How To Start Your Own Blog – A Detailed Step By Step Tutorial
Starting a blog is a great way to make some extra money, or even a full time income with enough time and patience! But that’s not just it, blogging is an awesome way of helping people with whatever problem they might be having. For example, A Centsible Gal is all about helping people with their personal finance. It’s about writing about something I’m personally passionate about, something I struggled with but managed to find solutions for.
One thing I’m not going to do is sugar coat anything in this post. Starting a blog does not take 5 minutes, it takes work! Starting a blog will not bring you a 5 figure income in the first month. Having a blog takes dedication, it takes time, it definitely takes patience. But if it’s something that you’re passionate about, it will be worth it!
I want to help you set up a successful blog from the very start. You honestly don’t need to be tech savvy in order to create a blog (I’m definitely not!), but a bit of help is always great!
Before we get started though, let me ask you a question that I want you to answer honestly. Are you starting a blog just for the money? If your answer is “yes”, then I’m telling you right now, you are not going to enjoy your journey, and you probably won’t be very successful. Yes, money is definitely an awesome pro to blogging, but it also should be about creating something you love and doing something you truly enjoy. The money will follow, don’t you worry.
Enough with the blabbering! Let’s start the tutorial, shall we? Here’s the step by step guide to starting you own blog.
Part 1 – Getting Started
In this first part you will
- Choose your niche
- Brainstorm blog names
- Choose your blogging platform
These steps are very important, so do not skip them. They will help you set the foundation of your blog.
Step 1 – Choosing your niche
Before actually starting with installations etc., I want you to sit down and really think about what you want your niche to be (what you want to write about). You don’t want to have a million random topics that have nothing to do with each other. To help you find your niche, answer the following questions on a piece of paper to get an idea of what you want your blog to be about.
- What are you passionate about?
- What do you find yourself talking the most about?
- Which subject do you know a lot about?
- How do you spend your free time?
The answers to these questions will give you an idea what your blog niche will be.
Once you figure out your niche, the next step will be much easier.
Step 2 – Brainstorm blog names
You might say, “But, I already know what my blog’s name is going to be!”. Even if you do have a name in mind, do not skip this step! Let me explain why. You fall in love with one name, then when it’s time to actually register your domain, you find that it’s already taken! So you end up getting frustrated, not knowing what the heck you’re going to name your blog. This is why I recommend coming up with around three different names so you can be prepared.
How do you come up with a blog name?
- The first step to doing this was choosing your niche. This helps a lot with your blog name! Now think about what topics you will be writing about. Let’s say your blog is all about health and fitness. That means you might be talking about nutrition, exercising, healthy living, recipes, etc. Write your list down on a paper.
- Now open up a thesaurus and search for other words for these topics. For example, diet, workout, active, menu, etc. Write down this list too.
- Now, think about you. What words would you use to describe yourself? For instance, mum, fit, healthy, etc. Write them down..
- You can now start putting these words together and see which ones you like most. ‘an active mum’, ‘workout diva’ or ‘healthy cooking’.
Once you have your blog name ideas, you can move one to step two!
Step 3 – Choose your blogging platform
Choosing where you want to build your blog is a very important step. I personally use WordPress, and it’s definitely the most popular platform out there.
Just a quick side note, WordPress.com and WordPress.org are two very different platforms. WordPress.org is also referred to as self-hosted WordPress and you have full control of your website. If you want to make money with your blog, this is the platform for you. WordPress.com is also referred to hosted WordPress. Ads will be placed on your website, but you will not make money from these ads. You are also not allowed to sell any ads on the website. This platform is great for hobby bloggers.
If you do choose WordPress (and I really hope you do), I will show you exactly what you need to do to set it up. This tutorial is very easy and detailed, and if you do get stuck anywhere, contact me and I will help you out!
Part 2 – Register Your Domain Name
This is where it starts to get real!
First, head on over to Bluehost to get started.
*Bluehost is one of the largest and most trusted web hosting services powering millions of websites. Web hosting is a service that will provide the technologies and services needed for you blog to be viewed on the Internet.
In this next step, you will need to choose which plan you want to use. The ‘Basic’ plan is the cheapest, and probably all you really need for now. If you decide to start another blog in the future, you can always upgrade to the ‘Plus’ or ‘Prime’ plans.
On to the exciting part! Registering you domain! But, before you move on to this step, I want to briefly talk about the domain extension.
The most recognised and most popular domain extension is .com. But there are hundreds of other options (most of which you should definitely avoid!). After .com, .org and .net are easily the most popular. Another choice would be to go with your country domain (.us, .co.uk, etc.).
If the domain name you enter isn’t available, you can go to the list of name ideas you listed in part 1 – step 2. Alternatively, you can choose a different domain extension (don’t forget to avoid complicated extensions).
In this next step you will be asked to enter your account, package and payment information.
I highly recommend paying for Domain Privacy Protection. This is so your contact information remains private.
You don’t really need the other items Bluehost sells, so I would uncheck the rest of the items on the list. You can always get the these products later if you’d like.
On the next screen you will have a choice to add some optional upgrades to your cart. At this stage, I don’t recommend getting anything else. but it’s completely up to you. And like I said, you can always get these upgrades at a later stage if you want.
Now you just need to choose your account password! You will receive all your account details via email.
Part 3 – Installing WordPress
Bluehost makes installing WordPress super easy!
Login to Bluehost and head on over to hosting -> cPanel (control panel). Under ‘Websites’ you will see an icon that says ‘Install WordPress’
Next, you will select your domain (click the dropdown menu) for installation. You will have a choice between having your domain with ‘www’, or without. This is a matter of personal preference.
Leave the ‘Directory’ blank.
Enter your admin information. Check out this Bluehost’s article on creating a strong password.
Your installation should now begin (this will only take a couple of minutes)
Next, select ‘My Installs’ from the top right, find the domain install and click ‘Login’.
Congratulations on completing your first steps towards starting your own blog! Go on, give yourself a nice pat on the back! I’m excited for you to start your new journey.
But of course, there’s more to starting a blog than just registering your domain name and installing WordPress. And I have more tutorials just like this one about setting up your blog and what you should be before launching your blog.
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