How to Start a Blog & Make Fab Money Plus get My Freebie Offer
Want to know how to start a blog and get a free StudioPress theme worth $99, then you've come to the right place. I'm going to give you 14 simple steps about how to get a blog up and running quickly with zero fuss.
In my opinion, blogging is a fab way to earn a passive income and get away from the rat-race of society. Most people think that setting up a blog and that blogging is difficult, but from experience I can confidently tell you that it's a lot easier than you think and much cheaper than you'd imagine.
I promise you it won't break your bank!
Here are a list of topics that I aim to cover:
OK, so it's not completely correct that you can start a blog for free without unhealthy risks. I believe if you're serious about starting your own blog and want to be safe, then somewhere you'll have to pay for something even if it's just your domain name.
I'm being honest here so sorry about that, but if there's anything that I can do for you today, it is that, I want to help you start blogging with an absolute minimal cost.
Let's begin delving in....
1. The Process of How to Start a blog
Years ago a blogger had to understand HTML, and then came along CSS and PHP files to throw a site together.
Back in the day, what took months to set up and achieve now takes only days - lol not weeks, not months or years.
Back then, some people used Dreamweaver or something similar to create a website, which obviously made it a little easier for us unskilled persons.
However, the downside to this was that the process was painfully slow.
Some people still use Dreamweaver and some colleges still teach it, though it seems pretty useless when technology is so much easier today.
Personally, I just can't see the point in learning Dreamweaver or any other software.
History teaches us that the coding idea would revolutionize the way in which web design was done and could be done.
Obviously because of that era, today there are plenty of ready made software and themes allowing you to create a website with full-features without having to know any html, css or php coding. WOW this is so cool, it saves us so much time and effort.
What's my point?
The point I'm trying to make, is that, the only requirement you need to create a website today is drive and ambition. And oh, I forgot to mention zero skills are required - that's even more awesome!
So, without further due and if you're ready to take some action, let's learn how to start a blog the simple way plus get that free StudioPress theme I've promised you.
2. Your Passion - Your Potential
To know how to start a blog, the first thing you need to understand, is that, you have to come up with an interesting topic. A topic is called a niche in the blogging world and this will eventually be used to create unique content.
Let's face it, if you’re well conversed in a particular subject, then you’ve already a head start.
On the other hand, if you're like me who knows much about nothing, then you could opt to use Wealthy Affiliate to get started.
In essence, Wealthy Affiliate are an online university that offer full video training of how to be your own boss, plus detailed tutorials of how to create your own website, and of course you can do as I'm doing which is promote them to earn residual income.
Here is a good article that I've created which covers everything you need to know and more about how to start an online business My Wealthy Affiliate Review – Could You Really Be Your Own Boss?
Allow Your Purpose To Become Your Passion, And It Will One Day Become Your Profession!
I would say that you have to love what you’re doing, this means being passionate about it otherwise your zeal might fade quickly.
Here is an awesome blog from a member within Wealthy Affiliate that is a must read: $5k per mo is possible - Follow the training and you'll get results.
3. Steps Choosing Your Domain Name
Before buying your dream domain name, you’ll first need to decide what your niche will be. As discussed in step two, this is your passion, which is an interest that'll eventually turn into a blog.
I was once told not to spend too much time pondering on domain names, but from personal experience, I think you should take time.
Why do I suggest this?
I've been taught that a domain name needs to be simple, 2-3 words and catchy because people need to easily remember it.
When you’ve thought of your dream domain name make sure your peers analyze it because it’s very easy to fall in love with a name that could easily ruin your reputation.
For example think about at this domain name bloggersexchange.com. You're probably reading it as Blogger Sex Change, but in actual fact its true name is Bloggers Exchange.
Do you see how easy it is to make a mistake?
Check out these 31 Funny Domain Names That Will Make You Scream With Laughter! these are an example of what to avoid. They are the most unorthodox names you’ll ever come across, and the purpose for creating that article was to show you how easy it is to get it wrong.
As suggested, if possible keep it to be two words, at a push three is also good. Remember, it’s all about simplicity and memorability. I particularly found NameMesh and BustaName to be very helpful and foolproof in finding good domain names.
Here is a good article that I've created which covers everything you need to know and more The Ultimate Guide: 9 Foolproof Ways To Find Good Domain Names.
4. Are Freebie Domains and Hosting Okay?
Whilst I empathize that budget is everything, I do not recommend that you set up a website using a free domain and free hosting. This is because you will never own your domain or your content, plus if you violate the companies terms and conditions your site can be taken down without your knowledge.
Another problem with freebie domains and hosting, is that, your WordPress theme and Plugin choices are limited.
Want to know how easily I designed this page, then check out my Thrive Content Builder Review: The #1 WYSIWYG Editor.
