Start a Blog

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In this post, I’ll guide you on how to set up your own website, whether for an online store, a personal blog, or a site that will showcase your work as a creative.

Blogging has a lot of incredible benefits, whether financially, personally or professionally. If you have a story to tell or a passion to share, I’d recommend that you start a blog. Blogging about your passion can be a fabulous way to share your thoughts, ideas and expertise. And who knows? It might lead to great opportunities for you to earn a full-time income from home.

Since I’ve joined the blogging bandwagon and started my own journey, I’ve come across other creatives who are earning thousands through their blogs:

  • McKinzie of Moms Make Cents who started making over $1,000 a month on her third month of blogging
  • Cinnamon of Pixie Faire who now makes $50,00 a month after successfully starting a shop that sells doll clothing patterns and designs
  • Alicia of Three Bird Nest who makes a whopping $80,000 a month from knitting socks, scarves, and other fashion apparel.
  • And of course, let us not forget Michelle Schroeder-Gardner who is now making over $100,000 a month through her blog. It’s insane!

 

Like them, you can be on your way to creating a successful business too as a creative. It may not happen right away but what’s more important is you start now.

Whatever your reason for blogging is, whether to document your personal growth (like mine), or to earn a passive income through ads and affiliate marketing, or just for the fun of showing your creativity and passion, you need a website to get started.

Fortunately, you can create one even if you are a non-techie and for a cheap price of $3.95 a month through my link. That’s only one Starbucks and you’ll never know what great opportunities it can lead you to!

Here is a simple guide you can follow to start your own blogging journey.

1.Choose your platform

I know that many, if not most of us, are hardly techie gurus, which is why choosing to start a site or a blog on WordPress or any of the convenient blogging platforms is a smart and convenient choice. And no, these platforms aren’t exclusive to blogs only; you can also easily use them to set up a website, whether personal or for business.

The beauty with using these platforms is that you don’t need to pay someone to design your site and set up the features you need. As someone who hardly knows anything about HTML or domain names, I’ve found WordPress’ easy to use yet stunningly creative and modern website templates to be an absolute delight.

You can choose from a wide variety of themes that can provide the look and tone that matches your business and brand. There’re also loads of plugins that you can use to customize your site.

2. Identify your domain name.

Once you’ve decided on your platform, it’s now time to set up your domain name.

The domain name is essentially your web address, the word or phrase that comes before .com or .net. Before setting up your blog, it is important to carefully think of the best name for it, so that it’s relatable and memorable, and therefore more likely to drive more traffic and possibly make more sales.

Spend a good amount of time picking a domain name, if you must. You have to consider the niche that you’re writing on and what your long-term visions are for your blog. Also think of a domain name that’s not overly lengthy (ideally up to three words only), and one without hyphens and numbers.

Most importantly, it’s something that should reflect and speak your brand. If you are a creative mommie, you’d want your domain name to show the craft or art that you do such as “mommysnapshots.com” or “momwithacamera.com.” If you’re selling baby goodies, then your domain name could be something that suggests the kind of products you’re offering or your business brand or slogan.

If you aim to establish yourself as an expert in your field, you can simply use your name as the domain name. However, if the blog is all about your business, then it’s best to use the business name as the domain name as well. You can also get more creative with the domain name if you wish. Important thing to remember is you will be using the domain name to direct people to your blog so it’s important to pick one that really fits your blog.

For a no-frills extension, I’d suggest simply choosing a “.com” extension as it’s the most popular and easy to remember.

3.Host your site with Bluehost

Getting the conundrum of the domain name out of the way, it is now time to decide on a hosting provider. But first, what is hosting?

In a nutshell, hosting gives your blog its own space on the web. If your blog is not self-hosted, it’s likely to read like www.domainname.wordpress.com or www.domainname.blogspot.com. This could still work, but it lacks the professional sound and many features that comes with self hosting.

Hosting is an important part of setting up your website because it basically ensures that you are able to provide all the functionalities of your site to your customers. When your WordPress blog or site is hosted by an external company, you are given enough storage space to keep your site up and running as you would want it to.

With the content I share, it’s important for me to have a reliable and secure hosting company that will ensure that I won’t have any problems like my blog going down when there’s extra heavy traffic on my site.

Bluehost is a great option as it’s as easy to use as WordPress. The beauty with getting your blog/website self-hosted is that hosting companies have customer support you can contact in case of any technical issues.  You can readily get in touch with them if you see any glitches on your site, and it’ll be fixed in no time at all.

Bluehost is a popular and affordable hosting provider used by many bloggers around the world and is ranked as one of the top hosting providers in 2017. Bluehost also has various hosting plans that start with as little as $3.95 per month and you get the domain name for free, too. To get the free domain name, which is a $12-15 value, you need to pre-pay for hosting at least 12 months.

How to start hosting with Bluehost? Follow these simple, easy steps!

