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We are living during a time where blogging is exploding and free information is at our fingertips. We can’t go a day without wanting more information using Google for every little curiosity.
If you are wanting to be known and make a difference and earn money, then blogging is your answer. It only takes 10 minutes to set up and a small amount of out of pocket expense.
Below you will be taken through the steps of creating your very own .com blog. Yes .com. It’s really the only way you want to get started if you want to turn your blog into a business or even start earning a steady flow of cash.
Before you get started if you are still on the fence let’s chat for a minute.
Why Should You Start a Blog
Three years ago I didn’t even know what blogging meant. Three years ago I didn’t think I would have to use coupons to make ends meet. Three years ago I would have laughed if my future self-told me that I would be making over $5,000 a month blogging. ( Income reports coming soon! Plus how we are paying off our mortgage!)
I love blogging. I can’t stop thinking about it and I always want to blog. Writing and helping other people save money is a passion. A passion I didn’t know was real but it is.
What is your passion? What is it that you have a unique voice to share with the rest of us?
You need a passion for getting started blogging. Because if blogging is completely new to you like it was to me and you are out there googling everything you need to do, you will get tired, you will get confused, and you will get overwhelmed.
Your passion will carry you through.
- Tip? Think of a mission statement for your blog. Write it somewhere and make sure it’s one that aligns with your passion.
Remember it when times are tough in your blogosphere.
Blogging is fun and hard. If you are a parent it’s much like parenting but you have a wee bit more control! It sucks you in and consumes you so be careful when you start out.
Before you commit to starting a blog I think it’s important to ask yourself these 3 questions:
What is my blog’s main focus?
What do my readers need when they come to my blog?
Why do I want to start a blog?
If you only want to start a blog for money and you have a family you are going to struggle. The reason is blogging takes serious dedication. I blogged for one whole year spending hours on the computer with ZERO pay.
I was doing so many things wrong. You can make money much faster than a year but you need to spend time or lots of money on it.
Grab a notebook and a cup of coffee and let’s get started!
Name Your Blog
The name of your blog is huge. It’s a pain to change it down the road but it can be done. It’s easier to try to have the name of your blog and domain match- but not necessary. Think of a name that draws people to find out more. To want to explore on your blog.
Also keep in mind if you put cities into your name. You instantly put barriers up for the potential number of people you can reach.
For example, my first blog was Batavia’s Best Bargains. My mission was to just give people in my city the best deals. My city is under 30,000 people. When I realized I wanted to blog as a business the name was a bit of a downer.
Get a Domain
Once you have your name you need to have a domain. Think of this as your street address. This is also the name that people will be typing in to get to your blog. This is the name that people will be seeing all over their Facebook page and all other social media accounts.
Ideally the name of your blog you want as your domain. Make it a good one. No pressure. ( This is the hardest part of starting a blog)
My suggestion, if you want to blog about coupons or deals try to get a related word.
When thinking of your domain name think about your mission. What are you offering to your readers? There are thousands of coupon blogs but if you focus on bringing something to your readers that’s unique, something they need, you will do just fine.
Don’t let the buzz of the blogging world is oversaturated scare you. If you are called in a certain niche no matter how many blogs there are- you are still you. There’s no one else like you.
I started my very first blog with GoDaddy and paid $5 for a two-year domain. They have some great deals for first-time buyers over there. I highly recommend them for your domain. I have found them to have the best price.
BUT if you choose Blue Host for a web hosting company they will give you a FREE domain.
Get a Hosting Company
Once you have your domain you need a hosting company. Think of this as the rent you are paying to live. Your domain needs a home on the world wide web. I have been with a couple different companies.
My favorite and the one I have two of my blogs on currently is Web Hosting Hub. The other one is with BlueHost. I love that I am able to call them and speak with someone right away. I have only had one time with my site having an issue with a plugin and they were on top of. Both companies have wonderful customer service.
For those of you who are just starting out and do not want to spend a ton of money I highly recommend Blue Host. They have great customer service and can fit any budget. The best part is right now they have an amazing promotion going on for $3.95/month for hosting. Trust me that is a deal. That ends up being $36 a year. ( My other blog was on this for awhile)
If you are on the fence I would sign up for this and get the ball rolling. Regular price is $7.99. If you grab their $3.95 hosting they also give you the option for a free domain. So really if you are starting up right now is the time to grab this deal.
Even one of my favorite bloggers- Crystal with Money Saving Mom recommends them. PLUS they have a 30-day money back guarantee. So what’s to lose?
Let’s look at how easy it is to get started with Hosting. I didn’t have a step by step guide so it took me some time. I want to spare you that and show you how to do it.
1. Go to Bluehost.com and click the Get Started Button
2. Select Your Plan
3. Select Your Domain Name
You should have already thought long and hard about the name of your blog and ideally, you would like your name to be your domain name as well. Here you have the chance to see if your domain name is available.
Remember that .com is the most trusted.
4. Fill Out Info
You will fill out your basic information and add in your payment information and the billing plan you choose.
Once that is completed you will be asked to create a login username and password. Once you set this up you can log in to your account.
5. Install WordPress
Once you have a domain and hosting company you need something to build your website on. I recommend using WordPress. It’s the easiest site to use and having the options to use plugins to minimize learning code is amazing.
It is free too! If I can do it, you can do it. My favorite site for questions with WordPress is wp beginner. You can read their great article on why they recommend WordPress here.
