How to Start A Blog

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How to Start a blog, Bluehost & WordPress

If you’re looking to start a blog than Bluehost as a web hosting company may be the right fit for you.

In 2017, Bluehost ranks in the Top Ten companies for web hosting services.  Although there are many fine tuned differences in performance at this top level, they usually have to do with technical items such as uptimes, page speed load and support that your average website owner would not have the technical demand or need for from the beginning.

I have personally had a great experience with them since I began my self hosted blog journey in April of 2014.

With the right plan or goals, almost anyone can make money with a blog.  When I first started my blog, I used the WordPress.com platform since I had started the blog as a hobby and wasn’t ready to commit the time I thought it required.  I thought it would be an online journal that would only be read by me and a few other interested folks.  Boy, was I wrong.  You can see in the image below of my monthly blog stats, how quickly my blog views went from less than one hundred views in January 2013 to 5,000+ views in seven months.

blog wordpress stats

And would you believe, I still was too distracted with other time commitments to transfer over to self-hosting because I didn’t want to deal with the  “techie” issues or additional time commitments that I thought were involved.  In hindsight, if you understand how to make money from a blog,  you can see how I was completely leaving money on the table.  There are several great pins on Pinterest about how innovative young women are bringing in incomes (up to six figures in some cases)  using their blogs as either income generators or as a foundation for other work at home jobs.  The difference between many of these successful bloggers came to one important point: One blogger knows how to leverage the page view she has while the other doesn’t.

There are several great pins on Pinterest about how innovative young women are bringing in incomes (up to six figures in some cases)  using their blogs as either income generators or as a foundation for other work at home jobs.  The difference between many of these successful bloggers came down to one important point: One blogger knows how to leverage the page views she has while the other doesn’t.

You can find some of those success story pins on my Pinterest board Girl Boss Marketing Tools.

It took me another nine months ( in the meantime my monthly blog views had grown to 35,000+) before my son finally convinced me to transfer over to a self hosted blog in April of 2014.

From Hobby Blog to Thriving Business

With the revamped blog and the plug ins ( the apps you can use in the back end of your website), my traffic exploded; but even then I kept plugging along with this part time hobby mindset and small monthly ad network payments that I had set up.   I was commiting the #1 newbie blogger mistake…not leveraging my page views.  It wasn’t until I started getting a small trickle of corporate sponsorship offers, that I began researching the money making potential of the blog that I had crafted as a side hustle.  What I needed to know was the information below.

Top 7 Ways to Earn Money With Your Blog

  1. Placing ads on your posts
  2. Writing sponsored posts and working with brands
  3. Selling services and using your blog as a tool to attract potential clients and generating leads
  4. Selling products including info products like ebooks and courses
  5. If you have a diy craft site, using your blog to promote your own products on Etsy or Shopify
  6. Affiliate marketing
  7. Membership sites

I share all these blogging newbie details, so that perhaps you can learn from my mistakes.  If you are thinking of starting a blog and are on the fence about the whole idea, I hope my story can be an inspiration to you to get started now and to start with your own self-hosted blog from the get go.  This is important because when you start on a free blog site, you limit the money making opportunities you can take advantage of on your blog and the ability to modify it to grow your business even if it’s a tiny micro-business.  Keep in mind almost every new blogger starts at 0.

With the offer through my link,  you can start a blog for less than what it would cost you to  buy a latte or a fast food meal per month and invest in your future.  With a commitment to see it through, why not invest in your future and the potential of building another stream of income even if you start your blog  as a side hustle?

So, let’s guide you through the steps of how to get started.

Register A Domain Name

The very first thing you need to do is to decide on what the name of your blog will be.  This step is worthy of your  serious consideration because your blog name  should be the best expression of what you will be writing about on your blog.  Suppose you had decided on the name “Great Side Hustles” you would use a search tool like the one below to look up this blog name and see if it was available.  Once you decide on what the name of your blog will be, it’s time to decide on your hosting package.

Use the tool below to search potential blog names for your new site.

 

Buy Hosting for Your Blog

Now that you have decided on your blog name.  It’s time to choose the hosting.  For most bloggers the bare bones  hosting package that  the “Basic” package offers  is the best option.  My add-on recommendation would be to choose the “Domain Privacy” Option.  What this option does is keep your contact information private from the public or other nosy “lookie loos”.  If you are on a tight budget, you can avoid most of the bells and whistles and buy the basic package.

After you pick out your hosting plan, you will then need to fill out your financial information and make your purchase.  I would suggest that you commit to a yearly plan at the very least, so that you will make a commitment to yourself that you will take this blogging venture  seriously.

You will receive a confirmation message from Bluehost  (similar to the screenshot below) that your purchase has been completed.

 

Install WordPress on Bluehost

Now that you have made your hosting purchase it’s time to install WordPress. You will receive an email from Bluehost that will direct you to log in to the Bluehost site. From there,  you will go to your C-panel (basically a dashboard) where you will select the button that will start your WordPress install. Click on the  ” Install WordPress” button.

  • Click on the “Start” button. This will begin the installation.
  • Once in the installation process, you will have to decide which domain you will want to install WordPress on. Click the dropdown menu to the domain name 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.  Try to  create a username that is a combination of different letters, numbers, and anything else you can use and remember. You do this in order to keep hackers from gaining access to your site.   Write this information down.
  • 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”

Woot-hoo…you did it.  You now have a WordPress blog and now it’s time  to concentrate on working on  your design and developing great content.  The picture below gives you an idea of what the backend (dashboard) of your shiny, new Website will look like.   Now onto a few points about your theme.

Choosing Your Theme

WordPress offers several free general themes (website design)  to start your blog, so that you can get started with your blog right away.  However,  you might want to do a little research on what type of theme you would like especially if you have a concrete idea of what type of blog content you want to create from the get go.  If you are starting,  for example, a food blog, lifestyle blog or crafting blog there are several themes (website designs)  available that will showcase your blog content in the best manner.  However, be aware this will add to your overall initial blog costs.

Wordpress-themes

Customizing your  blog  can be as easy or as complicated as you want it to be.  The WordPress theme you choose and the options it offers will determine this.  Themes vary in price from $35.00 to $100.00.

I run this blog on a theme from WordPress but it uses the  Genesis framework by Studio Press. To see an example of a foodie site that runs on the Genesis framework you might want to check out the Foodie Pro Theme on Studio Press.

StudioPress Premium WordPress Themes: Foodie Pro Theme

If you are interested in feminine themes for creatives on the Genesis framework, you might also try OneHappyStudio. For other sources for beautiful feminine theme designs, you might want to take a peek at Hello You Designs on Creative Market
or Restored316designs.com.

If you are still on the fence about the whole idea, I created a tipsheet pdf download for action steps you need to take that includes  a simple worksheet to calculate your blog/ web hosting costs.  Click on the image below to download  the tipsheet.

 




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