teach you guys how to start your own blog using WordPress and self-hosting through Bluehost. This is the way that I started my blog, and the best way to start blogging for a few reasons.
It allows you to get your own .com without having to know how to code, or a bunch of techie stuff.
It allows you to have a platform you can just jump into, it won't be months before you can start posting, and earning money.
In this post, there are special links throughout that allow you to get hosting at a discounted rate and a free domain name. However, these are things that you can only get through my links. However, this deal isn't going to last forever (unfortunately) so you might want to get started before the special pricing & free domain go away.
If you want to be sure to use my link to follow along with this post and get the special discount, and the free domain name you can click here then follow along below.
The reason that I have been using Bluehost for my blog, and helping others sign up for it is because:
It is so inexpensive compared to the hosting from other places.
Their customer support has been more than amazing any time that I have needed it.
You can install WordPress with one click so there is no need for any previous blogging knowledge.
They have a support staff dedicated to helping bloggers with Wordpress, so they are always helpful.
However, if you want to use another form of hosting that is fine. You will just want to skip to part 2-4 of this series.
Let's jump into it and get your blog started!
HOW TO START A BLOG FREE EMAIL COURSE!
If you aren't loving your current income, or your work I created a free 7-day email course to teach you how to start a profitable blog. If you want to join my free how to start a profitable blog email course here is what we go over in it:
Day 1: How to start a blog for beginners. (with a 50% off discount on your blog + a free .com just for my readers)
Day 2: How to install your first theme and create a free logo.
Day 3: Planning out your content.
Day 4: Monetizing your website as a beginner.
Day 5: Increasing your website's traffic to make more money.
Day 6: Planning out your long-term goals.
Day 7: Wrap up & Guide to follow for the future to maximize profit.
I think it is very informative even if you plan to start a blog by following along with this post.
WHAT YOU NEED TO START A BLOG:
You will need An idea. I believe you probably already have an idea because, well you made it this far into a post about how to start a blog.
You will need this page saved, you could probably complete this whole process in one sitting, but this is only part of a four-part series and each part is helpful. I reccomend saving this series on your bookmarks, or on Pinterest (click here to save to Pinterest) because you may get confused in the future and need to come back.
A computer you could probably do this from a phone or tablet but it would be very hard and very time-consuming.
Money for hosting depending on your plan, or how long you to purchase your blog for your looking at about $65-142 for 1 to 3 years of hosting, and a .com domain name.
A goal: the goal to make blogging your part or full-time job.
WHAT I'LL BE EXPLAINING IN THIS POST:
How to set up your blog's domain and hosting.
How to install WordPress (where you actually write your blog posts)
How to create and write your first post.
How to install plug-ins and a theme.
Hot to create a logo.
If you are just looking to make money with your current blog click here.
DON'T LET YOUR MIND GET THE BEST OF YOU
Starting your first blog can be scary. Thinking, "what if no one reads it," or "what If I suck I'm not creative" I know I had those thoughts. So when I finally got the guts to create a blog I was scared because I thought I was going to fail.
Here I am a few months later living my dreams and making more money from my blog than I did at my day job while doing something I love.
I completely understand if you don't want to invest a lot in your blog when you are just starting out. I have only invested $70 in my blog to this day. Starting a blog on a budget is not hard if you are willing to put in a little time (around 20 minutes). This 4 part series will take you through everything you need to know to create a blog for less than $70 a year.
YOU CAN DO THIS, AND YOU DO HAVE A CHANCE TO MAKE MONEY BLOGGING.
When I started Smart and Simplistic (now taylorstanford.com) I was hesitant to invest the $71.40 it took me then to create this blog, because that Is a lot of money (especially for a poor college student like I was) and I had no idea If I would ever get it back. I did not seriously think that anyone would care about my travel, lifestyle blog but they did, which made me realize you can have a blog about anything and be successful. My blog hasn't failed! it become a full-time income in just two months from starting it. Want to read about how I did that? click here.
And just like I didn't fail I know you won't fail if you are motivated. That is all it takes!
The reasons you should create a blog are truly endless but here are a few to get you motivated.
Anyone of at any age can start a blog.
You don't need any experience to start a blog.
An outlet for expression
Chance to build relationships
A place to be creative even if you aren't creative.
Anyone can start a blog and be successful.
STOP PROCRASTINATING AND GET OUT THERE AND CREATE A BLOG.
Now let me teach you how to start a blog!
If you aren't already a blogger:
Have you ever uttered the words (or thought to yourself) "I am totally gonna do that" or "go there when I have money".
Or maybe you have just found yourself not going on a family vacation this summer, or not buying something because well?
You just cannot afford it.
I know first hand how it feels to live on a single income that is not large enough, and even two income that are STILL not large enough.
With a combination of my first hand experience, and tips I just couldn't go without sharing. I created something that will change your financial, and future blogging life.
I created 30 Days to Blog Success an e-book that will help you:
Learn how to turn your MINUTES of free time into thousands of dollars a month by blogging.
It will give you a dummies guide to making money in just 30 days through blogging.
Teach you how to stop thinking "I can't start a blog" and give you the ability to start a blog, and blog successfully.
Learn how to successfully use affiliate marketing, Pinterest, and Facebook to make money blogging in just 30 Days.
Learn how to make money than you ever thought you could with a small audience.
Teach you how to create a practical side hustle that will allow you to shop and vacation like you have always dreamed of.
Teach you how to get your blog ready in minutes.
Oh and after today it will no longer be available so that I can work with the people who get it and help them.
Did I mention that TODAY ONLY 30 Days to Blog Success is 50% off as a last time promotion because it's fall which is my favorite season? well it is just use the discount code: FALL at checkout.