All my sites are built on WordPress. If you sign up with Bluehost you will have a 1-click install button which is another perk. If this seems intimidating here’s how you install WordPress.
- Log in to your account to install WordPress. Click the start button.
Then you will need to select your domain name from the dropdown list.
The install has begun. Then click the box that says Show Advanced options and enter in your info. Hit the green Install button and boom you just started a blog!
After the install is complete you will receive an email from “Mojo Marketplace”. Keep this email it’s important.
You will want to click the WordPress link.
This will take you to your login to your WordPress account. This is where you will log in every time you want to write a post or work on your blog.
This is a peek at what your dashboard will look like.
Choose a Theme
I highly recommend and so do many other bloggers StudioPress.
You can choose from a number of themes ( designs you like). You can also purchase the Genesis Framework which is the foundation for your blog. The theme is what allows you to customize your blog and make it look pretty. It is highly recommended. I wish I started with Genesis and a professional theme.
The best part is they are priced affordable and after you buy one theme you get a 50% discount on any other themes you want!
Not sure what theme or design?
Ask yourself 2 questions:
What are some blog designs that you admire?
What is it that you admire about them?
Make a list of features that you would like to have on your blog.
When you find a blog with a design you like you can scroll down the bottom of the page and more than likely you will find a link to the designer.
If you have a few hours a day to work on the computer, you enjoy helping others, writing, and learning I encourage you to get started blogging.
The earning potential is limitless.
My mom reminded me even though it took me a year to learn everything and start making just a $100 a month after two years here I am still doing it and still loving it and making more money each month. The more I learn and put into it the more potential my blog has to grow and bring in an income.
Must Add Plugins
The first thing I have always done after logging into WordPress for the first time with my blogs is to install the following plugins. Plugins are a great way to add functionality to your site without writing in your own code.
Akismet spam protection for your blog
BackupBuddy backup your blog’s database for an extra layer of protection
JetPack offers many features that can be used to enhance your blog. I started with the social sharing part- so your posts can go to your social media accounts. Now I use it to check daily pageviews and clicks right on my dashboard.
Social Warfare adds a section in WordPress below your content that allows you to control the picture and description that preloads when someone uses the social share icons on your articles or pages.
Wordfence Security protects your site against hackers.
Yoast SEO optimizes your website and articles for Search Engine Optimization (SEO), this is an easy way to get your site found when people use a search engine such as Google.
Grammarly– This is a must have to help you with spelling and grammar. I have it in my Chrome bar so even on social media, emails it is always on correcting my grammar!
WP Smush- This plugin will compress and optimize image files, improve performance and boost your SEO rank.
Set Up Google Analytics
Google Analytics is an in-depth way to track visitors coming to your blog and what they do when they get there. Once you start branching out and reaching out to companies they are going to want to know and sometimes connect to your Google Analytics account. It is completely exciting watching real time to see how many visitors are on your blog.
Create Social Media Accounts for Your Blog
Don’t think you don’t need a Facebook page or Instagram for your blog. These are all FREE ways to drive traffic to your blog. Facebook is a great outlet for coupon/deal blogs especially.
- Google+ ( You may not think of this as a social media stopper but it’s powerful when it comes to SEO and Google Likes its own stuff!)
( Some find success on Snapchat but I just can’t even bring myself to want to be on Snapchat!)
I recommend focusing on one traffic source you are familiar with first. If you use Facebook start really promoting your blog there. Then attempt a social media platform next. Don’t try to grow ALL your social media accounts at once. You will get overwhelmed and burnt out.
Related: How I went from 2,000 Facebook Fans to 140,000 in 5 Months!
Select an Email Provider
I have two recommendations for you Convert kit and MailerLite. ConvertKit it is the new popular amazing email kit all the bloggers seem to be going with and I totally get why. I have it set up on my blog here. I have to say since putting Convert kit on my blog- I went from 3,300 email subscribers to 9,900 in 3 months!
Research has shown that people like a plain style email over all the bells and whistles. MailerLite actually gives you both options, design or plain text. I love that. If you want to add a bit of style to your emails I highly recommend going with MailerLite.
Because I am frugal and practical and do not want to pay for an email service when I start a new blog, MailerLite is my choice. It’s free for up to 1,000 subscribers. Mailchimp is an email provider you probably have heard about and it is free up to 1,000 subscribers too but I never got out of many people’s spam folders with it.
When I send an email with Convert kit and Mailerlite it shows up front and center in my subscriber’s inbox giving me a much better open rate than I had with Mailchimp when I first started my blog.
Have 12-20 Posts ready to go when you launch your blog.
This should be just enough to get you started and in the right direction. I started my first blog with two posts. I had no idea to think about a potential reader coming to my site and checking out the menu and seeing nothing. Oh, how I had no idea what I was doing. That is why I love helping you.
Next post in Blogging will be how to make money with your blog and the best resources for newbie bloggers!
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Have Fun and Promote
Remember when you hit publish to your article that you have to promote it. Readers won’t just flock to your blog unless you get the word out there. Focus on promoting more than writing in the beginning.
Don’t forget to have fun and remember your vision when starting a blog. It is overwhelming and there is an abundance of information out there. Continue to pray and hear the Lord’s voice directing you where to go. Pray about your blog and your readers.
If you have any questions at all please leave a comment below or email me at mybjswholesale@gmaildotcom
Let me know what’s stopping you from starting a blog?