I’m sure you’ve read a blog after Googling a question on “how to” do something. Have you thought, “wow I’d love to share how to *****”? But have no idea on how to get started? And so you Googled “How to Start My Blog?” And here you are 🙂
I have been designing websites for over 15 years and just recently started my own personal interest blog, RescueDogs101.com. And although I knew the set up process, I too found myself Googling how to start a blog and how to earn money from it. You see, you can blog until you are blue in the face, but without proper planning and set up, your blog is just giving away free information.
There are ways to earn some extra cash while you blog about something you love! I will dive more into detail about that later, but just to give you a taste… think, Google Ads, Affiliate marketing, selling e-books, creating a how-to course…
Starting your own blog can take some patience, especially if you are not familiar with the basics of domain names, web hosting or WordPress. But don’t panic, I have broken out all of the steps here for you to make it as painless and easy as possible.
5 Easy Steps to Start Your Blog Using WordPress
Yes, there are free blogging platforms such as Blogger, but Blogger is very limited and should only be used for hobby bloggers. If you are serious about starting a blog, then you must use WordPress. If you are interested in ever making money from your blog, then paying a hosting company (I recommend Bluehost) is a definite need. It’s not expensive and very easy to set up using Bluehost. You then have the freedom to create a blog that is completely your own, adding ads, affiliate links, etc.
Plus, there are millions of active users of WordPress, and is the most popular platform used for blogs and websites. There are millions of plug-ins and themes to customize your website to what you need. And it’s EASY to use. Once set up, it is similar to working in a Word doc.
1. Choosing and Purchasing Your Domain Name and Host
So first step is to secure a domain name (i.e. www.yourdomain.com) and a web host. A web hosting company, like BlueHost, is the server or computer your website will be held on to be accessible on the internet so everyone can see it. Use the same company to purchase your domain and host.
- Choose a domain that is easy to remember and type. A cute play on words is cute, but can be confusing when speaking the website. So keep it simple and short. A domain name that correlates to your blog main subject. For example, I chose www.RescueDogs101.com, because it’s catchy, but simple and explains what it is about, rescuing dogs, training and all information about that subject. You will need to check to see if your domain name is available and BlueHost makes this easy right on their website.
- Set up a web hosting company, I recommend BlueHost, I have used them for over 10 years and am very happy with their service. If you wish to use another host, feel free… many other hosting companies are available. Just make sure they offer a one-click WordPress install, it will make your set up much easier.
To set up your hosting account with Bluehost, go to Bluehost’s home page and click “Get Started Now.” Then select the plan that best fits your needs. For most beginners, the basic plan will be more than enough to get started. You can always upgrade at a later time. Follow the easy on-screen step-by-step instructions.
2. Install WordPress
BlueHost, makes it simple to create a WordPress blog and it is FREE. You will receive a link to your account in your welcome email from Bluehost.
- After logging into your BlueHost account, you will taken to your cPanel, scroll to the section titled “MOJO Marketplace” and choose the “One-Click Installs” button. This will take you to a page inside MOJO Marketplace called Scripts and Platforms. The blog section is at the very top, so all you have to do here is click on the WordPress icon.
- Click on the “Start” button. This will begin the installation.
- Once in the installation process, you will have to decide which domain (if you own more than one) you will want to install WordPress on. Click the dropdown menu to the domain you plan on using.
- Now, you will see “Advanced Options.” This is where you choose your username and password for your WordPress website. You should choose something secure. Don’t use “Admin” as your username. It will make it easy for hackers to hack your new blog. You will want to check “Automatically create a new database for this installation” as well, unless you already have a different database (if you don’t know, then you probably do not).
- Click “Install Now.”
- Remember to save your username and password, but it will be email to you once the installation is completed.
3. Choose a Theme / Design for your new Blog
So there are basic free themes in WordPress, and you are free to use these to get started with. But if you want something more professionally looking, I use ThemeForest to search their expansive database of themes. They have so many to choose from, you may have a hard time picking just one 🙂 The one thing you must look out for is that is a responsive layout, basically ensuring it is compatible with smart phones and tablets. Each theme that is downloaded from ThemeForest includes detailed set-up instructions which will help you personalize and set up your blog.
4. Start Blogging
Now comes the fun part… start writing your blog posts! In WordPress, simply click on Add New Post and start writing. Make sure to keep it relevent to your subject, provide as much information as possible, adding photos, videos.
5. Start Earning Money from Your Blog
There are several ways to start a cash flow from your blog, some examples are:
- Affiliate Marketing
- Blog Sponsorships
- Display Advertising (Google Ads)
- Online Courses
These each deserve their own post, as it the information can get into some great detail. I will continue to add links to each as I put together details to share.
Disclosure: This guide to starting your own blog contains affiliate links. If you purchase a service through one of these links I may earn a very small commission, this is at no extra cost to you.