Only you can decide what's best and if it means getting in on the action, then I'd definitely recommend SiteRubix over and above other free platforms. This is because if you're ever in a position to buy a domain and hosting, you can upgrade easily without compromising your content or your domain name.
Here is a good article that I've created, it covers everything you need to know how to Make Your Own Website Free With SiteRubix In 60 Seconds and covers free domain names.
5. Which Paid Hosting Company Should You Use?
As promised, whichever hosting company you purchase I will give you a FREE StudioPress Genesis theme worth $99.
In essence, neither are worse than the other, they are in actual fact just different. HostGator is purely a domain and hosting company, they do not offer in-depth training. Compare them to Wealthy Affiliate which aim to show you how to start a blog and business with their comprehensive video training, webinars, tools with free hosting included and much more.
If you're willing to chance it by building a blog with zero knowledge, then going it alone with HostGator may be insufficient. In my opinion, you need Wealthy Affiliate to become successful.
Do you have knowledge of how to start a blog?
If you understand the ins and outs of creating a website, then I don't feel you'd be reading my article. However, just in case I'm wrong, here are each companies differences:
HostGator & Wealthy Affiliate Differences
Customer Service & Support is excellent
Buy a domain name & host your site together
Starter includes 1 website with limited bandwith
SSL certificates is extra cost
Website secuity is extra cost
Free website updates & backups are an extra cost
Plans start from $3.95
45 money back guarantee
Basic tutorials to help you get started
No coaching included
No webinars are included
No foundation training available
No bootcamp training available
Profession emails are an additional extra cost
24/7 technical support
You can monthly or yearly *yearly is cheaper
Why Wealthy Affiliate?
Customer Service & Support is excellent
Can only host your site
Free website tools & over 2000 templates
Unlimited websites with unlimited bandwidth
Free SSL certificate
Free website security
Free updates & backups included
Free 7 day plan, which includes premium training
59% discount if you upgrade
Easy FTP access
Thousands of video tutorials
1- on-1 coaching
Free weekly teaching webinars
Foundation Certification Course - 5 levels
Bootcamp Course - 7 levels
Free professional emails are included
24/7 technical support, forum & chatroom
You can monthly or yearly *yearly is cheaper
Even if you prefer Wealthy Affiliate's feature's, you will still need to head over to HostGator to register your domain name at some point. Wealthy Affiliate cover registration and buying your domain in their training videos. But, I will also explain the process in a moment.
If you're looking for in-depth video tutorials of how to start blog with hosting included, unlimited websites, forum and online chat then check out my #1 recommendation My Wealthy Affiliate Review – Could You Really Be Your Own Boss? This article is definitely worth checking out if you've never attempted to build a website before.
6. Setting Up Your Hosting Account
During this step, I'll show you how to set your hosting account with HostGator and Wealthy Affiliate. Whichever hosting company you choose, you will receive a free StudioPress theme worth $99.
In order to receive your free StudioPress theme, please check out my terms & conditions in step 8 for more details.
Follow these steps if you want to use Wealthy Affiliate:
To get started, head over to Wealthy Affiliate, once you're on their site you'll obviously need to register your details. To do this, fill in your details and click on the 'Create a FREE Account' button as in the image above.
What's so cool about Wealthy Affiliate, is that initially, you will not need your credit card.
Once you've created your free account, I will contact you to welcome you. Plus, I will give you instructions of how to get your free StudioPress theme worth $99.
Next, I'd suggest that you fill in your profile details and start following other members. You could even start asking questions on the forum and chatrooms.
What's so awesome about Wealthy Affiliate, is that, you will automatically be entitled to a free 7 days trial. I suggest that you make the most of this freebie offer to check it out as much as possible, including all their tutorials.
Want to know how easily I designed this page, then check out my Thrive Content Builder Review: The #1 WYSIWYG Editor.
Once you're inside Wealthy Affiliate, they will teach you the how to set up your domain name, install WordPress, add a theme plus plugins and help you to get started in your new venture.
After the 7 day free trial, you can continue as a free member without the premium benefits or sign up to their premium membership. This is $19 for your first month and $47 per month thereafter or you can save a whooping 59% and pay $359 per year - this works out at $29.92. Plus, you'll be able grab your free StudioPress theme worth $99 from me - please check my terms & conditions in step 8 for more details.
After the 7 days, if you feel that Wealthy Affiliate isn't for you, then you've lost nothing. Or, if you feel it's financially not feasible, then jump to following the steps for registering your domain and hosting with HostGator.
Let's get started...
Follow these steps if you're wanting to use HostGator:
Head over to HostGator's website, once you're on their site you'll obviously need to register your details. To do this you'll first need to click on the 'Sign Up Now' button, then choose your plan as below.
