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You wanna know how to start a blog.
Maybe it’s been on your mind for a while. You know you have important things to say. You want a new hobby. Or You’ve read the income reports and thought “why not me”? (And yes, why not you?)
Or may be it’s just a new idea you have. Something you’re just starting to consider? Either way, you wanna know how to start a blog.
There’s nothing quite as bitter as regretting not trying something you KNOW you want to do. I knew I wanted to try blogging – for profit – so I could work from home. And I knew the only way to find out if I could do it was to jump in with both feet.
And I have to say, I’m pretty happy I jumped. I love blogging. I have subscribers. I’m making money. (Read my income reports here!)
If you wanna be blogging, you should be blogging. You’ll never know what you could create for yourself if you don’t try. And the best part is, you don’t even need to put on real clothes or leave the house. You just need to be committed to putting in the effort.
From your couch.
Right now, you have no idea the abundance of tools out there that go way beyond “how to start a blog”. All you need to do is be willing to learn and willing to look for the tools. I make more money from home, 7 months after starting this blog, than I made at my job. It is worth doing.
This is how to start a blog (a PROFITABLE blog) and work from home:
How to start a blog: STEP 1 – choose a domain name
Your domain name is your www.blogname.com. PICK ONE YOU LOVE. I made the terrible, no good, very bad mistake of picking one I was ok with. And then I wasted a month of my life (and some money) moving everything I had already created to the new website, one with a name I do love. You can see if the name you want is available by plugging it in at namecheap. If it comes up with a price, it’s available. If it says “make offer” then someone else already owns it. Try another one. (But don’t buy it yet!)
Things to keep in mind while choosing a domain name:
- Short is good. Short is easy to remember, and easy to type.
- Don’t use something that sounds just like something else that’s already famous. Be your own famous!
- Your own name is always a good fall back (www.yourname.com comes with the added bonus of not trapping you in a box regarding the subject of your blog).
- Really think long and hard before purchasing a name that doesn’t end in .com. It’s the most professional looking, and you’re more likely to be taken seriously with a .com
How to start a blog: STEP 2 – choose hosting and install WordPress
Once you know exactly what your blog is gonna be called, and you know what you are gonna write about, you need to choose a hosting company. If you are going to have a profitable blog you need to OWN your blog and you can’t do that for free. It doesn’t have to be expensive though! (I talk more about why you need hosting in The Truth About Starting a Profitable Blog – where I also talk about why all those “how to start a blog in ten minutes and make $5000 in 3 months” posts you’ll read are a little… misleading.)
My blog is hosted with Bluehost and I’ve been very happy with them. For the computer confused, the best thing about them is their 24 hour support. The next best thing is that they have 1 click WordPress install. No scary mucking around with trying to install WordPress manually! (WordPress is the platform that most profitable blogs are built on.) This “how to start a blog” tutorial will be using Bluehost.
Bonus, purchasing hosting through my links with Bluehost also includes your domain name. For free! (I very much paid for mine, because I did not realize that…)
→ Click this link to purchase hosting with Bluehost, it will open in a new window (and then follow along with me here if you are computer confused). The pictures below are for demonstration and are NOT LINKS.
→ Click that big green button to “get started now”. (And we will move on with all the how to start a blog stuff 🙂 )
→ Select the basic plan – for $3.95 / month (or less if there’s a sale – there often is!). Whatever is cheapest is all you need right now, upgrades are always available in the future.
→ Enter the domain name you chose under “New Domain” (where it says help me get my free domain.)
→ It will take you to a screen where you need to enter your personal information and billing information. Go ahead and do that.
→ Under that it shows you a bunch of ad-ons you can choose from. I didn’t purchase any of these ad-ons except for domain privacy protection, because I really didn’t want anyone to be able to search for my personal info. They offer back up at a cost, but there are plenty of ways to back up for free – we will talk about them later!
→ Once you enter all your info and click the green submit button below, you’ll get an email with your login information. Follow the instructions in the email to login to your cpanel (control panel). (Login button is found at the top right corner of www.bluehost.com.)
→ Enter that login info. Click submit.
→ Close the welcome pop up window.
→ Now you get to do that awesome one click install for WordPress. You’re logged into cpanel. Scroll down and click the button that says “Install WordPress”. If you are feeling really computer confused, you can click their “walk me through” button in the bottom left. Bluehost is VERY beginner friendly.
→ Click the “install now” under do it yourself.
→ Make sure it’s your domain name that’s listed in the drop down menu. You can leave the directory box blank (see it says optional?) Then click check domain.
→ Click “show advanced options” and “I have read the terms and conditions” boxes. Then click install now.
→ One last screen! It’ll ask you to choose a site tile (you can always change this later) and admin name. Go with something easy for you to remember, hard for someone else to guess. Hackers are real. Remember this when you’re choosing a password too! WRITE DOWN YOUR USERNAME AND PASSWORD. In fact, WRITE DOWN EVERY USERNAME AND PASSWORD YOU EVER MAKE FOR YOUR BLOG – there will be many many many.
→ Click “Install Now”. Let it do it’s thing, and it’ll tell you when WordPress is all installed. Yes, it really is this easy!
And that’s step one – all done!
Log in to your WordPress dashboard
Go to your website and login. In your internet address bar enter www.yourdomainname.com/admin. This will take you to your login page, (and WordPress is already installed on your website).
Once logged in you will see your WordPress dashboard.
You’re gonna get really comfortable here.
Congratulations – you own a website! Your own little piece of the internet, where you will create something amazing. And, if you do it right, you will inspire readers, connect with new friends and make money while you’re at it.
It’s gonna be awesome.
NOW you get to do the next step – and it’s the fun part. Choosing and installing a theme. Your theme is the way your blog looks. It’s the fonts, the colors, the layout. There are THOUSANDS of free and paid for themes to choose from. It’s mind boggling actually!
Oh, and there is a little bit of picky house keeping we can do in WordPress before we do anything else too.
So let’s get started on that… shall we?
Looking for other blogging tips? Check out these posts:
Choosing a Theme You Love
Creating Your First Blog Post in WordPress
5 Very Important Things to do Before You Start Blogging
WordPress Settings, Permalinks & Google Analytics
How to Install WordPress Plugins
7 Ways to Make Your Blog Look Less Like a “Newbie” Blog
Printable Blog Organization Binder
Affiliate Marketing: Can YOU Really Make Money With It
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