Starting a blog is one of the best ways to build an online income and live a digital nomad lifestyle. There are many reasons to start a blog. Some of these reasons are: the ability to creatively express yourself, gaining influence, recording memories for your future use, building an excellent network of like minded people with the same ambitions, dreams and goals as you and to also assist others to excel in the process. That said, starting a blog is a fulfilling venture that could benefit you your entire life. Blogging is fun and you can also make a lot of money from it
Now you’re probably wondering how you can start yourself a successful blog. Below is a step by step guide that will help you set up a functional blog platform. Are you ready? Let’s go!
Paid vs Free Blogging Platforms
There are many free blogging platforms out there such as Wix, Squarespace, and Blogspot. These platforms are easy to set up, maintain, and require no prior knowledge of website design. However, free blogging platforms is not something you should opt for if you are really serious about blogging. Here are the reasons why:
You look like an Amateur
With free blogging platforms, you’re stuck with ugly domain names like “yourblog.blogspot.com”. To the readers, that’s an indication of a beginner blogger. You would have a hard time convincing them you are an expert in your niche.
A free blogging platform offers limited bandwidth, and memory space, which has a poor impact on the user experience. There are limited themes available as well as CSS functions. That means you cannot fully customize your blog to increase conversion rate on your website.
It’s Hard To Monetize Your Blog
User experience is directly correlated its potential to make money. For the reasons listed above, your visitors are unlikely to consider your blog credible or reliable. Thus, they are less likely to interact with the ads or affiliate links on your site. Not to mention that advertising options are limited on free blogging platforms.
You don’t fully control your blog
When you host your blog on a free platform, you’re bound to follow their rules and regulations. That means if you unintentionally and unknowingly break their terms of service, they can delete your blog without any notice. All of your published content will be completely gone. You won’t likely to be able to retrieve them if you didn’t have a backup.
For those reasons, I would highly recommend you start your blog with a paid hosting using WordPress as the platform. Don’t worry, WordPress is free and super easy to use. In fact, 30% of the entire Internet are built with WordPress. You have full power to customize it to however you want without the need of coding knowledge.
Wait a minute… Since WordPress is free, what am I paying here? It’s the hosting of your blog that you will be paying. Think of WordPress as what you use to build your house, while the host is the land you place your house on. And for this I would recommend Bluehost.
Generally, web hosting only cost a few dollars a month. The functionality and performance of your blog highly depends on your hosting provider. Bluehost is one of the best hosting providers out there. With more than 2million websites using their platform, Bluehost has proven to be safe and reliable. The company offers all there is you need, plus a whole bunch of other features. For a complete beginner, I would definitely recommend Bluehost.
There are other great deals that come with using Bluehost. This hosting platform offers a 30 day money back guarantee. The best part is that you will get a free domain with a 12-month hosting plan (valued at $15!).
Ready to build your first blog? Visit Bluehost’s website and get started.
1) Getting Started
Once you’re on Bluehost’s website, click on the big green button that reads “Get Started Now”.
2) Choose a plan that suits your needs
The cheapest option would be fine for what you need.
3) Select a domain name; this is absolutely free
The next screen will ask you to select a domain.Your domain name will be the address by which your website will be identified online. That is why it is good idea to put some thought into it. The domain name should speak of your service, product or company. Some of the key points that can guide you into choosing a domain name include:
a) Your name
Your name is a good starting point if the blog generally revolves around you and the services that you offer.
b) Your market segment
If you’ve clearly identified your market segment, then you can use this as a starting point to create a domain name.
When it comes to market segments, it is always important to leave room for adjustment. For example, if your niche market is apple, then your domain name could be apples.com. What if down the line you want to talk about bananas? It would be awkward to add content about bananas after the apples. In such a scenario, a good domain name would be fruits.com
If you’re really having trouble coming up with a good domain name, just remember not to overcomplicate it. Just come up with of something short, catchy, and easy to spell. It’s the content that matters, not the name.
4) Fill out account information
After you’ve picked out a domain name, Bluehost will take you to a registration page where you will be required to fill in personal information and billing data. You will also be required to indicate the length of time you want your website to be hosted. If it is your first time registering a domain, I highly recommend the one year plan.
Once you have filled out the above information, you will see the package information as well as package extras you might want to consider getting.
The best deal is the 36-month plan for only $3.95 a month. If you are serious about this business, then this is the one to invest in as your monthly rate is much lower over the long run. It also ensures that Bluehost won’t raise the price of your hosting for the next 3 years. However, you do have the option of 12-month plan if you don’t want to commit to 36 months.
To be honest you don’t need any of the package extras. Feel free to uncheck them and save yourself a few bucks a month.
5) Install WordPress
After creating your password you’ll be able to log into your Bluehost account. Once you’re logged in, find the Website section and select “Install WordPress”.
Just follow the instruction to get WordPress installed. If you need a step by step guide, then view the video below.
Once that’s done, you will receive a notification informing you that installation is completed.
6) You’re good to go: better start blogging
At this stage you’re pretty much set up. Now you can proceed to Whateveryourlogname.com/wp-admin/. It will ask you to enter your WordPress username and password if you haven’t logged in already. There, you can customize your new blog.
Here is a quick walk through of the WordPress admin area:
Below is a simple guide on how you can improve the overall appearance of your blog. In the admin area:
- Hover your mouse to the left and select appearance tab
- Preview the themes available and select the most suitable one
- Once you choose a theme, activate it
- Select the posts tab which is located on the left of your dashboard
- After selecting posts, create your first blog post
If you need help on changing your theme and creating your first blog post, check out this video below:
Congratulations! You now have every reason to pop the champagne and celebrate. You have just created your blog and ready to meet the world!