Today I’m going to teach you how to start a blog. If you’re keen to make some extra income blogging is a fantastic way of doing it and it’s really easy to get started and you can start to make money online through a blog for just a few dollars a month.
There are an increasing number of bloggers making five figure monthly incomes from blogging. Blogging can give you a flexible lifestyle earning money writing about a topic you love. If you check out my income reports you’ll see that I’ve already made a profit on my blog in less than six months. And, if you keep following along on my journey, I’m going to teach you all I can on how to grow your blog and earn extra income online.
You can have your very own blog up and running in as little as 5 minutes. I want to make this post an easy read so I’m going to dive in to get you up and running fast.
If you are completely new to the concept of blogging then you might have further questions about domain names and blogging platforms. I recommend you take a read of my article about blogging for beginners. If you still have questions after that, drop me a note in the comments field at the base of the article, I’m happy to help you out.
If you want to start a blog for very little money then most bloggers end up choosing WordPress on Bluehost. It’s an awesome hosting company with great support. The best thing is you’ll be up and running in no time.
You can start a blog for as little as $3.95 per month through my link. Also, if you sign up through my link you’ll get a FREE domain name!
You may ask “why can’t I just start a blog on Blogger or WordPress.com”. If you’re even semi-serious about making money online through your blog then you NEED a domain name – you’ll get one free through Bluehost. You also want to be able to run your own advertisements, affiliate links as well as potential direct advertising opportunities with brands. You’re not going to look professional or be taken seriously if you’re on a free hosting site with no domain name. Making money on a self-hosted platform like Bluehost is MUCH easier.
You can pay for premium hosting on WordPress.com that enables you to have your own domain name, but then you’re going to have to pay extra for a domain name (separately) and a lot more per month for hosting than you will with Bluehost. Trust me, it’s cheaper to start a blog on Bluehost and they are an extremely reputable, reliable and supportive company.
So here’s a quick overview of why you should host your WordPress blog with Bluehost:
- It’s SUPER EASY to set up and start a blog – I’m going to step you through it in just a moment!
- Bluehost has great technical support – if you get stuck they will help you get unstuck fast 24/7 365 days a year!
- It costs as little as $3.95 per month.
- You’re going to get a FREE domain name, which makes you more professional and will help your website ranked in search engines more easily.
- WordPress is FREE through Bluehost, and easy to install.
- You are self-hosted hosted which will help you monetize your blog more easily.
- You’re going to look more professional all around.
- They offer a 30-day money back guarantee, so if you’re not happy you can cancel and get your money back.
How to start a blog on Bluehost
If you want to learn how to start a blog on Bluehost then I’m going to take you through the steps below. Once you’ve gone through these steps you’ll be ready to start writing and you can start to earn some money online through blogging. If you get stuck or have questions don’t hesitate to ask me questions in the comments section at the bottom of this article, okay! I’m more than happy to help you.
To start the process, click this link and let’s get you set up.
1. Register a domain name
The first thing you should do is think about what you want to call your blog and check if the domain name is available.
If you’re struggling to think of a name then use namemesh.com to help you with some ideas. This site will help you find a domain name based on the keywords you type in and will let you know if the domain name is available. Just remember to order your domain name through Bluehost when you order your hosting because it is included in your fee.
When you get to the Bluehost website to order your hosting you’ll be presented with the following three packages:
You’ll most likely only need the Basic package for now.
Once you’ve made your selection you’ll be asked to enter your domain name. Naturally, if you already have one, enter it into the appropriate form.
2. Purchase your blog hosting
From here you’ll select further package information.
You can sign up from anywhere between 12 months and 36 years and like most things in life it costs less the more you commit. If you sign up for 12 months it’s $5.95 per month, 24 months is $4.95 and 36 months equates to $3.95. I’d recommend only signing up for 12 months, you’ll get your free domain name and it’s still at a great price. If you know you’re committed to making money online through a blog, good on you, take the extra savings!
Additional hosting features may be checked. They are optional and I’d say not essential, particularly if you’re on a budget. You can always enable these options down the line if privacy and backing up your site are important to you. In brief, here’s what those extra options mean:
- Domain privacy protection: When you register a domain your information is kept in an online database that anyone can look up to check for registrant details. This will include your address. If you don’t want your name and address published you should check this option.
- Site backup pro: Backs up your website files and database. You can do this on your own, but if you’re not a techy, you may want this safety net. You can enable this later, but chances are you’ll forget. Best to make the decision now.
- Search engine jumpstart: You’ll get some tutorial on SEO and they’ll index your site on search engines. It’s a monthly fee. You don’t need it. I’ll teach you how to get indexed more quickly. Google has it’s own resources to help you and there’s a bunch of info on the web. Save yourself the cash!
- SiteLock security scanning: SiteLock will scan your site to check it’s safe for users. I’ve never bothered.
- Commodo SSL: Having an SSL certificate means that communications between your website on your reader’s machine and the server at Bluehost are encrypted. It’s a must if you are selling things or sending sensitive information through forms. It will mean that your people will visit your site on https://yourdomainname.com rather than http://yourdomainname.com. There’s also a boost for SEO – that is your ranking in Google. At the start of your journey, I’d say this is not essential. You can get this later.