If you don't own a domain name, then you need to think about your niche because this will help you to create a relevant domain name. Having this ready will make your registration process much easier and of course faster.
You will have the option to add a new domain name or to register one you already own. Choose the tab relevant to you, then enter your domain name.
From here follow step 2 'Choose Your Plan', obviously it's easier to pay monthly, but please remember paying for 12, 24 or 36 months offers a huge discount and you get my offer. I'd highly recommend you start with the Hatchling 12 month plan because you can always upgrade to the Baby or Business Plan anytime you wish.
Do whatever is easier and best for you at this current time even if it means starting on the Hatchling monthly plan, you don't want to miss out!
In step 3 'Enter Your Billing Info'.
During step 4 'Adding Additional Services' you will be recommended some options, please remember this will bump up your monthly price. I would highly recommend you opt for their recommendations partly because you need them.
After you’ve paid, you’ll be able to check your domain name and account information; plus, you'll be now entitled to my free StudioPress theme worth $99. Please check my terms & conditions in step 8 for more details.
7. Installing WordPress onto Your New Website
If you're opting for Wealthy Affiliate, their WordPress installation tutorial is offered once you're signed up, it is a little different to Hostgator.
For HostGator installation watch this 4 minute step-by-step video tutorial of how to start a blog with a few simple clicks or check out my instructions below.
To install WordPress, you'll first need to login and then head over to your cPanel. Next you'll to locate 'MOJO Marketplace' and select the icon 'One-Click Installs under Software/Services'. This QuickInstall powered by MOJO will literally take seconds.
For further instructions fill in the form as directed in the video or follow my instructions below. For example purposes, I will use my details:.
1 = Your domain name ie bloggersrefuge.com
2 = Sub directory is optional
3 = Your working email ie email@example.com
4 = Your blog name ie Bloggers Refuge
5 = Your admin username ie Sharon
6 = Your first name
7 = Your last name
8 = Click the green button Install WordPress to proceed
Check the progress bar to see when WordPress has completed the installation. Once completed you will be able to start working on your new blog.
The only reason why you won't be able to access your site, is that, a new blog can take a while to update on HostGator's data servers. Feel free to contact them if its been more than 48 hours.
8. Which WordPress Theme to Use & Installing It
When learning how to start a blog, it's important to understand which WordPress theme to use.
There are so many free themes; in fact, the WordPress directory is loaded with more than 2,600 – how neat is that? Plus, there are thousands more floating around the world wide web.
Which WordPress theme should you use?
I have found there’s no grey area with free themes; they are either bad or good - rarely brilliant.
Although theme creators have the best intentions to help people, free themes do not make them money, so they’re often neglected and you end up suffering.
Aside from the popular Twenty Ten, Eleven, Twelve, Thirteen and Fourteen, etc., I would definitely recommend lite themes if you’re looking for something free or cheap - at least you can upgrade!
Things that you need to take into consideration when looking for a theme are support, its features, how the theme is coded, its styling and genre.
For more in-depth information here is a good article that I've created, it covers everything you need to know Mind Blowing Facts Which WordPress Theme You Should Use On Your Site and more.
Paid premium themes are the best way to go if your budget allows it! However with me, I'm offering you a free WordPress theme from StudioPress worth $99.
Studiopress is usually the first port of call to look for Genesis themes & it’s framework.
Genesis are considered one of the best because they’re sophisticated, offer lightweight top-notch coding, are SEO optimized, updates are a breeze, security is tighter than ever, huge selection of designs and are easily customized using the style.css.
Installing your theme is very easy, follow these steps:
- Login to your website
- Go to your dashboard
- Find and click on 'Appearance' on the left side menu bar
- Now click on Theme, which will take you to a different page
- Now click on 'Add New', from here you can either upload a theme or select one.
To choose a StudioPress theme check out my reviews Genesis Child Themes From Studiopress.
9. Which Plugins To Use & Installing Them
Plugins enable your website to function better, they are a type of coded software offering different functionalities depending which plugin you use.
There are thousands of plugins on the internet, some are free and some are paid.
Sometimes free plugins offer an option to buy, which means paid versions have a lot more functionalities. Unless you’re absolutely sure that you need these extras, then it’s not necessary to buy them.
These are the free plugins that I’m currently using:
- Yoast SEO
- Pretty Link Lite (as described it gives pretty affiliate links)
- Cookie Notice (this type of plugin is compulsory for EU laws)
- Contact Form 7 (as described to create a contact form)
- Anti-Spam by Webvitaly (complete anti-spam without the need to use Captcha and Askimet)
- WP Fastest Cache (this clears you cache to speed up your site)
These are the paid plugins that I use regularly - check my reviews for more information:
When you set up your website, you may find you'll need different plugins this is because your niche and WordPress theme might be different to mine.
