You’ve probably read in a lot of places that starting a blog is easy peasy & an excellent way to make money online.
The thing is, starting a blog can be overwhelming, especially if you don’t know where to begin!
In this post I’m going to cover EVERYTHING you need to know about starting a blog, including which blogging platform is right for you, how to choose your domain name, the best hosting plan to go for & choosing a great theme!
I’m going to show you how I was able to take my blog from earning $0 to over $2000 a month in less than a year with no previous experience!
When you’ve finished this post, you’ll be able to apply these simple steps and get your blog up & running & making money without unnecessary stress!
This post may contain affiliate links. See my full disclosure here for more info...however it is totally boring!
I started my blog in February 2018… at the time I didn’t really know what blogging even was and made several mistakes just within that first half an hour of getting started!
This could have totally been avoided if I had a handy guide to follow (like this one you’re reading now).
I soon stumbled across successful bloggers income reports & knew I needed to take a step back & learn everything I could if I wanted to do it PROPERLY & be successful.
By properly, I mean setting up everything the right way for success from the start so you don’t have to go back and change it all later (like I did).
It was in the third month of starting my blog that I finally felt ready to throw myself into it.
It was worth taking the time to learn because by the end of the fourth month I made my first $200 and by the end of the sixth month I had made over $1000!
This might seem like pocket money to some people but to me, earning this money meant EVERYTHING!
I was so happy to be able to contribute to my household & be able to stay home with the kids… and to me, I felt like my blog was a success!
Seeing my blog growing & making more & more money every day is very exciting… there is no limit to where this could end up taking me financially but that isn’t the most important thing to me… It’s that this has become my absolute passion.
I LOVE BLOGGING!
It’s fun, exciting, challenging & rewarding…
Sure, there are ups & downs to blogging & moments where I’ve felt like giving up (especially in the beginning) but like with everything in life worth having… you just have to keep going & eventually the rewards begin to come.
This is especially true when you start a blog!
Despite all the great reasons for starting a blog, you should ask yourself WHY you want to start a blog before you start.
Sure, everyone knows blogging is a great way to make money from home but it’s by no means a ‘get rich quick’ scheme.
You can’t just knock up a couple of posts and expect the money to fly in… you have to be willing to invest your time to create a little space on the internet that people enjoy coming to time and time again… then you’ll soon begin to see the rewards.
You may have a bit of self-doubt (like we all do) about whether you can ACTUALLY be a blogger but the truth is, there’s no secret sauce or special requirement to being a successful blogger.
No matter what you want to share with the world, & even if it has been done before by other bloggers… people haven’t heard it from you yet so go for it!
You may be tempted to start your blog with a FREE blogging platform like WordPress.com or Blogger for example… I highly recommend you DO NOT do this as you WILL NOT be able to make money from your blog in any way!
There are so many other reasons why you should absolutely not go with a free blogging platform but the biggest one is that you will not OWN your blog… this means that your blog can be deleted or closed down without notice & there won’t be anything you can do about it.
To be able to make money from your site & be in complete control then you need to be self-hosted. I recommend WordPress.org for your blogging platform.
When you sign up with the hosting company I recommend, you will get your WordPress.org domain for FREE within the hosting plan & it will be a one-click install too which will make everything super easy!
When you’re just starting out as a blogger, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking you have to pay out for expensive tools & courses if you want to make your blog a success… but I promise you this is NOT TRUE.
When I started, I made it my goal to keep my costs to an absolute minimum without compromising on quality & user experience.
Now only six months in I am making a profit & my site is efficient & reliable!
One of the biggest things I did to achieve this was to choose Bluehost as my hosting provider.
My experience of Bluehost (after switching from another provider… remember those mistakes I made in the first half hour?) has been second to none!
For less than $4 dollars a month, which is less than the price of lunch, you can get your blog up and running with one of the best hosting companies out there & the fact that they have a 1-click WordPress install & 24/7 support means you will find everything smooth & very, very easy!
It can feel quite overwhelming starting up a blog. Having to choose a domain name, install WordPress & setting up your theme etc… so to have Bluehost in your corner is a great comfort.
The best thing about Bluehost (apart from how stinkin’ cheap they are) is that you don’t need any special coding skills or experience in setting up a website.
If there are any questions or issues you have Bluehost are literally standing by to help you instantly.
