Starting a blog is the easiest part of blogging.However, the same can’t be said for growing it or maintaining it. Well I am not writing this to tell you what’s easy or not. But rather what will help you start your blogging journey well.
Get a pen and paper right now. This is a checklist you have to follow, so when done with any you check it out. There is no first or last to this things. You would get to understand they are what you might regret not getting them right from the word go.
Let’s get down to business….
Pick a Niche
A niche simply means the area in which you want to create content about. Such as, lifestyle, health, fashion, beauty, social media, craft, blogging, etc.
So before starting a blog pick a niche. This will help you in choosing a prefect domain name that will suit your blog
Create a domain name
A domain name is what your blog would be called and it is could be your URL. For example my blog is called Broke Girls Get Fixed and the domain name is brokegirlsgetfixed.com. It necessarily don’t have to be that way.
However, if your blog title is long and a little bit complicated then you might have to make the domain simple for people to easily remember and search for it.
It would be good for your domain name to say a little about what your blog is all about( your niche)
Now quickly write down possible domain names you would like to use, the pick the best out of them. When you are done with that our next stop is social media whoop whoop!
Every social media is capable of getting good traffic to your blog. However, mastering all can be a waste of time because growing any social media account needs consistency. By the time you start blogging you would realize time is not your friend.
Hence pick one or two that you would master and grow. My number one is Pinterest, a matter of fact Pinterest is every bloggers top choice. So pinterest is one then choose another. My second social media is Instagram because you see quick result. Though lately Instagram haven’t being fair to its users but what ever is the problem I’m sure they are trying to fix it.
If you’ve chosen a niche then this should be easy because you know what you want to talk about. Take this serious because an active blog increases the chances of your visibility on search engines. At least four blog post monthly will be fine.
Grab a piece of paper, if you haven’t done that from the beginning and outline the topics you want to write out. It’s a outline remember? so it mustn’t be perfect.
There are tools in blogging to help you with a perfect headline. As a new blogger never worry about being perfect when starting a blog, you get better along the way that’s my number one lesson.
Learn more about blogging when starting a blog.
After a long while I realized I had a lot of plugins I didn’t need. I signed up for a lot of affiliate programs I couldn’t keep up with or promote. Like I literally did a lot of useless things that wasted my time with no results.
Take your time and learn how to do a lot of things and what method fits your niche when it comes to blog monetization. Read this simple guide.
The best thing I have learned in my 19 months of blogging is planning. Plan for whatever you want to get done. It could be weekly, monthly or 3 month( 90 days) plan. I sometime make daily plans for easy tasks.
I know there are amazing courses out there to put you through the right. Some free and some paid. whether free or paid make sure you are signing up for what will really help you.
Phew! I’ve read tons of blog post on making money blogging and growing blog traffic that I don’t want to read any any more. I won’t even talk about the dozens of courses I signed up for. They all helped me no matter how little or much.
A little something for you
Since you are reading this I know you have the intension of starting a blog. If you are not sure yet this post will help you make up your mind but if you are sure already then start right away HERE
Today you would be learning how to create a blog from the scratch. I will show you how to pick the best hosting plan with Bluehost, how to choose and get a domain name, how to install CMS script which is wordpress, how to work on a blog appearance( themes, widgets, customize and plugins), how to create pages and menus and how to write and publish a post.
Before we dive into our business for today which is how to create a blog with Bluehost. I would like us to understand some terms in creating a blog.
Some terms you should know and their meaning
Hosting: Hosting means you acquiring a space on the world wide web for your blog to live in. Is like renting a store to put in your products but this time around you are doing it online. There are a lot of companies offering this services out there, however, we would be using Bluehost and I will tell you why they are the best.
Domain name: That’s the name you would want your blog to be called. Like how my domain name is Broke Girls Get Fixed.
Control Panel: For short it is called a Cpanel. That is where you do the background work of your blog. It is in your cpanel that you would install your CMS script, create you blog email address and secure your blog. In a bit you will be learning all of that.
CMS Script: Content management system is the software used to manage digital contents and allows you to publish directly to the web. We would be using WordPress because it is very user friendly and reliable.
I will get a little commission from bluehost if you purchaseany product but at no extra cost to you.
How to host your blog With Bluehost
We would be using Bluehost Hosting company in this tutorial. But before we start, you should know why it is important to self host your blog. Here are two solid reasons:
It gives you full control over your blog. I mean you could wake up and sell it tomorrow and no one will ask you why. But you can’t do that with a free host no matter how successful your blog turns out to be.
It allows you monetize your blog unlimitedly. There are over 10 ways to monetize a blog. However, trust me when I say a free hosted blog might just give you access to 3. I own 2, so I know what am talking about.
Hosting with Bluehost
Click here and you would land on the page you see below
click on get started
Choose a plan. But before we do that let me help you in choosing the best plan that will fit your purpose.
