You heard that you can make money with a blog and you are inching to start a blog. There are way too many guides out there on ‘how to start a blog‘ but you want just the facts.
Yes, you want a complete blogging tutorial that teaches you how to create a blog from scratch. You have no time to waste and certainly, you don’t want to waste money buying web hosting and domain names just to become another failed blogger.
You want to start a blog and start making money from blogging. I feel you –and that’s why I created this post for you; How To Start A Blog In Just 5 Simple Steps.
If you are the type that read, bookmark this post for future reference and if you’re a graphic-type of person, there’s an infographic right at the bottom of this post. And if you find this post useful, I would appreciate it if you can share this around or use the infographic in your blog post!
Step 1: Start a blog by choosing a domain name
A domain name is like your brand and it matters even more especially when your blog get traction and more visibility. Most bloggers find it really challenging to find a blog name and allow me to hep you out on this.
There are several rules of thumb when it comes to choosing a domain name:
- Always go for dot com (.com) followed by dot net (.net) and dot co (.co) – Avoid others forms of Top Level Domains (TLD’s) regardless how interesting they sound like
- Domain name should be short and in most cases, under 20 characters
- Choose a domain name the represents your brand and make sense for reading (higher readability = easier remembrance)
- Avoid hypes and numbers whenever possible
- Have the keyword embedded in the domain for some search engine advantage in the future
Domain usually costs anywhere from $0.99 to under $10 per year. There are many domain registrars out there such as GoDaddy and NameCheap which sells at super low prices.
Want to save money in domain name and get a free one? Continue reading Step 2!
To be included in you reading list: ProBlogger Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income
Step 2: Choosing a reliable web hosting company
Web hosting is like the power company that lights up your home (in this case, home is your domain). One of the biggest mistakes done by bloggers is choosing really, really cheap web hosting companies due to the obvious reason; dirt cheap cost.
The results? Tons of downtime and even possibility of hacking which leads to angry visitors and lost of revenue for you. If you think about it, this isn’t the reason of you starting a blog. You want to make money or passive income from blogging!
So, here are some guidelines you need to know when choosing a web hosting company:
- Reliable uptime for web hosting performance
- Proven track record in this industry
- Support consists of live chat, phone, email and forum
- Money back guarantee
Since you are starting out in blogging, you should be getting shared web hosting as this is the most affordable one. While there are higher end ones like WP Engine, you’re still in good hands especially when your blog is hosted with a professional web hosting company with affordable prices.
Why? Because it doesn’t burn a hole in your pocket.
If you need recommendations, I recommend using BlueHost (read my review on Bluehost) because it costs only $3.95 per month and all the goodies such as free domain name, free site builder, professional support and money back guarantee under one roof. Of course, you only get this deal when you use this link (original price is $5.99 per month).
Step 3: Installing a blogging platform
In the 3rd step on how to start a blog, you need to install a blogging platform. Here, I would recommend you to install WordPress as it is one of the most flexible blogging platforms for both beginners and businesses.
Big brands such as Tech Crunch, The New Yorker and Sony Music use WordPress for their websites.
By default, most shared hosting service providers would have cPanel system which you can use to install WordPress. If you slightly geeky, here’s the real definition of cPanel credits to Wikipedia:
cPanel is a Linux based web hosting control panel that provides a graphical interface and automation tools designed to simplify the process of hosting a web site.
If you are wondering if you could create a blog without WordPress, yes you could — but would you? Millions of blogs out there are powered by WordPress because it is flexible and super scalable. As a matter of fact, WordPress allows you to change every expect of your blog (with some coding knowledge).
Right now, you may be thinking, “Hey Reginald, this is just too much for me. I am working/studying and I have absolutely no time to spare. I demand to know how to start a blog fast!”
Yes sir! Pardon me for all the jargons I said in the past few paragraph. You want an easy way out? Signup for BlueHost web hosting and they will give you a free domain. Then the magic happens. BlueHost has 1-click install for WordPress. All you need to do is to click and wait.
Now you are all set … under 5 minutes. Yes, sign up for BlueHost here (If you cancel within 30 days, you receive a full refund on your hosting service and if you cancel after 30 days, you receive a prorated refund for the remainder of your hosting term).
Step 4: Setting up your blog
Yes, you just started a blog. Pretty simple right?
No, it’s no over yet! There’re two more steps and the next step (really simple one, I promise) is setting the blog up.
On your dashboard (accessible through http://yourdomain.com/wp-admin), head over the left panel and click on Settings > General as seen on the image below:
Once the page is refreshed, you will see a new page and this is the main switch box for your blog. See the options in the image below? Fill the details according to the details of your blog.
Once everything is done, click on the Save button.
Important note: Tagline should be no longer than 160 characters.
Bonus offer: See why over 164,000 website owners trust StudioPress Themes!
Step 5: Installing plugins to your blog
What are WordPress plugins?
WordPress plugins are bits of software that can be uploaded to to extend and expand the functionality of your WordPress site.
In short, plugins help you to do wonders with your blog (even when you have no knowledge about) and it increases productivity.
Plugins can be installed directly from your blog’s dashboard. Click on the left panel and select Plugins.
A new page will be visible and you can search dozens of plugins directly from the WordPress repository. As of this point of writing, there are over 37,900 plugins available for download to your blog.
Here are some important plugins you need to have when you first start a blog:
- JetPack (utility plugin)
- Akismet (plugin to manage spam comments)
- Contact Form 7 (plugin to create contact forms)
- W3 Total Cache or WP Super Cache (helps to reduce blog loading speed and improve web performance)
- WordPress SEO by Yoast (improves your blog SEO markups)
Alternative plugins for advanced bloggers:
- Thrive Leads (plugin to build email list)
- Easy Social Sharing Buttons (create custom social sharing buttons)
- Scribe Content (advanced SEO and analytics tool for bloggers)
WordPress comes with some beautifully made themes which you can use for free. But if you would want a more custom look and feel, there are tools such as Thrive Theme Builder that allows you to create custom custom blog templates without a single line of code. Besides that, you have StudioPress who offers dozens of professional made blog templates ready for download at very reasonable prices.
So, what’s next after starting a blog?
Did you know that you have finish all the 5 steps in ‘how to start a blog‘?
Yes, give yourself a pat on the back and maybe some beer. You have successfully create a blog from scratch (and without pulling a single strain of hair). Well, that’s awesome right?
Of course, starting a blog is just the first step in your blogging journey. What’s coming up next is how to make money with a blog (subscribe here to be kept updated)!