How to Start a Blog

Here are 3 basic first steps

STEP 1 :

PICK A WEBSITE NAME

The very first thing to do is choose your domain name by clicking on "Shared Hosting" on the BlueHost Top bar under "Hosting". This is where you choose to host your website and choose a domain name. A domain is what your website and blog will be called. (example: myblog.com or my domain name is ivorymix.com). Shared Hosting is a great way to start a blog and share a server where your blog and other blogs will be stored virtually. It's a great place to start for beginnerswhile it gives you a chance to figure out this blogging thing. It's probably the least expensive option and you can always upgrade once your blog grows.

You can read more here on how to choose a domain name and get the free printable worksheet to find a perfect domain that is right for you.


Want to get started?

Join our Free Course for the Beginner's Guide to Blogging

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STEP 2 :  

BUY YOUR WEBSITE NAME WITH HOSTING

Once you've decided on your domain name, you'll need to check its availability, buy it, and set up the hosting for it. Setting up a web host with Bluehost gives you a place to store your blog and all your content on their servers. You can read more about how web hosting works here and get a simple checklist for comparing different hosts and what they offer.

To skip the comparison, I'd like to recommend you get your first blog hosted at bluehost. This is where my website is hosted and it's extremely user friendly and budget friendly. In order to get a discount on your domain and hosting through Bluehost, you can click here.

Fill in your account info   

This next part is important so that Bluehost knows how to contact you and bill you the small about their going to for the purchase of the domain and hosting. So, fill out the contact and information form and simply scroll down to pick a package for hosting next.

Start-a-blog-enter-your-account-info

Pick Your Package →

The next part before finalizing the buying of your domain and hosting it is choosing the hosting package. There is nothing wrong with choosing one of the starter packages because you can upgrade at anytime. Choose whatever seems appropriate for you and your budget, but don't over commit yourself.

Start-a-blog-pick-your-hosting-package 1

Enter your billing -

Then Click submit!

Once you've picked the package, you only need to fill in those digits for your credit card and hit submit! It's super easy and that simple!

Start-a-blog-pick-your-hosting-package billing

STEP 3 :

INSTALL WORDPRESS

Once you've completed steps 1 and 2, you will need to install WordPress. WordPress is a specialized program for managing your website. It contains easy to use tools for managing and creating your blog and website. Like I said, its user friendly, easy to use, and you wont need to know any code!

Sign in. →

Enter the username & password you just set up.

Bluehost will go through some steps of verifying your email and getting you confimed. Once you've confirmed your username and password, go to the bluehost login screen and login.

Start-a-blog-bluehost-login

You'll be sent to CPanel:  

Click on "Install WordPress". →

The CPanel and Bluehost home pages are where you will manage everything related to your bluehost account and your website. From this dashboard and CPanel, you can find links to more tools than you may ever use.

Start-a-blog-cpanel

NOTE!

The window that comes up next gives you options for paying for someone to set up your wordpress for you, but its so easy, you probably wont need that. You can just click INSTALL because doing it yourself is easy and free! 

 

Start-a-blog-download-wordpress

You're almost there!

Just finalize this last step below by filling in your site name and username and password information.

Start-a-blog-wordpress-install

Once you've completed the final step, follow a link in your email to login to wordpress.

Blue host is going to email you a link to login to wordpress. Click on the link in your email to login and you should see the screen pop up like it is shown below. Fill in the admin username and passwords that you set up previously.

Start-a-blog-Login-254x300

Want to get started with a 5 day step-by-step email course?

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How to start a blog, how to make money blogging, free course on starting a blog tips advice
How to start a blog, how to make money blogging, free course on starting a blog tips advice

What You Need to Know to Start Your Blog

There is a lot of information that goes into starting a blog. Particularly if you want to create income from it. So, below here are the first steps in organized expandable folders that will help you to get started right.

Once you've reviewed the ways to get started, there's a ton of additional information to keep you going in a free 5-day email course available to you in the bottom folder. The free course covers a TON more information, advice and tips to use in a self-paced way.

