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Do you dream of starting your own blog?
You should definitely do it! Blogging is an awesome way to write about things that you are passionate about, help others learn something, and make an income all at the same time. You can read my post on 7 Reasons Why You Should Start a Blog Today.
Blogging has changed my life and has allowed me to earn hundreds and now thousands per month, doing something I love:)
Click here to start a blog and then use the tutorial below for the directions.
There are 3 parts (sections) to this guide to make it easy for you to follow.
- PART 1 – How To Start a Blog – Step-by-Step Tutorial (less than 15 minutes)
- PART 2 – Preparing your blog for success (a few important MUST-DO’s)
- PART 3 – How To Grow a Profitable Blog (FREE 7 Day E-Course!)
In Part 1, I’m going to show you just how simple it is to start a WordPress blog with Bluehost. You’ll wonder why you haven’t started one already. Before I get into the tutorial, let’s go over a few things so it will all makes better sense to you when going through the tutorial.
Setting Up A Hosting Account
In order to have your own blog, you need a host for your website, someone that allows you to rent a space on the internet (think of it like leasing or buying land to build a house on). Specifically, you need a hosting account to get a ‘self-hosted site’.
A self hosted site looks like this: www.yoursitename.com
Free hosting looks something like this: www.yoursitename.blogspot.com
You might have already seen that there are a some free sites that will host your blog , like Blogger. NOOO WAY, I don’t recommend you use these free sites. You will not really be owning your own blog and you will not have as much control over it. Many free sites also do not allow you to make money through web ads and most advertisers and companies tend to run away from Blogger websites and free hosted sites because they don’t see them as ‘professional’.
Instead, we are setting up a proper ‘self-hosted’ blog.
What is Bluehost?
Bluehost is one of the top hosting companies in 2016 and you can start your own blog with them for as low as $3.95 a month (this low price is through my link only)! Also, if you sign up using my link, then you will get your domain for free if you purchase a 12 month or longer hosting plan (a $15 value).
I strongly recommend signing up for the 12 month hosting plan through Bluehost. It’s affordable and you can save a lot of money by signing up for at least 12 months. Plus, if for whatever reason you decide to cancel within 30 days, you will get a full refund.
Bluehost also makes it simple to start a blog because you can setup the domain and hosting all in one place – and you know I’m all about simplicity:)
So let me take you by the hand in this step by step tutorial below to walk you through it….
How To Start a Blog – Step By Step Tutorial
(less than 15 minutes)
1.First, head on over to Bluehost here and click the green ‘Get Started Now’ button.
2.You will then come to a page to select your plan: Basic, plus, or prime. As a new blogger, the basic plan is more than enough. Click select to move on to the next step.
3.In this next screen, you will enter in your new domain name (your website name). Make sure you know what you are going to name your site and then enter the name.
4.Enter your account and contact information on this page:
5.Continue down to the “package information” section and choose your package. You get the cheapest monthly rate by selecting 36 months. Bluehost charges you for the full 36 months up front. You are prepaying for the hosting. That’s one of the reasons they are able to offer good hosting at such a small price.
As you scroll down there will be other add-ons. The only extra I would include would be ‘Domain Privacy Protection’ because it hides your private information from the public domain records as well as limits the amount of spam and junk you’ll receive.
6.Enter your payment information, agree to the service agreements, and then click “submit.”
7.There might be some other additional options you can purchase once you click submit, but I wouldn’t choose any other items. These could be added later if you need them. Once you have gone through the additional options and clicked on any required links to not purchase any other additional items (what is shown may vary for everyone), you will be taken to this page where you will click the ‘create your password’ button.
8.Create your Bluehost account password. Don’t forget it! (make it a strong password so no one can hack your site!)
9.Now that your password has been created, you can now log into your account for the first time! Make sure you’re logging into “hosting” and not “webmail.”
10.For the first time logging in, you’ll see a helpful little welcome message. Since I’m walking you through the process, select to “close this welcome message and don’t show it again” button.
11.You will now be in your dashboard. You will need to install WordPress. Click the “install WordPress” button at the bottom of the screen under the ‘Website’ section.
12.On the WordPress Installation screen, click “Install.”
13.On the next screen that appears for you, click ‘Show Advanced Options’. This is where you create your own username and password for your WordPress website. (This is different than the other password you created earlier which was for your Bluehost account).
Click ‘Install Now’.
Woohoo! Congrats! You have officially set up your domain, hosting, and WordPress site!
Don’t Forget to Verify Your Account: You’ll be getting an email from Bluehost. All you have to do is click the link in the email to verify your account. It takes 1 second and you’re done. You’ll also get an email with your WordPress details.
