Learning how to start a blog was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. In six short months I’d already started to make a part time living from my blog. That certainly beat a soul sucking 9-5 job any day of the week! But did you know that 99% of new blogs fail? That rate is similar to opening up a restaurant in NYC! Why is the rate so high? The main reason is that people went into blogging thinking it was going to be a piece of cake. In truth it’s not. There’s advice all over the internet about blogging, how to start, succeed, courses to purchase, etc…but you really need a solid plan. A literal blogging road map.
Blogging is wonderful. It can also take over your life;) If you have a true passion you want to share, a solid plan, believe your input will help others, and are willing to put your heart and soul into make a potentially UNLIMITED income then it’s totally worth it!
I’ve always loved to write since I was a little kid so blogging was a no brainer. I don’t know why I didn’t do it sooner!
Btw, if you hate writing I really don’t recommend blogging:) The owner of The Penny Hoarder hates to write btw…and that blog makes over 30 million a year. Truth!
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I didn’t start out blogging with the idea of making money. Learning how to blog allowed me to be not only the creative person I’ve always wanted to be, but has allowed me to make a ‘passive’ income online, work from anywhere, set my own hours and not answer to anyone:)
Blogging has allowed me so many opportunities to express and to connect with other incredibly talented bloggers and amazing writers who inspire me on a daily basis. I know that you can do the same.
This Guide Will Show You The Following:
- Learn how to start a blog on Bluehost with step-by-step instructions
- Learn about Hosting plans and options
- Get a FREE domain name with your hosting plan
- Bonus tips on what to do after you start a blog
The #1 reasons bloggers fail is because they quit. Plain and simple. The key is consistency and these guides help you to stay on track in a very attainable manner.
Here, I’m going to outline for you the very basic steps for the blogging beginner.
However, just be aware that there are a hundred little steps you can take from here to make it uniquely your own.
First tip & super important! Do NOT compare yourself to other bloggers. This is something I was guilty of doing in the beginning. Every blogger is unique, has a voice to be heard and an audience who wants and needs to hear it!
Second tip is to just DO IT! Don’t let analysis lead to paralysis! Go For It!
Step 1 – Get Your Domain Name & Web Host
Your domain name is what people type into their browser to get to your website. Though it’s tempting to choose something funny or flashy, pick a domain that both represents your brand and makes it easy for people to find you.
***Choose a .com name – it will always give you the best results***
Pick a Web Host
One of the advantages of using a hosting service like Bluehost (which WordPress recommends) is that you can purchase your domain name and hosting service from the same provider.
Simply type in your desired domain name, click on the “next” button, and the system will verify whether your choice is available.
You can also choose an alternative top-level domain from the drop-down menu. There are a lot of hosting companies to choose from but why labor so much?
I recommend going with your budget. Hosting starts at only $3.95 a month which is an amazing deal! Bluehost has amazing Customer service, fast speeds and will help you every step of the way.
Step 2: Set Up a Hosting Account and Purchase a Package
Once you have established your domain name, you’ll need to create an account for your hosting package.
Enter your personal information into each field and then scroll down to the package lists (Basic, Plus, or Business Pro) and choose an option that fits your budget and service needs.
Prices vary across hosting providers, but most offer add-ons, like extra security features, tools to boost search rankings, and site backup.
Check the appropriate boxes and scroll down to enter your billing information.
Take a moment to read through the terms of service, cancellation policy, and privacy notices, then click the box to confirm that you agree with the policies.
Follow the on-screen instructions to create a password and, boom, you are ready for step three: installing WordPress.
Step Three: Install WordPress Software
If you’ve chosen Bluehost as your hosting partner, the minute you create a password you will be automatically logged in and land on the control panel.
Scroll down until you see the section labeled “Website.”
Click on the WordPress icon.
You might see options to purchase installation helps, but that isn’t necessary; just skip these extras by clicking on the “No Thanks” button.
The next screen will ask for your domain name, administrative username, and password. Enter the required information, confirm that you agree to the terms and conditions, and click “Install Now.”
Depending on the speed of your system and internet connection, it will take few minutes to complete.
It’s a good idea to view your credentials once the install is done so that you can write down the admin username and password for future reference — just be sure to store this info in a secure place. You should also receive a confirmation email with this same information.
Step Four: Log in to WordPress
On the same page where you review your credentials, you’ll click on the admin URL link to access your brand new WordPress website control panel.
You can also copy and paste the URL into your browser or manually type it in to reach your website.
Enter your login credentials.
Now that you are fully installed, you should find yourself on the Dashboard, or the back-end, for your new website.
This is the service area that allows you to control what your website visitors will see when they land on your pages.
