How to Start a Blog
I have been blogging as part of my job for over two years now. From blogging, I was able to start two successful businesses. So I truly believe in the power of blogging, because it has changed my life.
Ever since I started talking about how I make money blogging, and what I do to make money blogging there has been two questions that I get asked more than any other question:
"How do you start a blog?" and "Is it hard to blog/make money blogging?"
I decided that today I should finally get answering these questions so that I can help people all over start following their dreams.
Starting 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 just over two years later running two successful businesses (this and Too Influenced the Media / Marketing Agency) and helping other bloggers create careers.
You can do this! and if you need any help along the way click my contact button above.
WHATS IN THIS POST?
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 gives you a 60% off the normal cost of starting a blog any other way.
It allows you to get your own .com for free 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 (60% off), and a free domain name.
I promise this isn’t me just trying to get your money through affiliate links. I reached out to Bluehost and asked them if they could do a better deal for my audience. They politely agreed and said that they would. I reached out to them because this is how I started my blog and the way I believe is the best way to start it.
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 with 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!
I created a FREE ( did I mention it’s free?) 7 Day email course which will teach you step-by-step how to set up a blog, install your theme, make a logo, and create monetized content. It will completely kick-start your blogging success.
Please take it if you don’t already have a blog (or if you do already have a blog and want the advice) because I really want to help you get your dream job. Here is a more detailed guide of what we go over in it!
Day 1: How to start a blog for beginners (+50% of per month & 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 recommend 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 $59-106 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 into your blog when you are just starting out. I have only invested $70 into 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 $101.40 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. My blog hasn't failed it has become a full-time income in just two months. 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
A 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!
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 its 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 filling in the box below and clicking "check availability"
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 into 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 in 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)
Don’t forget: 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 through 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
Woohoo! 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 but make sure to write down your password, or save it somewhere.
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 out you can continue to the next step of starting your blog.
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.
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 any time by clicking the "My Sites" button along the left side of your screen.
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.