Don’t forget, Bluehost off a 30-day money back guarantee so if you start your blog and you’re not happy with the hosting you can get a full refund!
You’ll be paying upfront for 12 months, it’s going to work out at around $70 a year, with a free domain registration in your first year that’s an incredible deal!
So here are the steps to create a blog with Bluehost so far:
- Go to Bluehost and click on “Get Started Now”
- Select a package
- Enter your domain name
- Enter your account and payment information
- Enter a secure password for your account
3. Connecting your domain name to your blog hosting
Get excited, we’re nearly there!
If you bought your domain name through Bluehost then you skip this section, they’ll have done this bit for you already; YAY!
This section is for those of you who already registered a domain name with another company, for example, GoDaddy.
Before we get into the technical details I’m going to give you a little bit of an overview of what the domain name and DNS are for because you might be feeling a little lost. If you know all this stuff you’ll want to skip a few paragraphs to grab the DNS settings.
Your domain name in some capacity acts like a signpost to where your website lives. Your domain names point to something called a DNS server, which stands for Domain Name Server. This DNS is also a domain name that points to where your website lives. Imagine two signposts, one at the end of your street pointing to your house (this is your domain name), the other on your front door (the DNS) pointing to where your office in your house is (your website files).
What we’re going to do is update the nameserver settings on your domain name to “resolve” or point to the DNS server, your hosting company will handle the rest at their end.
GoDaddy has some really helpful support pages that will take you through modifying DNS settings on your domain name for a variety of scenarios. If you have used another domain registration company the process will be very similar, you just want to look for a section that says something like “modify my DNS settings” or “update nameservers”. I’ll take you quickly through the process with GoDaddy to Bluehost:
How to modify DNS Nameservers when you are using GoDaddy for your domain and Bluehost for your hosting:
- Log into your GoDaddy.com account.
- Go to My Products and select Domains.
- On the domain name, you wish to modify select the configuration button and select Manage DNS.
- Under the Nameservers section click on Change and select Custom from the drop-down list. Then enter your updated name server information in the boxes provided. Some companies provide you with 2 nameservers, others 3. If you need to add more use the Add Nameserver to add an additional textbox. Your entries will be ns1.bluehost.com; ns2.bluehost.com. Once entered, click Save.
Back in your Bluehost control panel, you’ll need to add the domain you bought elsewhere as an addon domain to your Bluehost web hosting. Click on “Domains” in the navigation menu when logged into your Bluehost account, then clicking on “assign.” Follow the steps they provide you from there, it’s pretty easy from there on in!
On to our last step! Woohoo!
4. Install WordPress on your Bluehost hosting
We’re here, the final step and the easiest part because Bluehost makes it super simple to install WordPress, and it’s completely free!
When you ordered your Bluehost hosting you’ll have received a welcome email which will contain a link to your cPanel, your control panel. Click the link to open up your cPanel in your account, then follow these simple steps:
- Find the “MOJO Marketplace”.
- Click the “One Click Install” button.
- Click on the WordPress icon on the next page located under “Blogs”.
- Click on the “Start” button to begin the installation.
- During the install process, you’ll be asked to decide which domain you want to use for your WordPress installation. Select your domain name from the drop-down menu.
- You will also see “Advanced Options”. This enables you to choose your username and password for your WordPress website. Choose something secure! Don’t use “Admin” as your username, this is the default and the first port of call for hackers. Instead, create a username that is both memorable and not easy to guess. A combination of words and numbers is a good starting point. 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’re going to need it to log in when your installation is finished!
Once the install has completed you’re all set, you have a WordPress blog!
My best advice is to start working on some content, so log in and start creating a few posts. In parallel, you’ll probably want to look at the design to make the blog more personalized. There are free themes through WordPress or you can buy a theme from a third party site and install it – it’s a super simple process to install a new theme.
Some quick tips on where to start with WordPress:
When you log into WordPress you’ll see a navigation menu on the left:
To change your theme go to Appearance > Themes. To search for a new theme click on the Add New button and browse some of the themes. If find one you like installing is simple, just follow the onscreen instructions.
To view your posts, or create a new post, click on the Posts link. If you want to create a page then use the Pages link.
To add images to your link you can click on the Media section and upload an image file. This can also be accessed when creating or editing a page or post. At the top of the edit post dialog, you’ll see an Add Media button which will take you through the process of adding an image and then returning you to your post.
To add items to your header, footer or sidebar then go to the Appearance > Widgets section.
Finally, you may want to set up an account with MailChimp to start a mailing list. The accounts are free for your first 2000 subscribers. You can install widgets to add subscription boxes to your site sidebar or posts. I strongly recommend working on building a mailing list from the outset, it will help bring visitors back to your website who are interested in your content and to build a community on your blog.
I encourage you to sign up to my mailing list. I’m on a journey to make money online and I’ll be sharing lots of awesome tips and experiences that will help guide you to improving your blog.
I hope you’ve found this post useful to help you start a blog. If you have ANY questions or you get stuck feel free to drop a question in the comments field below and I’ll happily help you out.