A lot of people are still wondering and asking how to start a blog? Here’s an easy, step-by-step guide for you to start a blog today.
Step #1. Decide what your blog is about.
What are your topics? What is your niche (the general topic or main theme of your blog)? Pick something you love, something you will not get bored writing about. Write down topics you love. Don’t over think this step too much. You can always transition your blog niche later. A lot of people get stuck trying to figure things out from the very beginning and end up procrastinating. Don’t let your fear stop you. Just do it! Start a blog NOW.
Step #2. Pick a blog name.
A good blog name is something descriptive about your blog. For example, if you want to start a gardening blog, pick a name that will tell your readers that your blog is about gardening. If you are not so sure about your niche yet, try to pick a more general name, something you can grow with.
Brainstorm and list a couple of blog names, in case your first few choices are no longer available.
Step #3-4. Set up your hosting and domain name.
A hosting is a place where you store everything on your blog (your files, photos, templates, plug-ins, etc.) If you want free hosting, you can easily sign up with Blogger.com. Ever seen a blog with a ___.blogspot.com or ___.wordpress.com URL extensions? Those are examples of a free hosted blogs. Nowadays you can purchase a domain name (so you don’t have .blogspot.com and .wordpress.com in your URL anymore) and still get free hosting. The downside to having a free hosted blog is that you don’t have total control of your blog. When you’re set up on a free blogging platform, you don’t really own your blog. There’s always that threat that your blog could disappear or that whoever is hosting your blog has the ability to shut it down at any time.
If you are serious about monetizing your blog and seriously turn your blog into a profitable business, I highly recommend building a blog that is self-hosted from the very beginning. It will save you a whole lot of time and effort plus, it does not cost much at all. Being self-hosted means you own blog and all of its content. You pay a company to “host” it for you, but you have all access to your content and take it wherever you want. You can even sell it later if you want to. You have total control over your blog and content.
I highly recommend hosting with Bluehost. My blogs are hosted by Bluehost since 2007 and never have downtime problems or anything. Monthly cost you less than a Starbucks coffee. They have great 24/7 customer service too.
Here’s the step-by-step guide to signing up with Bluehost #1. Get Started.
(Bluehost#2: Select Plan) Bluehost has great pricing. The basic package is most likely all you need. I have a couple of blogs that are sharing the basic plan and have no problem. You can always upgrade later if you need to. It’s a great time to signup while they’re offering their packages for 50% off the regular price.
(Bluehost#3: Set up your domain name. When you sign up with Bluehost, you can register one domain name for free. Type in your domain name. Make sure you type it correctly and click Next.
If your domain name is available, you can then create a Bluehost account, select your package and enter your billing data.
Step #5. After payment, you’re ready to set your password which will be used for your Bluehost account.
Step #6. Log-on to BlueHost and Install Wordpress.
Click New Install. Bluehost guides you through exactly what you need to do. It’s easy.
Double check that you’re installing it to your domain name. Fill in the required information. You will want to save this WordPress login information.
Write down your password somewhere in case you forget it because once your new WordPress blog is set up, you will receive an email with your administrator account information but without your password. Under the password info, you’ll see “password you chose during installation.”
Once WordPress is installed you should be able to type yourdomain.com/wp-admin. That means your blog is online, you can log-in and start blogging.
Step #6. Select a Blog Template (WordPress Theme).
Your WordPress install comes with a default theme. This theme is simple and functional so if you’re not ready to deal with designs yet, you can leave it as is. It works. You can always play with designs later. There are a lot of free WordPress themes available for you to download and activate. You’ll see them on your WordPress dashboard. If you want a more professional, minimal theme check out Thesis.
Step #7. Write & publish your first post.
Click New Post on your Dashboard.
You can either skip this step and launch your blog or write a couple of posts before going live. It’s all up to you but I would suggest that you have at least a few really good posts on your blog before launching it. It is great to have a few blog posts written so that when people visit your blog for the first time, they have something really good to read on rather than just a blank space. It’s a great introduction.
Step #8. Launch your Blog.
Double check to see if your blog is live. You can use another browser and type in your domain name. Once your blog is live, that’s it! you’re now a blogger. But wait, it does not end there…
Step #9. Promote your Blog.
Get readers to your blog. Share your blogs with your friends, social media and start engaging with other bloggers. One of my favorite ways to bring traffic to my blog is to share my post on my social media accounts like Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest. With your new blog, try to build social media pages and make sure you connect your blog.
Step #10. Monetize your blog and start making money.
It takes time to build an income from blogging but when done right, it can be quite lucrative. As a blogger, you have to be patient and consistent, and you have to work really hard to bring traffic to your blog and convert your traffic into $$$.