Here's a review of what's included below and in the free 5-day email course

Day 1. is a review of how to set up your blog, choose a niche, and find your target reader

Day 2. reviews what it takes to grow your traffic from day one and build a community (only available in Day 2 of the free email course)

Day 3. is all about how to make money with your blog in multiple ways (only available in Day 3 of the free email course)

Days 4. & 5 will help you develop a business plan with schedules and systems that work (only available in Day 4 & 5 of the free email course)

To get you started, click on the pink folders to access the rest of your first lesson on starting a blog.

 

Your Review of Starting and Hosting a Blog
Welcome to your FREE PREVIEW of lesson #1 in our 5-day Free Email Course.

Day 1 is all about Setting up your blog for business!

Today, the focus is on setting it all up. But, before we dive into it. I want you to know that this is going to seem like a lot of information and can be very overwhelming if you are just starting out.If you have already started your blog, this Lesson #1 is probably already taken care of. That's Great!

However, I encourage you to read it because at the bottom, there are worksheets you might find extremely valuable that will help you Identify you target audience!

If this will be your first blog, then for the next 5 days, I’d like you to do little else but read these emails and digest the information. You should plan to come back through these emails and tackle each one at a time. Chipping away at it once you understand the proper course of action.
 
This whole blog-to-business thing is not happening overnight, so don’t go and overwhelm yourself overnight.
 
Here’s what we’ll be discussing in your very first email when you join the free email course

You will be choosing your hosting company, domain name, and deciding on your niche. Below, I’ve outlined exactly how you will choose each one, but that’s not all. I’ve included some very important worksheets to help you through the process.

click-to

 

Choosing Your Hosting Company:

When choosing a hosting company, this is truly a purchasing decision with some key factors you should take into consideration.

  • Bandwidth
  • Disk Space
  • Customer service
  • Shared or Dedicated hosting

Bandwidth: This determines the speed of your website and how much data it can transfer for periods of time. I’ve experienced heavy amounts of traffic when certain blog posts went viral. During these times, I made the most income from affiliates and ads than ever before. It’s times like this that bandwidth becomes important. If I didn’t have a decent size bandwidth, I may have lost some readers due to slow loading times.

Customer Service: This is huge because what if there is a problem and you’re website is down or you cannot get in to make changes. If you have a technical issue - who will be there to help you along the way? Take this time in the beginning to make sure that customer service will be readily available to you.

Disk Space: This is the combined total data size of everything on your website, including files, images, text, and code. An average page size within your blog may be 600kb – 2 MB or higher and the smallest disk space I’ve seen available is 50 GB’s (for reference, there are 1000 MB’s in a single GB). A larger available diskspace is obviously better.

Shared or dedicated hosting: Once you dive in, you’ll be presented with an option to have dedicated hosting or shared hosting. This boils down to the size of website you’re about to build because it’s fairly typical that shared hosting has less bandwidth and less disk space than a dedicated hosting package.

>CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR WEBSITE STARTED<


Deciding on a Blog Niche
KNOW YOUR NICHE

Choosing Your Niche and/or Target Audience:You may be asking if you need a niche right now? Or you may already know emphatically what you will be writing about.Either way, you will eventually conclude I see many new bloggers realize in their journey, and that is you simply cannot properly turn a nicheless blog into a successful business without a targeted reader and a clear idea of what and how you will attract readers and keep them interested.Having a niche and a target reader is not necessarily the same thing, but understanding the difference at this stage is important for your future success.Pro Tip! Being extremely specific about your niche and your targeted customer will make you more of a “go-to” person and website for them. Having too many topics and products can dilute your earnings. Take a careful look at your goals and how you will stand out in a crowd.
What is a niche?A niche is a category much like photography or sewing, but it can get even deeper into micro-niches, like Dog photography or Sewing for Doll Makers.
What is a Target Reader / Audience?A Targeted Reader is establishing the characteristics of the person you are writing for, what they like, where they shop, how they dress, and more.A targeted reader could be someone who likes both photography AND sewing. So, in this case, if that person was your reader, you might have what is classically known as a “nicheless” blog.
Why you should consider both before you start a blog:Having a niche and a targeted reader relates a whole lot to what you will write about on your blog, how your blog will be organize, how you will make money, and how you will keep your new and old readers interested over time.The one way we bloggers keep readers interested over time is by writing content over and over again that is related to each other and leads readers from one thing to the next. This type of blog content helps with making money from affiliate links, products and ads because the more your readers are jumping around your blog, the more likely they are to find something interesting, subscribe to your email list or purchase a product from you.The nice thing about establishing your target audience and a specific niche is that you eventually learn what works well and what doesn’t for you, which increases your income more and more over time.
STEP 1: Choose Your Domain Name

