How to Start A Blog
Starting is a blog is a lot easier that most people think. In fact, you can start a blog with HostGator in less than 15 mins. Seriously, it doesn’t take that long.
Not all of us have a ton of money to spend money on something that might be a hobby to start. Don’t get us wrong, making a profit from your blog is easier than you think, but that doesn’t mean that you need to spend a lot to get your blog up and running. We definitely recommend choosing HostGator for your hosting needs- especially if you’re looking to start a blog on the cheap. We’re been using them for years, and have loved them!
Blogging is such a growing industry, and many of us have created online businesses, are able to work from home, travel around the world, and experience some really cool things because of it.
Making more with your blog is going to be harder than just starting your blog, and it will depend on your business model, niche, and the amount of traffic that you attract. Provided that you have a good idea of what you’re going to be writing about, you’ll find that you’ll make back your startup costs really quickly.
Let’s get started.
HERE ARE THE STEPS ON HOW TO START A BLOG
We’ll cover everything from finding a niche, to setting UP your design, and building relationships, and finding your first few readers.
FINDING YOUR NICHE
This is the hardest part of setting up a blog- especially if you’re looking to make money from blogging. Not only does your niche have to be something that you’re passionate about, but it has to be something that you can actually make money from, therefore, there has to be a market for it, and actual readers that who will be interested in reading, and then purchasing the things that you might be selling.
That said, as mentioned above when learning how to start a blog, do not neglect finding a topic that you’re passionate about. This will be a topic that you’re going to be writing about almost daily, and nothing burns you out faster that a topic that you have no interest in.
EASY WAY TO FIND YOUR NICHE
Take a look at what you read on a daily basis- do you like travel, (and will be travelling), fashion, beauty, gardening?
Niche down a bit further. Yes, you can write about fashion, beauty, food, or travel as a whole, but find that thing that makes you special. Do you only write about new products, do you like writing about solo female travel, are you an expert of South America? There are lots of ways to niche down and still build a brand. Here are some great examples of blogs that have a unique voice:
Here are some great examples of blogs that have a unique voice:
- The Curious Creature– Focuses on culinary travel.
- The Points Guy– Focuses on travel hacks.
- Money After Graduation– Focuses on personal finance for millennials.
- Beyond The Drop– Focuses on EDM events and lifestyle.
Take some time and really think about where your interests lie, and start there.
PICK AN AWESOME DOMAIN NAME:
Yes, your domain matters, so spend some time really thinking about what you want it to be. Also, remember that your domain become your online home so it has to be something that you’re proud of, and something that can be spelled easily.
You can always go with wordpress.com, Tumblr, or even blogger in your domain, but there are lots of reasons not to do that.
- It will impact your standing in Google. And you want all the search engine traffic that you can get.
- There are not as professional. Imagine handing your business card to someone from Saks, and it being yourblog.tumblr.com? Not cool.
- Not as flexible. You don’t have design control.
- You can’t sell ads, thus will be limiting your income potential.
Here are some tips to get you started on the right foot.
- Avoid general terms. Pick something that is unique, but still conveys your niche, and your market.
- Avoid slang. There is nothing worse than using something inappropriate, and having to explain the meaning of it in a business setting.
- Buy the dot com version. Always. People rarely think of checking the .net .org etc of a site. So make it easy for them to find you.
- Use Namecheap.com to buy your domains. The interface is really easy to use. Look into them if you’re buying multiple domains. Most hosts, such as Host Gator give you one domain FREE so you don’t have buy the domain separately.
- Make it easy to remember. Imagine having to spell your blog name, every time you meet someone new. Worse yet, imagine the name being so unmemorable that they can’t recall the name? You’re going to lose a ton of readers, and business opportunities.
- Google your name. You never know what’s floating around on the internet and you don’t want to start with negative SEO out there.
- Think long term! You may not always want to write about college fashion, or being in debt, so don’t limit yourself to those names. Think of where your blog can potentially go.
- Example of great names: The Brunette Salad, The Minority Nomad
- Check to make sure that you can get that name on all social media channels. Sites like NameVine are great as they will show you if dot com version is available too.
Buy your hosting and domain:
This is where the rubber meets the road, and buying these two allows you to create your home on the internet.
- Domain: the address that people type in to get to your website or blog.
- Host: the server where your files are stored.
You need both to make your website work, and picking the right host is crucial to your success.
HostGator is one of the top web hosting companies in 2016 and you can start your own blog with them for as low as $5.56 a month! Also, if you sign up using that link, then you will get your domain for free if you purchase a 12 month or longer hosting plan (a $15 value). We highly recommend signing up for the 12-month hosting plan through Hostgator. It’s affordable and you can save a lot of money by signing up for at least 12 months. BONUS: you can request a refund at any time.
Let’s get real here. Can you just start your blog on blogger or wordpress.com for free, but as mentioned above, that’s not going to help you make your blog a business.
