How to Start a Blog
The Ultimate Step-by-Step Beginners Guide to Start a Blog in 2018
This ultimate step-by-step tutorial on how to start a blog on Bluehost will get you all set up in 15 minutes or less! I’ll cover how to choose a blogging platform, get a domain name, set up web hosting, choose a blog theme, and everything else you need to get started!
Hi there! Finally you are here to start your own blog. You have been thinking over it for last few weeks, months over may be years. But no worries. Good things always take time.
Okay, so this massive post on how to start a blog is going to be an epic post for anyone who want to set up a blog from scratch. It is going to take you through from selecting a niche, then to domain, to hosting, theme, plugins and writing your first ever blog post on WordPress. Go and grab a cup of coffee and stay glued.
5 Simple Steps to Start Your Own Blog Today
Step 1: Understand your reasons for starting a blog
Step 2: Select a niche for your blog
Step 3: Select a domain name and hosting
Step 4: Install WordPress
Step 5: Select or install a new theme
The above 5 steps are all you need to create a blog of your dreams and make money from it. Making money from your blog is no big deal. Thousands of bloggers including me are making passive income round the year and you can make it too!!! It’s truly passive in the sense that it makes me money 365 days a year without me being there all the times.
So, here we go with our step number 1.
Step 1. Understand Your Reasons for Starting a Blog
For each one of us there is a different reason to start a blog. While I was primarily interested in doing something different from my 9-5 job that can give some sort of satisfaction. For you, the reason could be different.
Blogging has helped me to pay my debts, spend more time with my family and friends, work from remote locations, and become my own Boss!!
Blogging gives you tremendous benefits, and with it you can:
- Earn revenue more than your day job. Do not underestimate the power of blogging. Many bloggers are earning much more than their usual day job which includes me too. 🙂
- Work on weekends and take off during weekdays. Blogging doesn’t require you to work during weekdays only. You can take off on weekdays and work on weekends.
- Become little famous on internet. People get to know more about you. And what’s wrong in becoming a little better known?
- Connect with hundreds of other people in same niche. You will get to learn so much from other experts in same niche. You can even interview them in your own blog.
- Enjoy freedom and flexibility. This one is my favorite. Blogging gives you freedom to plan your own schedule and flexibility to work from even remote location.
- Become your own Boss. Design your own schedule. Delegate work to your team. Spend time with your kids and travel more. No more long meetings and boring PowerPoint presentations. Finally, get freedom from your 9-5 job.
Step 2: Find Your Passion and Select a Niche for Your Blog
You know what make successful bloggers different from others. It is their passion towards the end goal.
You need to first find what you love to talk about? Which topics you love reading or writing? What you do in your idle time? What is that thing that inspires you a lot and you want to learn more about it?
Being a blogger doesn’t mean that you got to be an expert in your area. You can become better and better as you blog more about it.
The sweet and simple process to select a niche is to list down all your passions. Check market for each of them. Once you find a less competitive niche, just take it and move forward.
Its completely okay to have more than one niche. There are many bloggers out there who target more than one niche in same blog. While I love to have a blog on one niche for SEO purposes, you can go ahead with multiple niche blog.
I know there is lot of competition in every niche. But when you are just starting out, just target long tail keywords. Lets say you have selected technology as your area. Your first few posts you target long tail keywords like “best racing games for xbox in 2018”. Here are we are targeting long tail keyword “racing games xbox 2018”.
Don’t be afraid of failure when you are just starting out. Even I failed in my initial projects and then I finally got success after few failures.
Just remember, Failure is a first step towards success. If you have never failed, that means you haven’t tried anything new in life.
Step 3: Select a Domain Name and Hosting
You can purchase both domain name and hosting from Bluehost. Here I am going to walk you through every step I took to register the domain name: MyDomain.com
First click on Bluehost.com to go directly to their homepage.
From homepage, click the button “Get Started Now”, you will then see a list of pricing options.
Now, choose which pricing plan suits your most. Since you are just starting out, you can just start from basic plan as of now.
Just note that the lowest price of $3.95 per month only applies if you sign up for the longer contract term of 36 months or 3 years (paid up front).
I personally recommend that you go ahead and take advantage of this low pricing plan.
Here is why I recommend to go for long term plan:
- Take advantage of low cost
- You can cancel your plan any time during first 30 days and get a full refund
- You won’t have to pay extra penny in case of any future increase in the price of hosting
After selecting your plan, you will want to enter name of your new domain, as seen below:
Once you know what your blog niche will be, you get to decide on your new domain name! Choose something that is easy to spell and easy to remember. Just don’t complicate it.
Just remember, it’s the content and not the domain that really matters. Keep few things in mind while selecting a domain name:
- Choose small domain names. Try to keep it under 15 chars
- Don’t use hyphen (-) in between. It makes domain tough to remember
- Choose a name that resembles your niche
Your plan with bluehost gives you one free domain name. So make sure that you take it from right here.
Enter your domain under “new domain” where I inserted the MyDomain.com, and click next.
Next, fill in your contact information, and then go to the package information section.
Here, select your account plan. This is where you select the duration of your plan. As I said above, I honestly recommend the 36-month plan, because it provides the best value as it includes a free domain name too.
NEXT — Some of the boxes on this page may already be checked, but the only option that I highly recommend is the “Domain Privacy Protection.”
Adding this feature in your plan ensures that your personal information as the website owner remains private and one can see it using Whois.