Step Five: Customize Themes and Pages
Let the fun begin! You are ready to start fine-tuning your site with your color choices, font styles, and special elements that will help you express your company culture or personality.
You can dive right in and write your first post, but it’s beneficial to get to know the features and functionality of your site first.
On the left-hand sidebar you’ll find navigation links that allow you to customize your site. The best way to get to know your way around is to click on each tab and explore the options.
- Browse the themes; there are paid and free options available.
- Customize your theme with colors, headers, and social media buttons.
- Upload photos to inspire your site visitors and add clues about your values and services.
- Create your first blog post and main page content.
And that’s it! You’ve started the foundation for your blog or website!
These five steps will have you running a WordPress website for your small business in no time — okay, about 30 minutes. Here’s a quick video to recap.
Start Writing Your Posts
Here’s the exciting part! Start writing your posts! I remember getting so hyped at the idea of writing whatever I wanted and sharing it with the world… BUT…here are some key points not to be forgotten –
You are not writing just for yourself you are writing for an audience who is reading your post with the hopes of GETTING something from it.
LEARNING something from it. It must be of VALUE to them in their personal or professional life.
It cannot be all about how much you love puppies and box turtles. Which I dearly do, but others won’t. Period.
Blogging is about making someone care about what you have to say.
How will YOUR WORDS help YOUR AUDIENCE attain something positive in their life?
- What can it offer them?
- How can you solve their pain?
WHAT PROBLEMS CAN YOU SOLVE? Yes, you will definitely look back at your older posts and possibly cringe BUT! if you have something to offer people, that they can take away with them and they can use and will be helpful in their lives they will be interested and they will want to follow you.
Remember that acronym – WIIFM? ‘What’s in it for me?’ Because that’s what everyone who takes the time to read anything wants to know.
Note about Niches
When I started my blog I decided it was going to be a Lifestyle Blog. Yes, there are a lot of blogs under that title.
There are a lot of bloggers who also write about specific niches that almost guarantee good traffic and make money.
In fact you will see a lot of ‘How to Make Money Starting a Blog‘ and ‘Beauty Blogs’, ‘Cooking Blogs’ ‘Finance Blogs’ etc. I think this is similar to deciding a domain name in that you should not waste too much time on what your Niche will be.
After all, it WILL without a doubt morph over time into what it was meant to be in the first place and if you don’t start somewhere you will never know. Bottom line –
- How can it be useful to OTHERS?
- Show how it can BENEFIT others
- Offer a VALUE
- Offer a SERVICE
- Offer practical ADVICE
- Make a DIFFERENCE
Blogging is basically a home for many different, useful posts. And most Bloggers fall into categories:
Those who have no plan, those who have a bad plan or those who don’t follow through with a good plan.
FACTS About Blogging
Blogging takes clear consistent content, dedication and drive. Don’t let anyone fool you that blogging is easy. It takes time…if you’re not patient blogging may not be right for you. Although some folks have had instant success in certain niches.
Blogging can be extremely fulfilling and lucrative if the right components are there.
Proper Components of a Successful Blog:
- A Proper Set Up
- Awesome Content (Catchy Titles, Visual images, usefulness, readable text) Doesn’t have to be ‘Grammar Perfect’ Write as you would speak. That’s what makes blogging appealing to the masses.
- Solid Marketing
Make Your Blog Easily to Navigate
Make your Blog site easy to get around and read. People tend to SCAN everything they read nowadays.
- Use bold type
- Use bullets
Good visual images are key to your blogsite. People love images to go along with what they read. There are plenty of FREE Stock photo sites that you can borrow images from.
Make sure to give the photographer credit in your post:)
If you are creative and adept at Photoshop by all means go for it! There is also PicMonkey and Canva for easy to use design types, templates, photos, ideas, graphs and photo editing.
Use SEO To Drive Traffic to Your Blog
Add winning configuration and useful keywords so your blog shows up easily and quickly in organic searches and is indexed properly by the Search Engines.
Add WordPress Plugins
If you have a WordPress site Plugins extend your blog’s functionality, reduce spam, improve search traffic and increase subscribers. WordPress has some incredible Plugins.
Market Your Blog With Social Media
- Banner Ads
- Paid Search
- Google Ads
- Tumblr the list goes on…
Join other blogging groups. Help each other. Other bloggers will link to your blog and you link to theirs! This way you can promote your work to multiple audiences. A win/win situation for all!
These are the important basics and principles to get you started. I always follow the motto K.I.S.-Keep it simple 😉 It’s very important to stay on track, be consistent and stay motivated!
Welcome to the blogosphere:)
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Visit me at my other blog healthy-food-life.com!