1.Start Your Account with Bluehost

Getting hosting from Bluehost doesn’t just create you your own self-hosted blog, it also gives your blog more protection. You can also install WordPress with just one click away, then you can start blogging! Now to host your blog with Bluehost, simply click this link to Get Started Now.  This link will direct you to Bluehost’s main website.

2.Enter Your Information

Bluehost will ask you to enter the domain name that you’ve decided on.

You will then be directed to a page asking for your contact and account information.

Next, select your hosting package and pay for it.

If you’re just starting out and want to get a feel if blogging is right for you, you can pick the cheapest plan (Basic). However, if you see yourself blogging long-term, it would be best to pick the 36-month plan as it will give you up to 50% in savings. Plus, it saves you the stress of renewing your plan every year.

Read on the terms and conditions and tick Agree. You will now have to create your own username and password. Make sure to make this memorable, strong, and difficult to guess (tip: don’t use admin as username and password).

3.Log Into Your Account

Log into your account for the very first time. You’ll get a welcome message from Bluehost. After closing this down, you will be directed to the dashboard where you can explore all the neat features!

4.Install WordPress with One Click

Okay, wait, you’re not done yet! Since your site is on WordPress, then you need to configure your WordPress site so that it’s actually set up and linked to your Bluehost account. You can ask a Bluehost representative to do this for you –simply send them a message via live chat and it’ll be configured before you know it!

Alternatively, you can also set it up yourself.

The great thing about hosting with Bluehost is that it comes with a free one-click WordPress installation. WordPress is a content management platform that allows you to create contents with texts, videos and images and publish these content to the web. Before you can blog, you have to install WordPress first.

Bluehost will email you with a welcome message along with the cPanel. From your cPanel, select One Click Installs. Under “Blogs” click “Wordpress” then click “Install.” This should start the installation process.

You will be prompted to select a domain name, so just click on the drop-down menu and pick the domain name you’ve registered in the previous steps. You will also be required to provide a username and password for WordPress. Again, make these log in details strong and unique and difficult to hack. Remember them, write them down and memorize them.

Once installation is complete, you are ready to use your WordPress blog.

5.Build the Look and Design of Your Blog

As of now, your blog looks dull and bare. To make it more appealing, you have to spruce it up! Don’t worry, you don’t have to spend another dollar just to hire a web designer (but you might consider it sometime in the future if you’re looking for more customization). And you don’t have to be so tech savvy yourself. At this point, you only need to select a theme that works for your blog.

There are thousands of professional-looking themes that you can pay for or get for free. Themes will give the blog its background, buttons, colors and widgets among others—basically the visual elements that give your blog a unique appearance. By the way, mine is a free theme by Rara Theme and so far it’s great!

Search for themes that fit your blogging niche or personal taste. For blogging beginners, a free theme should work. However, if you plan to monetize from your blog sooner or later, a paid theme is great because it will give your more freedom to customize plus support from the designer.

Set up the theme on your blog and start blogging. Go to the WordPress dashboard and click on “Post” then “New Post.” This opens up a page that allows you to write, insert images/videos. Once the post is done, click “Publish.”

Congratulations! You’ve just made your very first post on your self-hosted blog!

 

 

My Blogging Resources

If you want to step up your blogging journey, I recommend the following resources for you.

Convertkit

I can’t recommend this highly enough. For me, Convertkit has very simple interface and makes list building a lot easier than Mailchimp. I created an opt-in that gained me 100 subscribers in my first month blogging, thanks to Convertkit!

Sign up here to get your FREE month subscription.

I actually got a total of  THREE MONTHS worth of subscription for FREE. I got the first free month when I enrolled in Suzi’s (www.startamomblog.com) List Building Challenge BUT I decided to cancel the subscription because back then, I was not willing to invest money in my blog. So, I switched to the free version of Mailchimp but it was such a pain for me.  I decided to switch back to Convertkit when I read about their Email1k Subscription promo that gave me additional free  2 months subscription.

As part of your Email1k subscription you get:

  • 2 months of ConvertKit FREE (worth $60-$500 depending on your plan)*
  • Expert one-on-one help migrating your email list from your current platform (save hours of frustration)*

* For new accounts only.

After signing up, make sure to contact their customer service about the Email1k subscription. Then, you should be billed on the third month.

Blog by Number Course by Suzi Whitford

This amazing mom is already earning $38,000 a month blogging and she started not so long ago. In her Blog By Number course, she’s teaching her blogging secrets and the best ways to start a blog.

If you have not started a blog yet and are planning to, I recommend this course for you. I wish I enrolled in this course earlier to save me a lot of time, efforts and resources. I got it for only $47 (I grabbed the back-to-school 50% off sale), a price that’s really so worth for all the informative video tutorials in it, a comprehensive eBook on blogging, blogging workbook and many more. It’s a long course and I’m not even halfway through it.

 

All the best!

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