Your screen should look like this now:
Yeaaaaaahhhh!!! You just set up your very own first website. Many congratulations 🙂
In the next step, you’ll be welcomed and asked to create a password to login to Bluehost and get started. Just make sure to create a secure password!
I am so excited for you. You have made great progress so far. Let us move towards the next step and install WordPress on your blog.
Step 4: Install WordPress
Setting up WordPress on Bluehost is now easier than ever. They have actually got rid of couple of steps in between, so you can get started with your blog in no time.
After setting up your password, you should be directed to select a theme for your WordPress site.
You can just pick a random one here or find one that you actually like. You can change it later so it’s not a big deal or just scroll to the bottom and skip this step. Remember, there are many free ones too!
You can now go to the main screen and start paying around with the settings and customize things.
After selecting a theme to start with, your screen should look like this. You can choose “Business” or “Personal” – it’s up to you. I’d recommend you to choose ‘Business’. Or, you can click the “I don’t need help.”
From this step, you can start playing around things by setting different themes or plugins.
You can log into the admin area of your blog anytime using the URL:
From here, you can start creating your first ever blog post.
Step 5: Select or Install a New Theme
You will find various free and paid themes available on the internet for your blog.
Let me tell you one thing. Don’t fall for free themes.
Free themes have their own limitations. They will not provide that level of customization that paid themes do. Also, these free themes are written by unknown persons and you may never know if they have inserted some malicious code inside that will affect your blog from ranking higher in SERPs (Search engine result page).
If you still want to go for free themes, here are ton of free themes, and here’s a great list of them that you can try: https://colorlib.com/wp/free-wordpress-themes/
Free themes are okay to play around . That being said, starting by playing around with some free themes is perfectly fine. It will get your feet wet and help you start better understanding WordPress.
If there are free themes, why would I ever want a paid theme?
Paid themes offer lot more customization than free themes. They provide 100% support and quick fix with any glitch in the theme. You won’t find these with free themes.
Do one time investment. Purchase a paid theme and set the ball rolling. Here are few of the themes that I actually recommend to new bloggers:
1. Divi Theme
Step 6: Write Your First Ever Blog post
Your first few posts on your blog should be pillar posts. Pillar posts are those posts that will lay down the foundation of your blog. These are long in depth articles that give solution to a problem your audience faces. They also help search engines to determine what kind of blog it is and for which keywords you are trying to rank for.
Step 7: Invest in Your Blog
You need to understand this. Blogging is a business.
You can expect your blog to earn $2 unless you are willing to spend $1.
Unlike other businesses that require huge upfront investment, you can start blogging with minimal investment of $100.
As you grow forward in blogging journey, you may have to purchase new plugins, themes, amazing ebooks or may be blogging courses to progress faster. These courses will help to grow much faster and save you time and research that you will spend in learning new things on your own.
Bloggers that have really inspired me are: Pat Flynn from SPI, Michelle from Making sense of cents, Ramit Sethi from IWT, Chris Lee from RankXL and many more.
Step 8: Get Traffic on Your Blog
Now that you have set up a blog and wrote few pillar posts of your blog, it’s time to get traffic to your blog. This is one of the hardest part of creating a blog. While everything from selecting a niche to hosting provider to plugins to themes is in your hand. Getting quality traffic to the blog is something that you have to fight for.
Here are few of my favorite strategies that you can use to drive traffic to your blog:
Use social media channels aggressively for your promotion strategy. Pinterest, nowadays has become bloggers favorite.
Do guest posting regularly to acquire links from different sites.
Engage with other bloggers and start interviewing them on your blog.
Purchase keyword tools to analyze your competitors keywords and backlink profile.
Produce amazing content that helps someone. Don’t let your blog become a content producing machine.
Step 9: Start Building Email list
Money is in your email list. Just remember it by heart.
Start collecting emails from day one. Build a community around your niche. Keep sending them interesting news, conversations, latest blog posts and recommend them awesome products and services. The more your readers purchase though your links, the more you are likely to earn through your blog.
Word of caution: Recommended only those products and services to your readers that you have used previously and you think it will help your readers immensely. Just don’t recommend any product or service for the sake of earning money else your readers will lose trust in you.
Step 10: Monetize Your Blog
Now that traffic has started arriving on your blog, its time to make some $$$. The best way to earn some quick bucks is to test out Google Adsense or Media.net ads on the site. You need to have at-least 1000 pageviews per day to see few dollars rolling in your account.
Here are the top methods of making money with your blog:
5. Sponsored Posts
** Some general tips how to use WordPress:
=> You can add and create new posts by clicking on “Posts” on the left-hand side when you are logged in.
=> Click on Pages on left hand panel, to add a page such as About, Privacy, Contact
=> If you want to add an image, click on “Media” on the left-hand side.
=> You can go to “Appearance,” then “Widgets” in order to add items to your sidebar, footer, and so on.
=> Click on Plugins on left hand panel, to add a plugin
=> Click on Appearance => Themes on left hand panel, to add a theme
If you are looking for a way to send newsletters or emails to your readers, I recommend ConvertKit.
My 7 favorite and free plugins to charge up your blog:
- Yoast: To set up xml site map and give you option to add meta description for your blog post
- WP Quads: To display ads wherever you want on your blog
- BackupWordpress: To take regular backup of your data and database of your blog
- Contact Form 7: To add contact us form on your Contact us page
- Simple Author Box: To display your public profile below every post including your profile picture
- W3 Total Cache: To cache the static content and serve the pages quickly to the end user and decrease page loading time
- ShortPixel Image Optimizer: To reduce the size of images in your post so that your page size also decreases
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