Are you intimidated by the process of setting up a blog? Don’t be! It’s pretty easy and in this post, I’ll walk you step-by-step through the process. Sit tight if you want to learn how to start your own blog today in less than 6 quick and easy steps.
It’s true, even now, blogging is a viable way to make money online. Whether you’re looking for the freedom to work from home, work anywhere in the world as a digital nomad or simply make some extra income on the side, blogging is a very profitable means to do all of the above.
I am the living example of this and I’ve gone on to teach many people how to do so through my blog coaching sessions. Today’s the day for you to start your blog and begin an incredible journey of entrepreneurship, creativity and self-expression.
Why You Should Start Your Own Blog
I’m assuming that if you’re here you already know why you want to start your blog and you really just need help with the setup so feel free to skip over this part. But I really wanted to share with you some compelling reasons to start a blog even now when the questions “Is blogging still relevant?” and “Can you still make money blogging?” are frequently asked.
You should definitely start your own blog if any of the following resonate with you.
You have knowledge to share
If you have knowledge in any particular subject and you feel compelled to share it with the world, a blog is a great way to do this. The most profitable blogs are the ones that help people to solve problems by giving them solutions. And you don’t have to be an expert, you can simply share your experiences on a particular subject to create a successful blog.
Don’t feel intimidated by this. If you’re a mom, you can share your tips on parenting. If you love to cook, share your recipes and tips in the kitchen.
What about your career? If you’re a teacher, realtor, or accountant, how about starting a blog that helps people who are looking for teaching tips, tips to buy a home or rent an apartment, or tips to budget or keep books. The possibilities are endless.
You want to establish yourself as an authority
This is a great reason for someone to start a blog. If you want to establish yourself as an expert in a particular field, start a blog so people can find you!
For example, if you’re a stylist and want to attract high-paying clients, you can show your work through your blog. Or if you’re a motivational speaker, coach or nutritionist, same. Think Instagram is enough for you to build authority and attract clients? You may want to read this post.
You have a business to promote
Starting a blog for your business is a great way to promote your products or services online through content marketing and SEO. A static website will do so much and no more. Take it up a notch with dynamic content through blogging that can be optimized to bring in search engine traffic.
You want to make money online
Of course, this is also a very solid reason to start a blog. If you’re simply looking for a way to make money on the Internet, then blogging is one of the best ways to do it.
One of the best parts about blogging is that if you put in the work early, it largely begins to get passive. Everybody loves passive income! It can also bring in some incredible opportunities that you may not even be thinking about right now! Blogging has led to great TV interviews, hosting and high-ticket event opportunities, book deals, makeup, cookware and fashion lines and so much more for popular bloggers.
Let no one discourage you, blogging is still a very profitable way to make money online. In fact, it’s getting more lucrative. It’s not on the decline at all! It’s just getting more competitive which I welcome as that means that the best blogs will be the ones that survive. Learn the ropes of blogging for money and you will be rewarded handsomely.
So let’s answer the question…
Is blogging still relevant?
YES! How many times have you gone to Google to search for something today? As long as there are people searching the Internet for solutions, there will be answers on the other side.
If you provide quality answers time and time again, your blogging will be rewarded with the outcomes you desire.
Ok, let’s get into it.
Setting Up a Blog
When it comes to setting up a blog, there are a few steps to take to set it up properly and get yourself up and running. In this blog setup tutorial, I’ll take you through the following steps:
- Choosing a blog platform
- Selecting your domain name
- Choosing your web host
- Setting up your blog
- Choosing your theme
- Writing your first blog post
In just six quick and easy steps, we’re going to get your blog up and running today. Bunker down and let’s begin.
How to Choose a Blog Platform
The blog platform is where you’ll write your blog posts. Think of this as several different social media platforms. As of today, there are a few popular social media platforms out there such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, etc.
Popular blogging platforms currently available include WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr, Wix, Squarespace.
As with all things that have several choices, there’s usually a premium leader of the pack.
WordPress is by far the leader here for its flexibility and reliability. You can do far more with WordPress because of a wide variety of extensions and plugins available for it.
It’s also very easy to use. Just take my word here and go with WordPress. But not the free version. Keep reading to hear why.
Choosing Your Domain Name
Your domain name is your blog’s address. This is what is typed into the address bar at the top of your screen when you want to access a website. So for instance, my domain name for this blog is blogwithmo.com
Think carefully about this because you don’t want to end up with something you find yourself wanting to change in the future. The longer your domain remains active, the better chances you have for making money as it ages and your content grows.
You may choose a domain name that is tightly placed in one niche or category and later want to expand to a new niche. Is your domain flexible enough to cover these future changes? Or are you sure that this blog will remain in this niche only?
Once you’ve chosen your domain name, you can buy it on a domain marketplace like Namecheap. They’ve got great prices and superb customer service should you ever need any help. Next, you’ll need a host.
Choosing Your Web Host
Get closer. This step is crucial so you want to pay keen attention.
Your web host is the warehouse that will house and deliver your blog. They are the ones that will ship it out to the web for the world to consume.
Think of paying for a spot at the mall. You choose your mall very carefully as you want a mall that is tight on security, has the best opening hours and is able to handle lots of traffic.
The same is true for your web host. You want a host that is supremely tight on security. I’ve been hacked before, I know what a pain it is to clean your site after a hack.
You want a host that has incredible customer support because as a newbie you WILL run into problems and need tech help. Ask me about the several times I tinkered with my site and brought the whole thing down.