See My Better Blogging Tools for more plugin options.
Here is a good article that I've created, it covers everything you need to know about Getting To Grips With Plugin Basics, Installing & Setting Up Your Site and more.
And that’s it...
You’ve now set up a website, and installed all the blogging software!
10. Adding Posts And Pages To Your New Blog
Once you've loaded your WordPress theme and plugins, you'll more than likely be eager to add some posts. Knowing where to start is half the battle, so here I'm going to show you what to prepare first.
First let's understand the difference between posts and pages...
- Posts are for your everyday articles that you may want on your blogroll. The more posts you add the more they become buried and eventually archived.
- Pages are your Privacy, About You, Terms & Conditions etc. Pages are generally static content that is separate from your blog, but can be easily accessed ie usually from your footer.
Let's learn how to add posts and pages...
- Check the left sidebar of your WordPress dashboard as in my image. to add a new post or a page.
- To add either a post or a page click on Add New.
Let's learn what pages to add...
If you want your site to look official, then it's very important that you add these pages in your footer.
- Contact page: Your readers need a way to contact you and the best way to do this is to use the Contact form 7 plugin. I'd highly recommend that you refrain from using your personal email address.
- About page: This is a very important page and one that'll be most visited,other than your homepage. Your visitors need to know you and what you're about, I would suggest that you keep it simple.
- Terms & Conditions - You need this page to prevent legal issues, and so, protect your work and website. Check out Terms Feed to generate a free T&C.
All these pages are free to view on my site in my footer.
11. How Content Creation Works With Posts
There are several ways to create content for your posts, but one that never fails is examining other niches in your field.
Writing compelling and informative content will nearly always require some level of research on your chosen topic, especially if you lack a little knowledge in a particular area.
Of course, your sources of information can be varied, but the more reliable they are within your niche industry the stronger your own expertise will become.
I would recommend that you write about what you love doing the most because your content will automatically have a natural flow.
Spend quality time preparing your articles and their layout. I use Thrive Content Builder for all my articles because it makes everything so much easier and nicer, this post created with it.
For more in-depth information here is a good article that I've created, it covers everything you need to know about No Nonsense Quality Content Writing Tips & Using Relevant Keywords and more.
12. Getting Traffic To Your new Website
I'd suggest that you create approximately twenty unique articles related to your niche before you start thinking about traffic. Once you're set, then it's time to start getting traffic to your new website.
To do this, sign up to the social medias relevant to your niche. The social medias that are perfect for this website are Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is critical to getting good traffic, for this I use the Yoast plugin to give me an upper-hand. SEO isn't too difficult to master, but if you're looking for more information then check out my article 13 No Nonsense WOW Tips To Learn Search Engine Optimization.
Sign up to forums that are related to your niche and start chatting to other bloggers, this is a great way to get yourself known on the web.
Check out my latest article Complete Guide: Getting To Grips With Building Traffic To Your Site to grab more insight on traffic building.
13. How Easy Is It To Generate An Income
There are multiple ways to generate an income online, in fact 1000's, so I’ll attempt to discuss the one's I've used and are good.
Amazon: If you have a product related to your niche such as blenders or cameras, you can easily incorporate Amazon into your site to make sales.
Google Adsense: I'd suggest to use this form of monetizing when your site has a lot of traffic because it only pays pennies. If your traffic is streaming, you can earn a lot of revenue with Adsense.
ShareAsale: For this site, I find ShareAsale pretty awesome, this is because most of my affiliate links are from there and can't get them elsewhere. Check out my article ShareAsale Affiliate Program Review – Can You Earn Money From It?
For more ways about generating an income check out How To Easily Generate Revenue From Your Website The Right Way.
14. Is Continual Learning Necessary?
Continual learning is very much needed, never assume you know it all. If you're serious about blogging and creating awesome content for your visitors, then make it your ambition to gain more knowledge and understanding in your field of expertise.
There's always another skill in your niche to be learned...
Take for example technology, this is moving at such a rapid pace that you ought to never be without fresh content.
Your readers will love you all the more for the fresh content you provide on a regular basis.
And There You Have it All
It doesn't matter how much blogging experience you have, you will always start where you're at and what you currently know.
You can start slow or go at it like a bull in a China shop; in essence, it's whatever spare time you have available. Eventually as your revenue increases, you'll gradually be able to dump the full-time employment to blog full-time on your site.
Just that thought sounds so awesome!
It's up to you to complete every step in this article to get started and you have to put in the legwork.
You're the one responsible to for your success!
Please feel free to contact me or leave me a message below if you have any questions and I'll endeavor to reply asap.