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Learn How To Start A Blog and start making some online income! So many people are interested in starting their own blog but feel overwhelmed by the whole process. In this article I’ll walk you through the step by step process in this beginner’s guide to starting your very own blog! But first, let’s look at some of the reasons that people start blogs.
Why Start a Blog?
Every blogger has their own reasons for starting their blogs, here are some of mine:
I love writing about things that I’m passionate about.
I’ve always enjoyed researching and writing so it just made sense that, one day, I would start my own blog to share with others what I’ve learned (often the hard way!).
I felt disconnected from technology and wanted to learn new skills.
I’m not particularly tech savvy by any means (I only recently got a smartphone!). Starting my own website was a way that I could learn something completely new. I think that in order to survive in today’s economy we need to be constantly learning new things and developing new skills.
Blogging not only lets me develop a new skill set, but I’m also able to make some decent income from it as well. Which brings me to my final reason for starting my own blog:
I wanted to earn extra income doing something that I love doing; instead of having to find some kind of part-time job.
I think it’s fair to say that one of the main reasons that people start blogs is to be able to earn money from it. Nowadays everyone seems to have some kind of side hustle going on to earn extra cash. After seeing how other people were able to make money from their blogs, I thought: “why not give it a shot?” And you know what? It’s worked out pretty well for me. I’m now earning hundreds of dollars each month from this website and that amount continues to grow.
If you have a business or are selling a product, blogs are great marketing platforms. Online marketing is becoming more and more important for business success. So it’s no surprise that the local Dentist, Accountant, or even Massage Therapist will have their own blogs.
Why You Should Own Your Website
I’ve always believed that anyone who is seriously interested in blogging, for any reason, should pay the small cost to own their own website. For a couple hundred bucks a year, you will have full control and ownership over your website. That is extremely important, especially if you want to earn money from it.
I totally understand that when you’re just starting your blog, you want to keep costs down as much as possible. When I first started my blog I chose to buy my domain name and pay for web hosting because I had prior publishing experience where, as a condition of publication, I was forced to sign over the rights to my work. That never sat well with me and I swore that if I ever wrote anything again I would retain my publishing rights.
There are free blogging sites out there (ie. Blogspot.com and WordPress.com), but for a variety of reasons (ie. Slow page loading speed, limited customization options and functionality etc), if you want to make money you’re going to want to own your own domain name and self-hosted website on WordPress.org.
Starting a Blog Is a Great Investment
As I mentioned above, starting your own blog can be a great investment. If you’re looking to develop a side income from your website then it just makes sense to spend a little money to make a lot of money. Blogs have the potential to make huge amounts of money for us.
It’s no secret that owning your own blog can be a great investment and an important source of passive income. I mean who doesn’t want an extra few hundred or ever few thousand dollars each month. No joke. Some bloggers have made a fortune that allowed them to quit their day jobs. While I’m not quite there yet, one day I could be.
The upfront costs to start and maintain a blog are small in comparison to its earning potential. To start any other type of business would set you back tens of thousands of dollars in startup costs, but for a blog it’s about $200.
In fact Bluehost offers a 30-Day Money Back Guarantee! So what do you have to lose?
Here is my Step by Step Guide on How To Start A WordPress Blog for Beginners.
How To Start A Blog
Step 1 Select a Topic and Choose a Blog Name
Choosing a particular focus for your blog can be a bit tricky because you don’t want to pick something that is so narrowly focused that you won’t get any visitors due to a lack of interest, for example. On the other hand it can’t be so general that it is utterly meaningless (unless of course you want to create the Seinfeld Blog!).
In general, I think some of the best bloggers tend to focus on a particular area (like personal finance or parenting, for example) that’s sufficiently broad enough to allow their blogs to tackle a variety of topics within those niches.
At the end of the day, it’s your blog and you are free to do whatever it is you like. That’s what is so great about owning your own blog. You can create whatever you want, whenever you want for whoever you want.
I wouldn’t stress out too much about finding your blog’s focus because as you learn and write more and more posts you’ll blog will begin to branch out and evolve over time. The main thing is to Get Started Now!
Next comes the task of choosing your blog’s name. There are so many great blog names out there. Your challenge is to find something unique and representative of what your blog is about.
I’ll provide an important tip here. You don’t want your blog name to be too long. In general, I think the shorter it is, the better. The main reason why I prefer shorter blog names has to do with the social media profiles that you’ll be creating once your blog is up and running. Once you have your blog’s name, it’s time to take the next step.
Step 2 Choose Your Web Hosting and Domain Name
The next step in learning how to start a blog is choosing a web host and domain name. If you’re new to blogging, you may be unfamiliar with the term “Web hosting” and why you need to purchase it. Simply put, web hosting is a service that provides space for your blog on the host’s server and makes your blog available for others to see on the web. My website doesn’t reside on my own personal computer. It exists somewhere on a Bluehost server and is made available for viewing on the web.
