Everything You Need To Set Up Your Blog Right Now
There’s no need to stress out over blog setup. Today, I am going to help you decode the mysteries that trip up many would-be bloggers:
- Do I use Wordpress.com or Wordpress.org?
- Where should I host my blog — and why?
- Why free hosting platforms like Blogger and Squarespace suck for bloggers who want to make money
- What should I blog about?
Before we get started, I wanted to say this: blogging has changed my life!
Today, I run a successful blog that’s been featured in Forbes, U.S. News, Yahoo Finance and more. I also make thousands per month just because of my blog.
The best part about this is that it’s so cheap to start a blog.
All you need is a simple website and a passion for your topic.
Your blog can be about anything. It’s entirely up to you.
You can monetize most types of blogs too, so do not let that hold you back.
If you struggle with what to blog about, here are some ideas. I’ve added some popular topics in bold that could be big money makers:
- Fitness and health
- Inspiration and advice
That’s the beauty about having a blog. It can be anything you want it to be.
MY THOUGHTS ON WORDPRESS
Wordpress has a .com and .org option. Wordpress.com is the place you want to build your blog because you can customize it however you want.
You can add themes, change colors, and all sorts of awesome and fancy changes very easily.
Wordpress.com is VERY limited in the customizations you can make for your site.
You will not be able to add the amazing tools that pro bloggers like me and others use to actually make money and build a professional website.
SETTING UP YOUR HOSTING
I recommend Bluehost for hosting because it is the EASIEST way to get started, which I’ll walk you through in this lesson later.
I used a different host when I got started and it was terrible. It took me hours just to figure out how to set up simple things. Bluehost is a reliable and reputable company that knows how to simplify things so you don’t have to pull your hair out. Believe me, it’s worth the not making the mistake I did early on.
MY THOUGHTS ON FREE BLOGGING PLATFORMS
Free blogging platforms like Blogger and Squarespace exist.
Please, and I repeat, PLEASE do not use one of these platforms if you ever want to have a legit site.
These sites do not allow you to customize and make money like Wordpress.org does.
HOW TO START A WORDPRESS BLOG WITH BLUEHOST
What you’ll need to get started:
- Domain — The web address for your site
- Host — The company that runs your site from their servers (Bluehost)
- Platform — The engine that powers your site (Wordpress)
Step 1: Choose Your Domain Name & Register It With Bluehost:
Choosing a name is easy. Brainstorm a few names in your head that you want your blog to be named.
As far as picking a name…just try to be creative and add whatever your blog topic is into your domain name.
For example, if you want to blog about fitness, try something like makefitnessfun.com or fitnessforoldmen.com (haha). You get the point. Try to make it catchy.
Make your site name simple, short and to the point, and go with what you will like in 5 years! People will come to your site even if the domain name isn’t perfect. You can change it later if you want easily so don’t take too much time on this.
Write 5–10 down and then you’ll need to register it with Bluehost.
Now click here to visit Bluehost to register your name and create an account. You’ll see a welcome screen and click “Get Started” button.
Step 2: Choose your plan
You are looking at $60 for the entire year if you go with 12-months, which is a good deal.
I highly suggest that you select the 36-month option to get a much better value at $2.95/month with my exclusive pricing. Do not go month-to-month. If you forget to pay your site will be shut down forever.
Now, select the plan you want.
Step 3: Look for your ideal domain name.
Enter the domain names that you want to see if they are available. The screen where you type in the domain you want will look like this (below). If your name is not available, don’t worry. Just go with something simple and catchy! You’ll want to enter your ideas in the “new domain” box and hit “next”.
Remeber: simple and easy to spell is key when it comes to your domain name.
After you sign up for your domain and put your billing information in, you will see a pop-up that asks if you want to add extra services.
You don’t need anything extra. Uncheck the extra boxes and hit continue.
Now, just enter your payment information (remember that you will have to pay the entire hosting amount up-front), and create your site’s password.
You’re almost done creating your blog.
Here are the installation steps:
- Click the login button that you saw after creating your site password.
- Bluehost will then ask you to pick a theme for your site. For now, just pick the one you like the most. You can always change your theme later down the road.
- Click the “Start Building” button on the message that pops up.
- You’ll be taken to your WordPress dashboard from there and will be given the option to choose a business or personal site. Choose the one that applies to you or choose “I don’t need help”.
- Your site will be offline until you click the “Launch” button on your WordPress dashboard.
BOOM. You’re done creating your WordPress blog!
Now you can go to your fancy new domain and sign in via the WordPress login by typing in “*yoursitename*.com/wp-admin”
This screen will pop up and will be where you log in to your site from now on:
After you log in with the password you created earlier (which will also be emailed to you), you have a few options.
Take an hour or so to familiarize yourself with how to use Wordpress. You can watch this video for a good overview.
Your site should look like this but with less stuff on the left sidebar.
You can either go to Appearance>Themes on the left-hand side and change your WordPress Theme by selecting “Add New Theme”, or you can search the internet for “WordPress Themes” and will find thousands of free and paid options that way.
I highly recommend you go with the Genisis Theme as it is easy to set up and work with as a new blogger.
Whew! You Still Here?
That was a long tutorial but you are good to go now! That’s all you need to set up your blog. If you want more info on how to grow your blog, you can take my free Blogging Bootcamp where I lay out how to set up your blog, how to market your blog with social media and more. If you’re ready to supercharge your progress and invest in your dream, check out my blog coaching services.
One Last thing…
Leave a comment below with your top blogging question.
Don’t be shy! I want to hear from you. If you have a question I’d be happy to help answer your question personally.
Go ahead and leave a comment and introduce yourself, what your biggest challenge is with blogging and what you’re excited about. You can also add what you want to blog about or what niche you think you may choose!
Originally published at Your Money Your Freedom.