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How To Start A Blog Today
How many of you have been wanting to start blogging but you are unsure how to do it? I’m raising my hand because I was right there with you at one point. The internet is full of resources to help you get started. Sometimes it can get overwhelming because there is soo much different information. It is hard to figure out where to start.
Don’t worry, after reading this post you will have the necessary steps to get your blog started.
Step One: Decide what you want to blog about
First, you need to choose a niche. A niche is the topic or focus of your blog such as lifestyle, travel, beauty, mom blog, etc. Are you blogging to make money or are you just blogging for a hobby? These are important questions to ask yourself because it will determine the approach you take in attracting your audience. If you are blogging as a hobby or to tell your story you probably will not be trying to make much money from it. Therefore, you can blog about whatever you want.
If you are blogging for money, you will need to make sure that you are choosing a niche that is going to attract people. Your blog posts should contain content that people want to read. For example, if you choose to do a mom-blog most of your subscribers and readers are going to be moms. Your blog content should consist of topics that will be interesting, beneficial, and useful to moms. This is what will bring traffic to your site which ends up bringing in revenue.
Picking a niche is not always easy. I know for me it wasn’t. I had the name Through Her Eyes picked out for my blog name but I could not decide what my content was going to be.
But as I learned more about blogging and that you can make money, I decided I wanted to blog about more. When I started brainstorming blog post ideas, it was all different topics. Then I realized, I found the perfect category…Lifestyle! With a lifestyle blog, I had the ability to write about anything. It meant that I could draw more traffic to my blog because I did not have to target a specific audience. I loved it!
To find out more about Through Her Eyes and how I came up with it click here.
Do not settle for a niche if you don’t love it! Your writers will be able to tell in your content that you are not passionate about it. You will find yourself forced to write just to get a blog post. This will drive traffic away from your site….which you do not want! Especially if you are trying to make money blogging.
Take your time. There is no rush. Blogging is not a get rich overnight kind of thing anyway. It takes a lot of work. You will learn through trial and error what works for you. When you come up with the right niche you will know!
Once you have decided what you want to blog about start thinking about what you want your domain name to be. In the next couple of steps, you will need to purchase it, and make it official!
Step Three: Choose a hosting provider
A hosting service is a service online that runs servers to allow you to share your website contents on the internet. You cannot have a live website without a web host.
With that being said, there are many different hosting services to choose from. For people that want to build their websites using WordPress, I recommend Bluehost.
Why choose Bluehost?
- It is the #1 recommended web host for WordPress
- Easy 1 click install of WordPress to your site
- 30-day money back guarantee
- Great 24/7 customer service
- Free domain included for 1 year (you will need one in the next step, Bluehost offers you 2 in 1!)
- Site builder options to assist you in building your blog if you do not have experience
- Hosting plans start as low as $3.95/month!
CLICK HERE TO GET STARTED with your blog right now!
After you click the link above to get started, you will see this screen.
Click the green get started now button.
Next, you will see this screen where you need to select the hosting plan that you want. Look at the features and choose the plan that works best for your needs. If you are not sure, I would choose the Prime Plan. Once you have chosen the plan that you want click the green select button under the plan of your choice.
Step Three: Choose your domain name
A domain is the name of your website. It is the URL that you type into the search bar or search engines to navigate to your blog or website.
When you are thinking of a domain name stay open-minded and creative. There is a possibility that your desired domain name is already taken. If this happens to you, don’t worry. It happens to a lot of people. I ran into this issue and it just meant that I had to get a little creative. You will have to as well.
You can learn more about how I had to get creative here.
Tips for choosing the perfect domain name:
- Keep it short and simple. This will attract more users and make it easier for them to remember
- Choose a domain name that relates to what you will be blogging about
- Be creative and unique
- Come up with at least 3 different options because your first choice might already be taken
You will see this screen to choose after you select your plan on Bluehost.
Under where it says new domain, you are going to type in the name of your website that you would like. You can change the ending of your website by clicking the drop-down arrow where it says .com. You can change it to .org, .blog, etc. I recommend sticking with a .com site. It gives your website more credibility.
When you are finished click the blue button that says next.
Enter your account information
Now, your screen should look like this. At this point, you have chosen your plan and your domain name. The next step is to add your information to set up your Bluehost account.
When you get to the section where it says package information, it will show you the details of your plan that you chose and what it includes. If you would like additional services you can add them here.
At the bottom you will see your total cost that will be due next.
Enter your billing information
Phewww… I know that was a big step and you are probably super anxious right now. But I assure you it will totally be worth it! Later, you are going to look back and be thankful that you took such a big and rewarding step towards your future.
