Blogging can be a fun hobby or business these days as you can see online. But it can also be a huge pain in the ass. For starters, there’s so much info on the web. Everyone has their own style and they all give out different advice for how to go about it. Then there’s the whole blog itself.
Before I started my blog, my biggest question was “how can I start a blog?” Up until about 2 years ago, I thought the only way to get a website/blog was to pay someone to “build” it. Now, certainly you can go that route but it will cost you… A LOT. Usually in the neighborhood of a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. I don’t know about you, but I didn’t have that kind of money to spend on a professional.
But then I found out you can do it yourself and still have a very professional looking outcome. For instance, my website is a do it yourself job. I picked out everything I wanted, and after paying for a coaching program, had it all put together for me (it was included). You can go that way too if you want, but you don’t have to. I did because my first attempt at building a website was trash! But after doing this for over a year now, I realized how easy building websites can be. So if you’ve ever found yourself wondering how you can get your own blog/website, then you’re in luck cuz you gon’ learn today!
*You can skip ahead and get started right now by clicking here.*
Blogging is one of the best things I picked up in the last 2 years. Its my most recommended venture for any type of entrepreneur and here’s why:
- You can create a passive income– Blogging is one of the few things that you can build and get paid for over and over again with minimal future input. If you do it right, your content will LIVE on the web and convert new people each and every month.
- Many big names and companies have an online presence- For some, this is just social media. For others, it’s that plus a blog! Grant Cardone, Tim Ferriss, Gary Vaynerchuk, Seth Godin, all very successful entrepreneurs who also blog.
- It becomes an online resource/database for you and anyone else– Something as simple as this tutorial is something that will be useful many times over. People searching the internet will find it, people searching my website will find it, and I can direct anyone here that wants to start a WordPress blog. And this is just one out of hundreds of pieces of content on the blog.
- It can be therapeutic– Since this is my blog, I can write whatever I want whenever I want or NEED to. Sometimes, it’s better to blow off steam on your own space than to take it to social media, or worse real life.
- Blogging builds credibility, hell a website does that by itself- I don’t know why but when you have your own professional looking website, people look at you with higher esteem. Plus, back to the resource thing, you can send people to your website to get in contact with you, or any projects you’re working on in the future.
- Your office is anywhere! Your blog lives online and 99% of the time, everything you need to run/update it is online or on a laptop/computer. I once updated my blog while on a road trip to Arkansas. Writing can be done basically anywhere. For as long as you have an internet connection, you’re good to go!
*Best of all, you can start your own blog for as low as $3.95 per month.*
Now, you might be thinking – why pay to start a blog when you can start one for free with Blogger or Tumblr? I had the same thoughts, but when I started asking questions, I quickly realized I didn’t want to go that route. When you host your blog on another company’s website, they own your content in a way. For instance, say you post something about Donald Trump (like I did here), if that post gets enough negative press, that website could take it down, or worse, shut down your whole site.
It’s incredibly inexpensive to start and run a blog these days. Usually, people can tell if you take your website seriously by the URL alone.
Let’s face it, yourwebsite.wordpress[dot]com doesn’t hold the same weight or have the same effect as yourwebsite[dot]com. One screams hobby, the other says professional. Sure you can get fancy with domains and masking, but you still won’t control it 100%. With a self-hosted website, you own it all, control it, and protect your content from people who may not agree with what you have to say. That’s why I highly recommend you self-host your website with Bluehost. Bluehost is one of the top website hosts of 2017. If you go through my link, not only do you get pricing as low as $3.95 per month, but you’ll also get a free domain name of your choosing.
Now Let’s start your blog!
First thing you need is a domain. You can get one here for free when you create your blog. Your domain is your website address ie: yourwebsite[dot]com. It’s how people will find you. Whatever you pick, I highly recommend it end in [dot] com. I don’t know if you know, but most people will immediately assume your website is a [dot] com, so getting someone to go to a [dot] net or [dot] org can be difficult.
But what you do you pick?
Honestly that’s up to you, but here’s a tip: Spend some time (days or hours) thinking about what you want to write about. Once you got it, go to Google keyword planner and set up a free account. A lot of people want to have yourname[dot]com as their website, which is understandable because it’s their name and their website. But I’m going to strongly advise against that.
Unless you have a famous name, 99% of people aren’t searching for your name from day to day. Sorry to burst your bubble. You want to take advantage of organic traffic, so play around with different keywords and choose the most searched word or a combination of a few that relate to what you’ll write about. That’s how I came up with my website name and that’s how you can get organic traffic from day 1. Think of “organic” traffic like this – what are people searching for naturally, and how can these terms relate to your blog?