STEP 1 :

PICK A WEBSITE NAME

The very first thing to do is choose your domain name by clicking on "Shared Hosting" on the BlueHost Top bar under "Hosting". This is where you choose to host your website and choose a domain name. A domain is what your website and blog will be called. (example: myblog.com or my domain name is ivorymix.com). Shared Hosting is a great way to start a blog and share a server where your blog and other blogs will be stored virtually. It's a great place to start for beginners while it gives you a chance to figure out this blogging thing. It's probably the least expensive option and you can always upgrade once your blog grows.

Choosing Your Domain Name: Choosing the right domain name is important because it’s one of the first things your reader learns about your blog and your brand. So, it’s important to keep a few things in mind when naming a blog.For instance, it’s a good idea to keep a blog name and domain short and simple – around 15 characters or less.  Think about some of the websites and blogs you visit most often. Are those easy to remember?Before you go and choose a domain name, you will want to know a little about your niche and target reader, plus how you plan to monetize and make money from your blog.If you’re unsure about the direction your blog will take, perhaps name it something that isn’t distinctively one niche or another . . like my blog’s name for instance.Here’s the quick and dirty list of things to consider when naming your blog:

  • Is it short and sweet?
  • Use keywords related to your topic / niche so your blog can be found easily in search engines.
  • Is there another blog or website out there with a similar name? If so, reconsider the one you chose.
  • Avoid numbers, hyphens, and misspelling words or cute spellings of words
  • Be memorable
STEP 2: Buying your Website Name with Hosting

BUY YOUR WEBSITE NAME WITH HOSTING

Once you've decided on your domain name, you'll need to check its availability, buy it, and set up the hosting for it. Setting up a web host with Bluehost gives you a place to store your blog and all your content on their servers. You can read more about how web hosting works here and get a simple checklist for comparing different hosts and what they offer.

To skip the comparison, I'd like to recommend you get your first blog hosted at bluehost. This is where my website is hosted and it's extremely user friendly and budget friendly. In order to get a discount on your domain and hosting through Bluehost, you can click here.

Fill in your account info   

This next part is important so that Bluehost knows how to contact you and bill you the small about their going to for the purchase of the domain and hosting. So, fill out the contact and information form and simply scroll down to pick a package for hosting next.

Start-a-blog-enter-your-account-info

Pick Your Package →

The next part before finalizing the buying of your domain and hosting it is choosing the hosting package. There is nothing wrong with choosing one of the starter packages because you can upgrade at anytime. Choose whatever seems appropriate for you and your budget, but don't over commit yourself.

Start-a-blog-pick-your-hosting-package 1

Enter your billing -

Then Click submit!

Once you've picked the package, you only need to fill in those digits for your credit card and hit submit! It's super easy and that simple!

Start-a-blog-pick-your-hosting-package billing
STEP 3: Install WordPress

INSTALL WORDPRESS

Once you've completed steps 1 and 2, you will need to install WordPress. WordPress is a specialized program for managing your website. It contains easy to use tools for managing and creating your blog and website. Like I said, its user friendly, easy to use, and you wont need to know any code!

Sign in. →

Enter the username & password you just set up.

Bluehost will go through some steps of verifying your email and getting you confimed. Once you've confirmed your username and password, go to the bluehost login screen and login.

Start-a-blog-bluehost-login

You'll be sent to CPanel:

Click on "Install WordPress". →

The CPanel and Bluehost home pages are where you will manage everything related to your bluehost account and your website. From this dashboard and CPanel, you can find links to more tools than you may ever use.

Start-a-blog-cpanel

NOTE!

The window that comes up next gives you options for paying for someone to set up your wordpress for you, but its so easy, you probably wont need that. You can just click INSTALL because doing it yourself is easy and free!

 

Start-a-blog-download-wordpress

You're almost there!

Just finalize this last step below by filling in your site name and username and password information.