Also, do not forget… if you decide this is not for you, Bluehost offers a 30-day money back guarantee. So don’t stress it!
After, you have submitted your plan, domain, account details, and payment information you will need to set up a password for your account. Follow the on-screen instructions and make sure you remain logged in.
Step Five: Get Started With WordPress
Now, let’s get started with the fun stuff!
For bloggers, it is best to have a self-hosted site. A self-hosted site is one that you host and manage on your own domain. I recommend using a content management system (CMS) to build your blog. It makes it soo much easier to manage and customize. Especially if you have no coding experience. I recommend WordPress. If you are going to use WordPress it is important to know there are two different WordPress platforms.
The best option is WordPress.org. On WordPress.org you have full control over customization of your site.
With Bluehost, you do not have to worry about choosing the correct WordPress. They make it easy for you and as a default will add wordpress.org with a 1-click install to your website.
Click the blue start building button.
This is your welcome dashboard. Everything you do to your website will be done in your dashboard. In the left side panel, you can see all of the different options to choose from.
I am not going to go into detail what each section means. But I will cover key sections for you.
Sidenote: I will be writing more articles about blogging tips. So in order to make sure you are getting all of the information that you need to publish a successful blog subscribe to my newsletter. You can subscribe in the right-hand sidebar under the about me section. You will also get an awesome freebie for subscribing! Be sure to follow my social media profiles as well so you can stay up to date with my latest.
In the picture below, you will see the Bluehost dashboard for your website. To get to this page, click where it says Bluehost at the top of the left sidebar.
A great feature that Bluehost offers is that it automatically sets your site to show coming soon when people search your domain in the search bar. There are plugins that you can use as well (will be covered in a later post) but this is already activated for you.
The “coming soon” mode allows you to build and customize your website and keeping it hidden until you are ready to launch it. When you are ready to make it visible to the public, simply re-visit this screen and click Launch!
This screen also gives you quick links to write posts, add pages, customize menus, and Woo Commerce to sell products.
You can also access these features in the left sidebar.
Step Six: Choose/ edit theme
There are free theme options that WordPress offers but I recommend going with a premium theme. Free default themes are limited and many others will already utilize them.
Why choose a premium theme?
- More customizing options without involving coding
- Make your website unique and stand out from others
- Great support for issues with themes
- Theme developers keep their themes up to date
You do have to pay a small cost but it will be worth it! After all, you have to invest in your business if you want it to make you money.
Click here to get started picking your website theme
When you click the link above to get started, you will be brought to this screen.
You can type in the search bar a specific type of theme such as blog WordPress themes.
You can also just browse through available WordPress themes by clicking WordPress in the navigation bar (menu).
Once your search for themes your screen will look like the picture below.
Browse through the themes and when you find one you like click on it.
Once you click the theme that you want, you will be brought to a screen similar to the one pictured below. It will give you all of the details that you need to know about the theme.
An awesome feature is Live Preview. This gives you the ability to view an example of what the theme looks like live. In order to use this feature just click the icon that says live preview on the theme of your choice. If you like it, you can purchase it by clicking the green Add to Cart button if you would like to still shop around. If you are set with that theme you can click the gray Buy Now button and follow the prompts to purchase.
Once you have purchased the theme you will have access to the necessary files that you need to utilize the theme. In order to install it on your WordPress Site you will need to log into your Bluehost account or type in your domain name in the search bar with /wp-admin at the end. So it would look like this… https://thruhereyez.com/wp-admin. You can log directly into your site either way.
Once you are logged in and on your dashboard screen, follow these steps to install your premium theme.
- In the left sidebar, hover over appearance and click themes
- At the top of the themes page, you will see a button that says Add New. Click that button
- A new button will pop-up that says Upload Theme. Click the button.
- You will then see this screen that tells you to upload the .zip file. In the folder from your premium theme, there will be a .zip file that you will need to upload.
- Click the choose file button and you will see a pop-up with all the files on your computer.
- Find your theme folder, then located the .zip file and upload it.
- Once your theme has successfully uploaded you will need to activate it in order to make it your current website theme.
Finally, you now have chosen your theme and are ready to edit it! You will utilize the features in the left side-bar to edit and customize your theme to your liking.
Most themes come with a demo version. This allows you to import demo files so it will create the same look for you that you seen in the live preview. This will make it easier for you to customize your website if you are a beginner.
Step Seven: Write your first blog post
The foundation of your website should be done at this point. It is time to write your first blog post! Your first post should be introductory to your blog. It should inform your audience what to expect from you. It is your first impression. Use it wisely!
When you are confident in your webite content, hit the Launch button!
CONGRATULATIONS ON STARTING YOUR BLOG!