Quick note when you sign up for hosting with Bluehost, you should only need the basic plan. You won’t need the higher tiers, plus you can upgrade later if you want to. It’s $3.95/month for hosting when you go for the 36 month plan. I’ll go over other alternatives in a few.
Second is hosting.
Set up with Bluehost is super simple, plus installing WordPress on top of Bluehost takes one click. Follow the step-by-step prompts and you’ll be fine. You get the cheapest priced hosting at $3.95/month when you sign up for 36 months. You do pay that all upfront, but that’s still a really good deal! You can still get a discount with a shorter plans too. 24 months is $4.95 per month, and 12 months is just $5.95 which is still way better than the full rate month to month. At any rate it’s crazy to think you can get started for as little as 72 bucks instead of thousands. Again, the basic is all you need for now. If in the future you feel the need to upgrade, you just pay the difference.
Remember, by going through my link, you get a free domain and hosting as low as $3.95. You can go with Godaddy for a domain, or use your own if you already have one.
When you’re ready, follow along below.
- Go to Bluehost and click “get started now.”
- Select Package (Basic).
- Enter domain or sign up for one now. (You can also skip and do this later).
- Enter personal information and payment info.
- Choose a username and password. Be smart and make it secure. Use numbers/letter/symbols and save it somewhere.
Third, it’s time to connect your domain.
Attn: You can skip this step if you have a bluehost domain.
Visit Godaddy and follow their walkthrough to get your domain. Once signed in with your domain, click modify DNS name servers. They should look like this -> ns1.bluehost[dot]com; ns2.bluehost[dot]com.
Back on you Bluehost cPanel, click “Register Domain” under the “Domains” Heading. Next click “assign” in the header bar. Finally follow the prompts to add your domain.
Now back to your Bluehost homepage. We’re going to install WordPress with one click!
It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for, and it’s simple/free to do.
From your cPanel homepage (the landing page after signing in) click the “Wordpress tools” tab.
Click “New Install” and then select the domain to use.
You’ll need to select a username/password for WordPress too. Please don’t use “Admin” for your username. It’s the number one most used username for hackers to attack your website.
Click “Install WordPress.”
Remember to save your username/password somewhere safe.
BAM! You’re Done!
If any of this confuses you, drop me an email at email@example.com
Tips for starting out
- To sign in, use the info in the email Bluehost sent after you signed up. Keep the email safe. It’s the easiest way to reach your site, and it’s unique to you.
- Creating a blog post is pretty easy. Click “posts” on the left and start writing, or click “Pages” to edit/create a new page.
- You can upload new images by clicking on “media”, you can even drag and drop here.
- If you click Appearance, then click on widgets. You can add things to the sidebar/footer/header/etc.
- For the look of your website, you can again pay someone to design your website for a hefty fee, or you can use pre-built website themes. WordPress comes with some free ones, and you can get even more options at my Theme Shop. Themes can range from free to 59 bucks. Just depends on what catches your eye in terms of look and functionality.
- If you’re BRAND NEW to blogging check out my article on common blogging myths. I made sure to highlight the most repeated myths and even had a few blogging friends help me show you why they aren’t true.
- Another article to consider would be my breakdown of my first year blogging. Here I cover some of my biggest mistakes in blogging so that you don’t have to go through what I did.
- Every great website uses email marketing. This is a way to stay in touch with your readers on a more personal level. There are all kinds of platforms/services but I recommend ConvertKit. It wasn’t the first platform I tried, but it’s been the best tool I use since I switched. *You can find out all about it here.*
- Lastly, you’re going to want to consider affiliate marketing if making money through your blog is even a thought. With affiliate marketing, you leverage the products/services of established brands, and they give you a kickback for referrals. However, there is a right and wrong way to go about this. That’s why I recommend a course to specifically teach you how to start making money immediately. It’s called Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing, and it was designed by a woman making over $50,000 per month in affiliate income alone. This is the single best course you can take if you want to make money with your blog. Don’t be like me and spend close to a year not knowing how to do this right. Or worse, doing it wrong and running off potential clients/customers.
So there you go. By now, you should have what you need to get a legit blog started.
You can go my resource page to find my personal blog tools and get the ball rolling fast. As I said before, if you have questions, then shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Lastly, if you want more help but don’t want to email back and forth, then maybe my 7 day eCourse will show you the way. In it I cover:
- Why you need a blog
- How to research what to blog about/your audience
- How to create a blog (You Are Here)
- The importance of email marketing
- The nitty-gritty of affiliate marketing
- How to design your blog
- What next – tips for launching on the right foot
*You can sign-up for the email course below. Currently a waiting list but coming very soon*
It’s only $7 bucks which is a steal considering the amount of time I spent putting this course together. You’ve already gotten a sample of the course in this article so you know the quality that is to come. And don’t worry, you’ll love the rest of the course!
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