Logging Into WordPress
Now that you’ve created your password, you can log into WordPress:
Use your Admin URL: http://yourdomain.com/wp-admin which will take you to the dashboard. At first you will think you’re learning a foreign language, but in a very short amount of time you will you will become very familiar with it.
Click around to get acquainted with using your dashboard.
Choosing Your Theme
When you installed WordPress, you were automatically setup with a basic default theme but you have the option to change your theme to anything you wish!
This is the fun part! This is all about the design of your blog. Genesis seems to always be the most popular among bloggers. Genesis is used on my blog, and I highly recommend it. There are also free themes within WordPress you can also use. Just go to “Appearance” on the left-hand side when you are logged into WordPress and click on “Themes,” then activate whichever one you are interested in trying out.
Hope you found use in this tutorial on how to start a blog the simple way. Happy blogging!
Preparing Your Blog For Success ( a few MUST-DO’s)
Part 2 will be about installing some plugins, adding important pages to your blog, and setting up Google Analytics for tracking.
You may hear a lot of bloggers talk about “plugins” and wonder what that means. A plugin is an extra piece of software that you can add to your blog. They are awesome because they allow you to add certain features to your blog without having to mess with any code. On the downside, though, the more plugins you have, the more potential issues (site speed, security, etc…) you may have to deal with occasionally. So while plugins provide a lot of helpful functionality to your blog, you’ll only want to install the ones that you really need. Here are 3 that I use:
1. Akismet. This is a plugin to reduce/eliminate spam comments.
2. Yoast SEO. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization which really means making sure your blog posts show up when people are searching on Google. It helps to easily structure your blog posts so that they rank high in search results.
3. Genesis Simple Hooks. As you grow your blog you’ll have the need to add various code snippets in different areas of your blog. For example, Google Analytics requires a tracking code. This plugin makes it easy to add the code without having to access and edit your theme files directly. Genesis Simple Hooks will save you time. This plugin is designed for use with the Genesis Framework.
If you’re not sure how to add plugins to your blog, here is a video below that will walk you through it…
Adding Important Pages
Next, there are some important pages you will need to setup on your blog. Notice I said ‘pages’ and not ‘posts’. Pages are static pages on your blog and posts are what you will be writing about on your blog! You will need to setup an About Page, a Contact Page, and a Disclosure or Policy Page. There may be other pages you want to add later, but these are the basic pages you should have on your blog.
It is the law to disclose any time you’re making money online so it is important to create the disclosure page. It also shows your readers that you are trustworthy. You can see my disclosure page here. I link to this disclosure page in the footer of my blog.
Take a look at other blogs and how they setup their pages. Then go ahead and create your About Page, Contact Page, and Disclosure Page.
Adding Google Analytics
By installing Google Analytics on your site, you are able to track how many visitors are coming to your site, the posts they are visiting, where they are coming from, and a lot more. Sign up for a free Google Analytics account here.
Below is a video of installing Google Analytics and placing the code in your Genesis theme…
Setting Up Your Social Media Accounts
Social media is such a great way to help get the word out about your blog. Therefore, when setting up your blog, it’s important to have your social media buttons visible on your blog. You can easily find mine in the footer of my blog but you could also place them in your sidebar as a widget. I used the Simple Social Icons plugin to place them on my blog.
Before installing the plugin, decide which social media accounts you want to use for your blog. I mainly use Pinterest and Facebook but I also have a Twitter account.
Install the plugin the same way as installing other plugins as mentioned above. Then in your WordPress dashboard, go to Appearance > Widgets . In the widgets area, find ‘Simple Social Icons’ and drag it to wherever you want to place it on your blog. I dragged it to the Primary sidebar but you might choose another area.
Once it’s in the place you want it, click on the arrow to see all the settings and configurations you can make. You can change the color and fonts of how your social icons will look here. More importantly, you have to add the links to your social media accounts and click ‘save’. Check to see how your social icons look on your site and make changes if necessary.
That’s it for Part 2! You did it! Now on to Part 3, the most fun part:)
How To Grow a Profitable Blog
FREE 7 Day Email Course
I created a free email course for bloggers. In it, I teach you how to setup, grow, and make money from your blog.
Here is the course outline:
Join this FREE 7-day email course and you’ll learn:
- The blogging essentials you need to setup your blog for making money
- The tools and tactics I use to get visitors to my blog
- FREE tools that’ll fast track your business and income
- How to make money blogging (+ my favorite way!)
- The best way to start and profit from your blog
- 10 things to include in ALL your blog posts
- + much more!..
Click here to join ‘How To Grow a Profitable Blog , free email course or sign up in the form below…
Start & Grow a Profitable Blog FREE E-Course
This 7 day email course will help you setup, grow, and make money from your blog!