Looking to start a blog? Maybe wanting to start an online business and start making money online?
I’ve been building websites and blogs for over 10 years now and I can’t believe I haven’t written this post already.
Starting a blog is so easy I can outline it in these simple steps so you can get the details now without having to read the whole post.
- Find out the topic you want to blog about
- Purchase a domain
- Purchase a web host
- Install WordPress
- Install a free design template
- Start blogging!!
Now I’ll go into detail with all of the things above, and the pros and cons of each. I’m not swayed either way and I will change any preference if it’s actually the best thing to do.
So why would you want to start a blog?
Well there are a number of reasons.
Blogging can help you make money.
You’ve probably heard of people who have started businesses online with blogs, or you want to start running ads on it to generate revenue? Well if all you have is time then you can get a low-cost website to start making you money just like it has me. I started in around 2006 and my website now ranks in SEO generating thousands a month just because I blog.
Blogging helps you get more business!
If you currently own a business and want to start targeting all those people who are searching for your services online, then blogging is a great way to advertise that. Blogging allows you to rank in Search Engines as well as promote to your social media website to generate you more leads.
Learn and Write
Maybe you’re simply a writer who wants to share what they’ve learnt online with others. Writing is such a great way to get all your thoughts down on paper and actually helps you learn things. There are a number of amazing writers online.
What do you need to start?
1. Find a topic you want to blog about
This is the hardest part of the whole process. Finding a blog topic is really dependant on what you think you can write about for a long time without getting bored. If the aim is to start making money online, you better love this topic 5 years from now. If you have your own business then great! You simple blog about various topics around your business. A great start is something you get asked all the time.
2. Purchase a domain
A website address is kind of like a letterbox that you need when you purchase the house. It doesn’t really matter where you get it because all it really does is let people know where your blog (or house) is. All you need a domain to do is point it to a web hosting server (the land your house is on). Which means you can buy it dirt cheap and it’ll be just as good an expensive one.
3. Purchase a web host
In order to start a blog – a website host is really important. The quality of this will determine a lot of things. Whether you get hacked, how often you’ll need to update the site manually, how fast it gets delivered to your users and how often it goes down. So because you’re just starting a blog, I would recommend that you purchase only the starter packs of any web host. I’ll take you through the process on Hostgator – this is where I started my own website in 2008.
The basic plan at Hostgator will set you back around $11 NZD/per month. You’ll get a heavy discount when you join so take advantage of this.
Ready to create your blog? Let’s get started..
As you can see on their website, I would select the ‘WordPress hosting’ which means that they’ve created web hosting specifically for this content management system.
Once you go through the sign-up process you’ll need to put in your details and they’ll ask you to add your domain name.
If you’ve purchased this already I’ll show you how to connect this up shortly.
Now once you get your ‘Welcome’ email with all of your website details, you’re going to look for something like the below. This is the address that allows you to connect your domain to your web hosting.
So if you log into where ever you purchase your domain, you need to look for ‘Nameserver’ info and place this info here. Here’s an example you would find in Crazy Domains.
Once you’ve placed those web host details in your domain, it should take around 2 – 24hours for your domain to be connected. But you don’t have to take a break just yet because we can get WordPress up and running before the domain even connects.
Cool huh? Ok let’s get started..
Install WordPress using QuickInstall
Ok so along with your email welcome info you’ll get access to what is called a ‘Control Panel’. This controls everything from email access to analytics tools and the all-important ‘One Click install’ feature.
‘One Click install’ allows you to install WordPress with just a couple of clicks.Once you log into your ‘Control panel’ you’ll see down the bottom under the ‘Software’ panel the ‘QuickInstall’ feature.
The next screen should look something like this:
So as you can see, you can install a variety of different web platforms. I highly recommend WordPress which is why I suggest it for your first blog.
So go ahead and select ‘Install WordPress’.
The next screen should look something like this:
Now because you’re doing this yourself – congrats! You simply need the FREE version of this WordPress install. They offer other options however you won’t need these.
Now to get your first blog started you just need to drop down and select your domain. With the second field on the right just leave it blank.
Next, fill in your ideal admin, admin user and details. Don’t worry you can change these details once the site is up and running.
Ok, click ‘Install WordPress’.
Now you have WordPress, let’s install a template
Now you’ll typically get a success page with the details to the admin section of your website after this. Using the username you created and the password that they’ve given you – you can log right into your website.
Providing you’ve given it the 12-24hrs to make the connection you can go ahead and type the name of your domain. You should see a very basic blog Website up and running!
You can skip this step or your can take a look at ways you can design your website. When you log into the admin section of your website you’ll see an option on the left-hand side called ‘Appearance’. Hover over that and click ‘Themes’.
Once on this page, you’ll need to select ‘Add theme’. This gives you access to tons of free themes available with WordPress. Have a look around and select any theme for free. Use the search bar in the top right to find a specific style. Popular themes are also a good way of finding a good, suitable design.
Once you’ve found the theme you want, hover over it and click ‘Install’.
Once that’s done. Take a look at the front page of your URL. Now it may not look just like the theme, but that’s because you need to start blogging! Head back into the admin section and select ‘add new’ under Posts.
So how much will it cost you on-going?
A blog will cost you:
1 Domain (around $25)
2. Web Hosting – Around $11 per month.
Total = $168 p/year
So if you’re looking to start a blog to make money or to start getting more business – this is just a fraction of what it would cost you to pay someone to sell online for you – which is essentially what your website will end up doing for you – 24 hours a day!
And if you’re looking for affordable hosting, I can create an account for you via SiteGround for only $12 NZD per month. No extra costs. Just get in contact and I’ll set it up for you.
Check out some of my other posts which covers related topics around websites.
- Blog Post Formula
- Hostgator to Wpengine – Why I moved
- How to transfer a website domain
- Choosing a Web Host
- Maximise your traffic with a blog.