And you definitely want a host that has near to 100% uptime and has the ability to handle your growing traffic. How awful would it be for a blog post of yours to go viral and your host shuts you down because of the influx? NO!
Should You Start Blog for Free?
For these reasons, (and a bunch more) I do not recommend going with a free host such as blogger.com or wordpress.com
Starting a blog for free is not something I recommend if you want to make money or if you want to come across as an expert who knows what they’re talking about.
You want to set up your blog correctly from the get-go.
If you want my recommendation then I sing the praises of Hostgator. They meet all the criteria I set above with flying colors so I have no reservations recommending them strongly to start your new blog with. Plus, they are *bonus points* incredibly affordable!
Hostgator makes it so easy to get started that you can start your blog right this minute if you’re ready.
What’s that? You’re ready? Ok, let’s go.
How to Set Up Your Blog with Hostgator
The first thing to do is head to the Hostgator website and choose your plan.
Full disclaimer, these prices lock you in for up to three years at a time. Do I recommend doing this? Yes, I do. Why? Because the price of any host goes up significantly after one year.
Depending on the time you have to spend on your blog to create content and to learn how to make money blogging, you could get to that one year mark and still not be wildly profitable. Don’t be discouraged, this is a long term business that becomes easier AND more passive as time goes on. A year from now you will wish you had started today!
If locking in for that long still gives you the heeby-jeebies, then simply choose the month to month plan. Hostgator offers generous pricing for month to month as well!
If you do go with Hostgator and choose an annual plan, you’ll be able to register your domain for free! If you already have a domain name, enter it in the next step to get your blog started.
From here, you’ll select your username for your Hostgator account, put in your billing address and create your account!
How quick and easy was that? Let’s move on to the next step to create your blog.
Setting Up Your WordPress Blog
Once you’re inside your Hostgator account, setting up your WordPress blog is a one click and done deal.
From your home screen, there are a bunch of options in the highlighted box and as you can see one of them is “Install WordPress”.
Follow that link to install your WordPress blog on your Hostgator hosting account. You’ll choose a username and password among other details for your new blog. Then you’ll be given the WordPress administrator link to log into the dashboard of your new blog. From here, you can write your first post!
Here’s what my dashboard looks like right now as I’m writing this post.
Yours will look a little simpler since by now I have a bunch of plugins installed to help me create content better.
Choosing Your Blog Theme
Before writing your first post, I bet you’ll want to install a theme to make your new blog look really pretty.
I use Divi by Elegant Themes because I can switch up my look really easy, plus I can design different pages like landing pages, product pages, contact and about me pages and loads more with relative ease using the beautiful library of designs that they make available to their members.
If you’re looking for something quick and simpler to set up, then try one of the beautiful designs from Pretty Darn Cute. You can also shop the large theme marketplace of MyThemeShop for a wide variety of themes depending on what niche you’re in and what you’re looking for. Their themes are very affordable and cover lots of different niches.
Can you start a blog with a free theme? Sure you can. I do suggest upgrading to a paid one as soon as you can afford to do so because a free theme will have many limitations and will not be secure. You want to protect yourself from hackers as much as you can.
Whatever you decide to do, don’t get caught up on this step. Too many people take too long trying to get their blog to look perfect instead of just starting. I promise you, whatever you start with is not how your blog will look one year from now.
Just start. Content is 100% more important than the look of your blog. And that takes us to…
How to Write Your First Blog Post
Your first blog post will probably not be your best. Again, don’t get caught up on this step. There’s no panel of judges out there waiting for you to click publish just so that they can tell you what a massive fail your blog post is.
Here’s what I suggest you do before you write your first blog post.
- Brainstorm some blog post ideas
- Draft a list of 10 blog posts you’ll write first (you’ll give yourself a head start on blog traffic if these are all somehow related to each other)
- Write a blog post outline for your first post
Once you have your post outlined, get in there and write. Try to hit at least 1000 words. This means you have researched your topic and will provide a complete picture to the reader who happens to land on your blog post.
Congratulations! You’re now a blogger.
What’s next for your blogging journey? You’ll want to invest some time learning how to get traffic to your blog and then how to monetize it. Here are some blog posts and resources that will help you in your journey:
- You’ve started a blog, now what? Learn how to grow a blog from scratch
- Not sure what your blog niche should be? Get help in selecting a profitable niche here.
- Need more robust help to write your first blog post? Read my guide to writing a blog post.
- Looking for blogging support groups to support you on your new journey? Join my group here and learn how to use Facebook groups for blog traffic and learning here.
- Learn how to get free and massive traffic to your new blog using Pinterest.
- How will you monetize your blog? Affiliate marketing is one of the easiest ways to get going.
I also offer blog coaching so if you’d like personalized 1-on-1 help, contact me here to begin.
Did I scare you with the prospect of taking one year to be profitable? Again, keep your head up. Blogging is a long term game, not a quick rich scheme. If you continue to learn your craft and pump out profitable content the profit WILL come. Don’t just take my word for it, 10 established bloggers shared how long it took for them to start making money on their blog here.
I hope this helped you to start your new journey! Ask me any questions you have about blogging below.
I took your advice years ago and used Hostgator to host my blog and I have been very pleased. Thanks Mo.
I never heard of hostgator but I sure wish I read this before I started. So informative! Thank you!
I wish I read it before setting up my blog! I recently heard about hostgator! Thanks for providing the valuable information.