Bluehost also offer a full money back guarantee so it makes it all risk-free for you to give blogging a try and see if you like it… which is a huge benefit when you’re just starting out.
This is why I fully recommend Bluehost for your hosting needs.
This is the very first page you will see… you need to click on the big green ‘get started now’ button & then select your plan.
Now you will see the pricing plan options… I recommend choosing the basic plan, not only because it is the cheapest, but it is absolutely all you need to get started.
The basic plan is a 36-month plan which makes it the cheapest option… I highly recommend taking advantage of this cheapest payment option because you have decided to go for it for all the right reasons which means you will most likely love blogging… & don’t forget you still have the 30-day money back guarantee just in case.
Select the basic plan and move on to the fun part…
Now you have selected the plan, you will be looking at the page where you can choose your domain name.
You’ll want to think about this a little bit (unlike many bloggers that have gone before you (including me) and all those who will come after) because your domain name is kinda important…. but not vitally!
Many bloggers regret the name they chose for their blog but it doesn’t necessarily impact their ability to do well so you don’t need to stress too much.
From experience, I can only advise that unless you know exactly what your blog will be about from now until forever more… then go with something neutral.
If you have a FEELING that you might like to start a mom blog but you’re not 100% sure then please don’t call your blog something like ‘themummyfront’ because if your focus changes course… you’ll regret this decision pretty quickly.
That being said, nothing is set in stone and your domain name can always be changed further down the line.
Once you’re ready, type in your choice of domain name & click ‘next’.
If the name is available you will be taken to the next stage of the sign-up process.
If the name is not available you can play around with different options until you find one you like that is available.
You can even use this little box to find your new blogs name…
Now you have found the perfect name for your new blog you need to enter your account info into the boxes & scroll down to confirm your plan.
Once again I highly recommend you stick with the 36-month option as it is by far the cheapest & gives you the best value.
TIP: Ensure the domain privacy protection box is checked to keep your personal information as the owner of the website secure.
Enter your payment details into this section of the page. Remember, you are completely protected by a full money back guarantee.
Check the little box to confirm you’ve read the terms & conditions and click on the green submit button.
Click on the green ‘Create your Password’ button to go ahead and create your password making sure it’s secure!
Enter your password into the boxes and click the blue ‘next’ button to continue.
Great, you have successfully saved a password for your Bluehost account… click the blue ‘Log In’ button & login to your account…. (this is where it all gets very exciting)
TIP: Grab a notebook & make a record of all your accounts and passwords related to your blog. This is because there will be a ton of different services and programs you use to make your blog awesome (we will go into that later don’t worry) and you will soon have passwords left, right & center! Be savvy and write them down as you go.
Now you need to select a theme.
Do not spend too long deliberating as you will soon want to try out other themes anyway. I changed my theme about 8 times before I found one I loved.
There are so many great FREE WordPress themes available that it will be easy to get your site looking amazing in no time.
Eventually, you might want to invest in a paid theme which will give you even more options to customize your site to your liking.
In this case, I recommend Pretty Darn Cute Designs as their websites are feminine, stunning & easy to customize, their customer service is brilliant too. If you hit a snag, they will be there to help you out!
But for now, select your free theme to get building your new site (see I told you this was exciting)
Great, you’re now ready to start the creative bit! Click the blue ‘start building’ button to continue.
Remember that this may feel a bit confusing & overwhelming to begin with… I know because I’ve been there but I promise you it’s easier than you think & with a bit of playing around & experimenting you’ll get to grips with it in no time.
You will now be looking at this screen…
You need to select the business option… don’t worry this doesn’t mean you’ve done anything ‘official’… you are just setting your blog up the right way to eventually be able to make money from it.
You can start editing your site now. This screen is known as the ‘backend’…
This is where you make all the changes you want to make and once you click publish, they appear on the front end of your site.
Don’t worry, at this point your site will be showing a ‘coming soon’ page so you can make as many edits as you want without worrying about people seeing the changes before they are ready.
If you click the ‘launch’ button before you are ready… no drama! You can simply click on the ‘settings’ option near the bottom left of the black sidebar to switch your site back to displaying the ‘coming soon’ page.
I hope this guide has helped you get started with your WordPress site.
The fun has only just begun for you, it’s time to get in there and bring your beautiful site to life. Be sure to let me know when it’s live! I would love to take a look.
If you have any questions, simply reach out to me by email here.