You can’t go wrong with setting up your hosting and domain yourself, and HostGator is one of the best out there. We’ve been with them for the last 5 years and have loved them!
Most successful bloggers will tell you that they didn’t start making money until they switched over to self-hosting- us included!
Here’s why we recommend HostGator for your WordPress blog:
- Super easy to use. Honestly, it’s super simple to use.
- You get access to free technical support- live chat, and phone support. Just in case you need help setting up your WordPress Blog in HostGator.
- Your first domain is included for FREE. Yes, your monthly expense is only $5.56 or less!
- You can sell ads, and monetize your blog because you’re self-hosted.
There are a ton of hosting companies, and we’ve tried most them. We’ve been with Hostgator for the last 5 years, and love them so far!
HOW TO START A BLOG ON HOST GATOR
Step 1: GET YOUR DOMAIN
If you’re new the blogger world and don’t have a domain yet, don’t worry- you get a FREE domain with Host Gator as long as you buy the 12 months of hosting package.
Buying 12 months of hosting makes it cheaper on a monthly basis, and you get a FREE domain AND you don’t need to worry about making payments every month.
How’s that for a win-win?
STEP 2. PICK YOUR HOSTING PACKAGE
Setting up a WordPress blog on Bluehost is very easy. First, we will talk about the costs of blogging:
Unless you plan on setting up multiple sites right away, you’re not going to need anything more that the Hatchling Plan.
The rates vary depending on how long of a contract you want to get:
- 12 Months of hosting at $5.95 = $71.4/YR
- 24 Months of hosting at $4.95 = $59.40/YR
- 36 Months of hosting at $3.95 = $47.40/YR
Each of these packages includes a FREE Domain too.
Pick the one that’s right for you and your budget.
Add-ons: Domain Protection Privacy
Make sure that you uncheck everything else.
Peace of mind: Most hosting companies don’t have contracts, and if they do, RUN! Host Gator gives you a full refund within 30 days, or the remainder of your money if you decide to cancel after that.
HOW TO BUY HOSTING:
Go to Host Gator and click the “Get Started Now” button.
- Click on the package you are interested in. (Hatchling in this case)
- Input the new domain that you want, or the one that you might own already.
- Make sure you select at least 12 months from the drop down to save money and get your domain FREE
- Fill out all the payment info.
3. INSTALL WORDPRESS
We’re almost there! Starting your blog is about to get a lot easier!
Once you purchased your hosting, you’ll get an email with your cPanel login details.
Use the credentials to log-in, and look for One Click Install
- Click the “One Click Install” button.
- Then, click on the WordPress on the left-hand side. A new section will pop up.
- Click on “Install WordPress” under the free option.
- Enter/select your domain from the drop down.
- Fill out the form with the User ID (don’t use “admin”!) and password that you want to use.
- You will want to check “Automatically create a new database for this installation” as well, unless you already have a different database (if you don’t know, then you probably do not).
- Click “Install Now.”
- Remember to save your username and password. You’ll get an email with the details!
- And starting a blog is as simple as that. Following these 3 steps above mean that you learned how to start your blog on Host Gator. A self-hosted blog that you can put ads on and learn how to make money from!
DESIGN AND CONTENT
If you have an idea in your head about where you want to go with the site, and what you want it to look like, then you might want to invest in a paid theme.
There are quite a few ones available if you don’t!
Some of our favorites are:
- Genesis (you’ll need to purchase the framework and a child theme that you like)
- DIVI (you need to customize this one a bit more)
- Solopine (great selection and really easy to use- Hickory is our fav!)
If what you’re looking for isn’t there, then spend some time browsing Themeforest. They have 1000s of themes. Make sure you pay attention to the ratings and reviews! There’s no reason to have gone through all of the trouble starting a blog then settle on theme that you’re not happy with!
Now that you learned how to start a blog on Host Gator, you might want to know some basic tricks to make your WordPress experience better.
- Posts: This is where you blog posts go. You select this from the left-hand side or from the top
- Pages: Where your static pages go (About Me, Contact Me etc)
- If you want your home page to show your latest blog posts follow these steps:
- SETTINGS -> READING -> FRONT PAGE -> BLOG
- Media: This is where you can upload and find your images, videos etc.
- Appearance: This is where you change how your theme looks
- Themes- change the blog’s theme/layout
- Widgets- additional tools that enhance your reader’s experience (Top posts, Instagram feeds etc)
MARKETING YOUR BLOG
Now that you started your blog and have it up and running, you might be wondering how to grow your blog quickly!
Don’t worry, we have a FREE course for that. We walk you through all the tips and tricks to get you blog out there, and successful in no time!
GROW YOUR BLOG FASTER!
START YOUR 7 DAY COURSE
AND LEARN HOW TO MAKE MONEY FROM YOUR BLOG!
Please note that they are affiliate links in this posts.