If you are looking to start a blog but have no idea where to begin, I've put together a step-by-step tutorial on “How to Start a Blog in 10 minutes using BlueHost“.
Because choosing a hosting company and registering your domain is only the beginning, I've also put together a FREE 7-day email course on “How to Start a Money Making Blog”. This course will walk you through other important aspects of starting a profitable and thriving blog and how to monetize it.
The world of blogging has the incredible potential to not only give you the financial freedom you've been searching for but also give you the ability to share your passion and your message with the world.
Who am I?
My name is Nataly, the wife of an amazing man and the mom of two precious little kiddos.
I have been a nurse for 10 years and almost 2 years ago I became a stay-at-home mom of a 5 year old and a 2 month old.
After my youngest was born, I knew I wanted to stay at home to take care of them, but I needed a “work from home job” that would supplement my monthly nursing salary. But what?!
After a LOT of research, my husband came across a few blogging resources and articles which I decided to look further into. Knowing nothing about blogging, I took the plunge and started a blog. Equip only with drive, determination, and a few learning tools I decided to invest in.
Subsequently, my blog took off and I made profit almost instantly.
By applying everything I had learned and by adding my own strategies and techniques, I've been able to accomplish incredible and amazing things that have taken other bloggers years to do.
That's how I fell in love with the idea of dedicating my blog mostly to helping others (specially women) find their own voice through profitable blogging and social media strategies, with a splash of love and encouragement.
I am currently the founder and blogger behind Love and Paper Flowers and Lovely Momhood. I am also the author of Blogcabulary Plus (The Ultimate Blogging Terminology, Reference, and Resource eBook).
It is my honor to pay it forward with this tutorial by helping you find your own success and creating your own successful blog that can truly change your life for the better.
So, what should you blog about?
Well, the answer to this question has a few layers which we will discuss in a minute to help you come up with your ideal niche.
If you already know for sure what you want to blog about, that's GREAT! If not, no worries I'll help you brainstorm.
The idea behind your niche is something that you love to talk or write about. A topic that you feel happy and passionate about sharing. You also want to make sure that is a topic you can create content for and put out there on a regular basis.
Some experts will tell you to have it all figured out before you start because that sets a strong foundation from the start. Well, that can definitely make things easier. However, sometimes as you are going through the journey and you get to test the waters, your niche can evolve into something slightly different. As a matter of fact, it can evolve into something different altogether.
Love and Paper Flowers started as an inspirational (“love”), DIY (“paper flowers”) blog. I wanted a place I could encourage others and teach them to do crafts and make money in the process.
I quickly realized that my niche wasn't going to take me where I wanted to go financially, and crafting is very time-consuming (time in the day I didn’t really have).
I immediately fell in love with everything blogging. I started investing in learning material, implementing the strategies I learned along the way and applying new concepts of my own.
As I started to see the incredibly positive response unraveling before my eyes, I couldn't help but to pick it up and run with it.
Moral of the story: It is ok to take chances and evolve as you get to know your audience and as you gain more knowledge and experience.
How does this apply to you?
What do you know a lot about? You don’t need to be an expert. You just need to be passionate enough to be able to provide valuable information on a particular subject. Mix things up with your opinion and experiences.
Don’t spread yourself too thin on a niche, but don’t wander off into ten niches at the same time and not have an identity.
The questions are:
- Is it time efficient?
- Are there a lot of people out there interested in what you are trying to promote?
- Who’s your ideal reader? Who are you writing to?
- Who do you want to attract?
- Is it something you feel passionate about?
Phewww, a lot to think about, huh?
I hope you are as excited as I am, because you, my friend, are on your way to what might just become your empire.
Now, before we get into all the techie stuff, I want to remind you that just like anything else you learn for the first time, it takes time and patience.
Thankfully, I will be with you every step of the way, so don't you worry about a thing… well expect thinking of your choosing domain! Wait, what?!?
HOW TO START A BLOG: STEP-BY-STEP TUTORIAL
STEP 1- Choose A Domain.
Your domain name is the part of your URL that identifies your site. For example, my domain name is Loveandpaperflowers.com.
Here are a few suggestions when choosing your domain:
Do your research. Make sure the name you are thinking about isn't taken and that it is also available in most of the top social media channels. A great FREE resource to use is KnowEm. Just type your domain and they will show you that particular domain's availability. I would also recommend you do a manual search just to be on the safe side.
Find a balance. Naming your domain as “A Blog” is too broad and “The blog about Golden Feather Peacocks” is to narrow. Spreading yourself too thin can limit your reach, content, and monetizing opportunities.
Things avoid. Try not to include numbers, hyphens, and special characters. They tend to be quite confusing and hard to search. Sites with a .com in the domain name tend be more trustworthy than a .net or .org, so make sure you choose a .com domain.
Don't overthink it! I started with something in mind and then plans changed. That is ok! More of reason to maybe go with a neutral domain, unless you are absolutely positive about what you want to blog about. Worst case scenario, you can always switch your domain and create a new one.
Now! Your domain name needs a Host.
STEP 2- Choose a Host and Register your Domain.
The reason we need a hosting company is because we are opting to go with a “self-hosted” platform (self-hosted blogs are able to be monetized).
WordPress.org is the most powerful and reputable content manager out there and what we are choosing as the foundation for our blog. Although there is a small fee involved in going with a self-hosted blog, you will have more freedom and control over your blog which is the way to go if you are looking to monetize your blog.