Start-a-blog-wordpress-install

Once you've completed the final step, follow a link in your email to login to wordpress.

Blue host is going to email you a link to login to wordpress. Click on the link in your email to login and you should see the screen pop up like it is shown below. Fill in the admin username and passwords that you set up previously.

Start-a-blog-Login-254x300
STEP 4: Make it look professional
Get your Pro-looking website: There is so much that goes into building a website and organizing blog content, but before you build that content, you should have the basic framework of a professional looking website.Most websites and blogs have four main areas. These can be set up to show on every page or post, but they can also be set up to disappear on certain pages. For instance, a side bar may be appropriate when a reader is on a blog post article, but I don’t necessarily want it showing when a reader is on my “about” page. These decisions are a personal choice and can depend on your chosen blog theme, your individual style, what you are trying to accomplish with your blog, and your type of reader.
The Four Key Areas of a Website:
No. 1 – Header + Top Menu Bar
No. 2 – Side Bars
No. 3 – Content / Blog Posts
No. 4 – Footer

 

 

Now that you have a good understanding of the key areas to a website, you’ll want to decide how you will fill those areas, what colors they should be, what fonts to use, if you want your sidebar on the left, on the right, or on at all.

Choose a website theme:

The best place to start is by choosing a theme. You can choose a free theme fairly easily from the “Appearance” section on your wordpress side bar under “Themes”, and many of the free themes offer some customization options for fonts, colors, and location of certain elements. These free themes do have limitations for customization, but as a beginner, this would be a great place to start. Once you’ve found a theme you want to customize, you should check out the customization options. The more it has, the better.

At the very least, you should have an organized top menu and keep your website uncluttered. You’ll figure out your own design, colors, and more over time. Keeping it simple and have an organized menu.

You can modify your top menu within your WordPress dashboard under APPEARANCE>MENUS. WordPress makes this very user friendly so that you can simply drag and drop different elements into your blog menu.

Make sure your theme is mobile responsive:

Beside the 4 key areas of your professional looking website, you’ll also want to make sure your website theme is mobile responsive. This means it can be easily navigated on different mobile devices, like a tablet or smart phone.

Making sure your site is user friendly will get you better quality traffic for longer periods of time. Share your URL below and have your bloggers test it out for you.

Having a professional looking website with crisp images and a mobile responsive theme will make your users stick around. Long loading times and bad web design will turn people off and cost you money. Make sure you spend the time and money to make it great!

The Most Common Question

The most common question I get is:  

How much does starting a blog cost?

The reality is that a lot of people who want to and dream of starting a blog think they can do it for FREE and ALSO start making money instantly.This isn’t true. Yes, starting a blog is easy on wordpress.com or blogger.com for free, but those sites greatly (if not completely) reduce your ability to use common blogging tools that are used by people who make a significant amount of money or even a part time income with their blogs.

I've tried those free blogs many times in the past and they just don't give you the right tools for the results you want.

For instance, wordpress.com (a free blogging platform) doesn’t allow you to incorporate advertisements, which is the MOST common and FIRST way many new bloggers monetize their blog. So, whether you want to incorporate ad’s or sell products of any kind, you’re going to need to BUY a website name with a PAID hosting account. Don't sweat just yet.. read on..

Fortunately, sites like Bluehost offer new bloggers a free domain with the purchase of a paid hosting account, and the cost for the domain with that hosting is only $4 to $8 a month depending on sales, promotions, and etc. Seriously - that's it! That's why, at the beginning, I went ahead and just paid for a full 12 months for this blog (only cost me $72.) Which was a small price to pay considering I've easily made my money back with Ad’s and products within the very first few months. So, the blog has paid for itself and then some.

Grow Traffic, Build a community, Develop Schedules, and Make Money!

Want to get started? 

In this free 5-day email course, we cover a lot of ground and you get to keep all the information and use it as you need it in a self-paced way.

Day 1. is a review of the above information and how to set up your blog, choose a niche, and find your target reader

Day 2. reviews what it takes to grow your traffic from day one and build a community

Day 3. is all about how to make money with your blog in multiple ways

Day 4. & 5. will help you develop a business plan with schedules and systems that work

Join our Free Course for the Beginner's Guide to Blogging

click-to