This offer expires at 11:59 PM CST Sunday September 23rd.
Click here to buy it or learn even more about 30 Days to Blog Success.
STEP ONE: DECIDING ON A DOMAIN NAME
Time to decide what you want your blog to be called so you can pick out your .com! What should you call your blog? It is totally up to you and what you plan to talk about but I just had a few tips.
Side note: I recommend getting a .com not a .net or .co just because it looks more professional and it is easier to remember.
Keep it short. This makes getting social media accounts for your blog much easier since they have character limits.
Keep it simple. This makes it easier for viewers to remember.
Keep it true to you. By this I mean to keep it true to what your blog is going to be about. No one is going to take a food blog called "bestvacays.com" seriously or remember it
Make sure it's not the name of something else. You can check this by searching the name you want on google.
Keep it professional. You want this to be a business so you don't want a name people won't take seriously like chugdaddy.com the travel blog.
Make sure it is available. You can do this by typing the name you want into a new tab and seeing if any website comes up.
STEP TWO: PICKING A HOSTING PLATFORM
Since you just decided what you wanted to call your blog lets get it started. With Bluehost, you get a free domain if you use my link so you can go right to step two. If you decided to host your blog on another platform you are going to have to go buy your domain name first from somewhere like GoDaddy.
Let's make this as simple as possible. I know how to create a blog by using Bluehost I have never experienced it on another platform. I am only going to go into detail on Bluehost because they are the best in my opinion. They have amazing service (a 24/7 live chat & customer service you can call)
Because I love Bluehost so much I reached out to see if they would give my audience a special discount and they agreed! so for those of you using this post (or my email course) to create a blog you get a special discount for my audience only! It normally starts at $7.99 a month now for you guys its only $2.95.
I do not want to give someone tips I wouldn't follow myself or have not experienced. I have hosted my blog on Bluehost since I started it. They have been great every step of the way. Every time I have contacted their customer service they have been so helpful.
What you get: 1 free domain, hosting, free WordPress.org installation and more than 50% off (if you use my link)
Annual cost for 1 year: $59.40
Annual cost for 2 years: $47.40
Annual cost for 3 years: $35.40
To sign up for Bluehost click here then follow along!
When you click any of the links in this post (or right here) to sign up for Bluehost. You get a special discount for using my link. The discount is over 50% annually plus you get a free domain (you'll be saving more than $50 dollars annually). The price you get my link is $2.95 a month (you can only get it when using my link) and normally the prices start at $7.99 a month. It is a great deal and hasn't been a bad choice for me. If you want to make money blogging being self-hosted is my only tip. I didn't make any money blogging until I started self-hosting through Bluehost.
Bluehost is a great service I would not recommend it If I did not love it. In fact, it is the only affiliate program I am apart of because so far it is the only one I believe in.
START A BLOG FOR ONLY $2.95 a month!
STEP THREE: PICKING A BLUEHOST PLAN
You are going to go here to bluehost.com. You will come to the Bluehost home screen you are going to click "get started now" on the banner. This will take you to a landing page where you will select the type of plan you want. I recommend selecting the smallest plan because you can always upgrade later. That way you can save some money up front and just invest the money you make in the future back into your blog and upgrade it.
After you have decided what plan you want to go ahead and click "select" and meet me at the next step.
STEP FOUR: CREATING A BLUEHOST ACCOUNT
Now enter the name you want in the "new domain" box. If you already bought a domain from a place like GoDaddy then enter that in the "I have a domain name" box. Then click the "next" button. On the next screen, you will type in your information like email and name. This account is where you will sign in to manage all your blog settings such as email, and advertising. So choose an email you have accesses to and plan to use for a while when you start your blog. Then scroll down and move on to step 5.
STEP FIVE: CHOOSING A HOSTING PACKAGE + LENGTH
After you have finished creating your account scroll down and select your package information. First of all, I recommend deselecting all of the add-on features because there are great WordPress plugins that do the same things for free (we talk about that in part 4 of this series link at the end of the post). After deselecting all the add-on features I recommend just getting the 12 months and upgrading within the year to save money that is what I did.
STEP SIX: PAYMENT
Now it is time to select your payment. Then you are on your way! Once you pay you will be taken to choose your password and install WordPress with just one click!
STEP SEVEN: CHOOSE A PASSWORD
Wohoo! we almost have a blog. How exciting? Super exciting. You are going to be living your dreams in no time flat after this. This is a pretty simple step so I am going to just drop the pictures of the steps below.
Now go ahead and log into your blog!
STEP EIGHT: PICK A THEME!
The page that comes up should look like this:
Go ahead and pick the theme that you think looks the best (I will teach you how to work with it, and change it in part two of the series so if it's not perfect that's okay) once you have a theme picked
STEP NINE: FINISH IT UP
Can you believe that you are already almost done? it's crazy how simple it is to build a blog. yet some people think that they will never be able to do it because they don't know how to code.
Now you can go ahead and click start building:
Then go ahead and pick Business or Personal I typically recommend the business option, but it is up to you!
You can go on to step two now and edit your theme, start writing posts, get your about and sidebar ready. Then when you are ready to make your blog public click Launch in blue above.
Once you click launch and name your site your homepage will now look like this:
You will be ready to access your WordPress blog anytime by clicking the "My Sites" button along the left side of your screen or by going to yourwebsite.com/admin and logging in with your information and password.
You are ready for part two: which you can get by clicking here. We will be talking about how to pick and install a theme!
Here are the links for all of the series:
Disclaimer: This post contains my Bluehost affiliate link but all opinions are my own and they are honest.