There are many, many web hosting companies out there and choosing the right one will be very important for the success or failure of your blog. As far as I’m concerned, the best one out there is Bluehost. I’ve used them from the very beginning precisely because I was inexperienced and they have great customer service and tech support for new bloggers.
If you’ve made it this far, you probably already have a few ideas about what you’d like to blog about and maybe even a name or two kicking around in your head. Now it’s time to purchase your domain name and get web hosting. It can be a bit tricky to pick a domain name because many of the best one’s are already taken! But not to worry, there are tons of ways that you can add variations to domain names. The domain name is your blog’s website address. For example, my website’s domain name is www.myroadtowealthandfreedom.com.
To get a domain name visit the Bluehost website:
Click on the green button that says: “get started now.”
Next select your plan:
Since it’s your first website, I recommend going with the basic plan. You can always upgrade your plan at a later time.
Next comes the domain name:
Once you choose your domain name click next. The next page is your account information.
Below the account information are the packages offered:
If you plan to be blogging for a while then it makes sense to select the Basic 36 month plan. As you can see above, it costs $2.95month. These prices change all the time as Bluehost runs different promotions. But I find that the 36-month plan is usually the best deal. If you’re unsure about that, you can always select the Basic 12 month price plan for $4.95/month.
Once you’re done choosing the package that suits your needs, fill out the payment information below, check the Terms of Service box and click “Submit.”
Congratulations! You own your very own website!
Bluehost will send you a confirmation and welcome email that contains important login information. Here’s the one I got from them:
Now it’s time to install WordPress.
Step 3 How To Install WordPress
The nice think about Bluehost is that they offer a 1-click WordPress installation. To install WordPress simply log in to Bluehost and click on “hosting.” Under the “website” heading you will see a WordPress icon that says “install WordPress.” Click on the icon circled in red below.
This page should appear:
Select your domain from the drop down menu and click the Green “Next” or “Submit” button to install.
Once the installation is complete you will get a message that says WordPress Installed below. ***Please note this is important login information so keep it safe…I blacked mine out for security reasons***
You will see your Site URL, Login URL, Install Directory and Username. This information is very important so be sure to save it somewhere because you will need it later. Once you save this information somewhere, click on “configure your password.”
Create your username and password for WordPress and save it somewhere safe because you will need this info to login to your blog. Click the “Complete Setup” button and you’re finished. Now you can login to WordPress and start creating your very own website!
How to Login to WordPress
To login to WordPress follow these instructions:
Step 1 Open your web browser
Step 2 Cut and paste your Login URL in the address bar and hit enter.
You will be directed to this page:
Step 3 Type in your WordPress username and password and hit the “Log In” button.
Congratulations you just logged in to your website for the very first time!
Once logged in, there will be a welcome message from WordPress asking you if you want help with your website. Click “YES” for a quick intro to WordPress and once you’re comfortable you can select a theme for your website.
Step 4 Selecting a Theme
A theme gives your website its look and there are thousands of options to choose from. Some themes are free such as the Twenty Twelve I used when I first started my blog. Others will cost you some money, usually about $50-$100.
To search for themes select Appearance and Themes from your WordPress Dashboard. WordPress comes with a few free themes (ie. Twenty Sixteen, Twenty Seventeen etc.). Just click on the one that you want and hit “Activate” and you can play around with the theme look.
At the top you can search for other themes by clicking on the “Add New” button.
The standard Free WordPress themes are alright for beginners, but if you want to save yourself tons of headaches I recommend buying a theme that runs on the Genesis Framework.
I recently upgraded my website theme to one that runs on Genesis and wish that I’d done it a lot sooner…like in the beginning when I first started my blog!
If you’re interested in learning about Genesis, check out the page below:
StudioPress offers lots of great looking themes that are clean, fast-loading and have built in SEO (which is important for your website’s rankings that you’ll learn about later). StudioPress also has lots of tutorials and support for their themes which is important for new bloggers.
So What’s Next?
Now that you started your website, installed WordPress and selected your theme, it’s time to start writing your posts and growing your audience. As you play around and learn more about your WordPress website, you’ll see that there are tons of customization options available to you. Don’t worry if you don’t know anything about computer coding and plugins etc. You’ll see that there’s lots of videos and other online tutorials to help you do whatever you want to your website.
To start making money set up a Google Adsense account and start placing some ads on your blog. As you start writing killer posts that brings in lots of traffic you’ll see your earnings begin to rise. Besides Adsense, there lots of opportunities to earn online income from affiliate sales and freelance writing jobs.
Thanks for reading this step by step guide on how to start a blog. Enjoy your new website and see how it easy it is to start earning some passive income from it.