Because it is self-hosted, we need a “hosting company”. In other words, a company that lets your site “live” on its servers.
BlueHost is a great hosting company to get started and currently it is also the choice of other successful and professional bloggers.
Besides it's great reputation and reliability, it is a very affordable hosting provider to start a WordPress blog with.
Coming in at just $3.45 per month (at the time of this writing) when you commit to 36 months of hosting. Their 36 month plan it's their best value, and completely risk free. If you choose to end services, they will reimburse the remainder balance in your account.
Alright, now lets get started with BlueHost…
1. Right click here to open BlueHost, then click on “open in another tab”. That will make it easier to follow the steps in this tutorial as you complete the sign up process. By using my affiate link, you will get the best value that BlueHost has to offer at this particular time (thanks again for your support).
Your screen should now look something like this.. then click the green button “get started now”.
NOTE: Notice the “chat” feature in the header menu. If at any point during this process you feel you need additional help or have any questions at all, the BlueHost customer service is exceptional. They will walk you through whatever you need help with.
2. Now is time to choose a plan. The plan you choose should depend on the promotion going on at the time of this registration to get the best value, however the BASIC plan will give you the most inexpensive value and is great for starting out and it's completely risk free. If you choose to end services for whatever reason, they will reimburse the remainder balance in your account. Click “select”.
3. If you would like to register your domain with BlueHost you can do so now, on the left column. If you have a domain already then type it in the right column. Click “next”.
4. Enter your account info.
Enter and confirm you package information. Under account plan pick the plan of your choice once again. Remember, BlueHost will charge you upfront when you choose the BASIC plan (that's why they are able to provide you with such great price). Don't worry, it is completely risk free.
They also provide some additional services in this page for a small additional fee, but don’t worry about those yet. You can always add them later.
5. Next, enter your payment information. click “submit”.
6. Click “Create a password”.
7. Make sure you write your password down and keep it in a secure place.
8. Click, “log in”.
At this point BlueHost should automatically download WordPress for you.
9. Next, you will be given the option to choose a theme. Don'y worry about this too much. Just like BlueHost suggests, you can change that later.
10. Click on “Start Building”. You will then be taken to your WordPress DashBoard.
Important: For future log in to WordPress you don't have to go through BlueHost (remember BlueHost is only your hosting company). WordPress (your content manager) is where you will spend 99.9% of your time working on your blog.
You can find direct access to the log in window here: https://www.YOURDOMAINNAME.com/wp-login (where it says “YOURDOMAINNAME” make sure you replace it with the domain name you chose). Also, make sure you bookmark it to your computer's browser for easy access.
11. … And THIS my friend, is your mother ship, haha. This is your WordPress Dashboard and where the magic happens.
STEP 3- Choose a Blog Theme and Design
Congratulations my friend, you did it!!!
Now, I am pretty sure you have noticed your site looks a bit, well, naked! lol
That's because blogs come as an empty canvas giving its owner free range to design it and customize it as they wish.
However, it doesn't happen with the click of a button. In fact, this can be the most complicated part of the whole process.
You see, web design happens behind the scenes with what they call “code”. Every color on your blog, every line, every element placement, every single aspect of the visual fields of your site works with code. This computer language is very confusing that's why avoiding using code for our web design is a clever idea, and that is why investing in a reputable blog design with proper coding is extremely important.
You can pay a web designer to customize the look of your blog, but that can be pretty pricey.
You can also opt for a FREE WordPress theme, but the options and visual appeal won't be as optimal.
So what do we do? We choose a middle man.
By investing in a premium (paid) theme from the start it ensures you of many things:
- It puts your own unique stamp on your site and “brand”, helping you stand out of the millions of other sites out there.
- Your site will rank higher in search engines because they have an optimal coded, trusted structure.
- They take care of the back end coding, making it easy for you to customize and edit things to your liking.
- Premium themes usually have a structure and features that help you in generating revenue from your content.
So what are the best tools and services to help you do this:
Genesis Framework and a child theme… Huh?
Because websites come “naked”, having a strong and powerful foundation as your core or “framework” of your site is imperative. Genesis Framework created by Studio Press gives you the basic building blocks you need to create a beautiful site, but the customization really comes in with the child theme. Studio Press also has beautiful child themes to fit any style and if you buy it in a pack they offer a really good discount.
Going back to the car analogy, think of Genesis Framework as the structure of the car that drives your site, and a child theme as the paint and upgrades.
I chose Genesis Framework for my site as well. That was a no-brainier, but for my child theme I opted for Restored 316 Child Theme. I wanted the look and feel of a feminine and elegant child theme with all the power and expertise of a reputable designer. After much research, Restored 316 fit that criteria.
All throughout Restored 316 site, you can find great informational articles and videos that will help you further customize and personalized your site. Customer service is fantastic and so is the company owner Lauren.
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So, now you all set to share your message with the world.
You are free to write your first post and share it with everyone. I know it might all look really confusing at first, but you'll get the hang of it in no time. Practice makes perfect.
Before you go, make sure you take a look a Blogcabulary Plus: The Ultimate Blogging Terminology, Reference and Resource Book. I promise you it will save you months of overwhelming research, headaches, and frustration.
Think of Blogcabulary Plus as a blogger's encyclopedia containing all of the terminologies you will ever come across in your blogging journey. In addition, it contains popular blogging resources, tools, services, and important blogging How-To's Tutorial. But, don't take my word for it and take a look for yourself.
The best of luck on your journey my friend.
Now that you started a blog, learn how you can make money blogging.
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