How to choose the best hosting plan with bluehost
Know the kind of blog you want to start. If it’s a simple blog for personal purpose you can go with a basic plan. But if your blog is for business or going to contain a lot of information and directory. Then go for a business or pro plan as you would need a larger space compared to a small blog.
Another thing to consider is your experience. If you are a newbie to web designing and owning a blog. I would advice you go with a basic plan. Just so you don’t spend too much on what you are yet to understand
Don’t host for less than a year. Bluehost has a lot of benefits and the best discount percent I know. But you only get to enjoy that with a plan of a year or more. If you can get hosting out of the way for 12 to 36 months you won’t have to worry about it on a monthly bases.
After selecting a plan, next is to create a domain.
If you already have a domain purchased from somewhere type it into the ” I have a domain name” box. But if none type a new name in the box to your left.
If the domain name you want is already taken you would be shown. However if it’s not you will see this
Create your account. Fill in every information needed
In “Package Information” You should understand that in blue host the more months you choose the lower the monthly price.
12 months= $5.95/month
24 months= $4.95/month
36 months= $3.95/month
The good news is if you sign up right now and today even for 12 months you would be paying $2.95/month. This is an offer no one would turn down soGet Startednow.
Please don’t cancel anything in “package extra” they are extremely important.
click on submit after reading the information in the blue box.
Yippee! we are done with hosting. Next is getting our blog present on the internet. But wait a second, you need to know why bluehost is the best out there
Reasons why Bluehost is the best out there
Free domain for a whole year. If you sign up right now you don’t have to pay for your domain name for 12 good months.
Free SSL certificate. It means you don’t pay for you sites security, blue host will cover the cost for you.
24/7 support. Up at night trying to figure somethings? bluehost will be there for you.
Bluehost are the best at giving discount, like really good discount. Even up to 60% off.
30 days guarantee. If you are not happy after 30 days bluehost are happy to give you back your money. But you won’t have a reason not to be happy.
Bluehost is powering over 2 million websites in the world. This only proves how amazing it is to keep having new and more customers. More will join bluehost after you.
Bluehost gives $100 for marketing credit. Both on google ads wordpress ads.
Time to install our CMS script
Starting a blog is easy and with the step by step guide I’m going to show you it just became easier. In less than an hour you would be a proud owner of a brand new blog. Doesn’t that feel amazing?
I know right. I created this blog myself and I still do everything on this blog myself. The interesting part about it was, I had no skill in web designing. Incase you are thinking this needs some skills you are wrong. No skill is needed rather an attentive and focused mind.
Check your email, your hosting company which is bluehost have sent you a mail. This mail contains your Control Panel login details. Don’t panic if it takes a while the mail will arrive.
Login to your Cpanel and it takes you to the page you see below
Under SOFTWARE click “softaculous apps installer” and it will take you to the next page
On this page you can see WordPress staring at you on the face. It is the CMS Script we would be using.
Click on WordPress and you would land on the installation page
Fill in every needed information. Make sure you use a strong password. It’s a website remember and it can be hacked. Don’t forget bluehost have covered the expenses for you.
“In Directory” under “choose domain” erase “wp” and leave the space empty before clicking install
This is the last and final step so cross check every info given before clicking “Install” at the bottom of the page.
Select a theme that suites the kind of blog you want to have and looks easy to customize then
Click on “install”
Yippee! Now your blog is live on the internet. What next?
The next thing you decide to do with your blog is left to you. However, I will show you how to do the major things like, blog post and page publishing and site appearance.
How to publish your first blog post
Login to your admin area, you can find the link to it in your email from bluehost or you can add “wp-admin” at the ending of your blog URL if having any difficulties finding it. For example: http://thenextgreatblogger.com/wp-admin
Once logged in you arrive at your dashboard. This is where the magic happens.
Click on “pages” on the left side menu on your dashboard
Click “add new” when you are through with editing your page click “publish”
Page builders help you design your pages and you can install them as plugins. Shortly I will show you how to install plugins, it’s pretty simple.
Create relevant pages like Home(landing page), blog (blog post page), About me page, disclaimer or private policy page, contact page and resource page. Then add them to your menu.
Pages out of the way let’s write our blog post
Click on “Post” on the menu at your left.
Click “Add New”
Type in the title of your blog post. From the settings at your right, you could add featured image, categories, tags and edit your permalink if you want to. Once done writing your content click “publish” . If you are not done, simply save your unfinished work as a draft.
Major features of a blog post
Headings and subheadings. your blog post should have them
Good Images. This will be the images you share on social media and you can create amazing ones with Stencil. I use stencil for all the Images on my blog and it is easy to use.
SEO, Yoast SEO makes it easy and there is a plugin for it.
Internal and external links
How to find and install plugins on your blog
Plugins are very important to help you function well as a blogger. They make work easy and faster.
In your Dashboard area, find “plugins” at the left side menu and click on “add new”
If the plugin you need doesn’t appear on the page simply search for it. See the Image below
Once found click “install now” then click “activate” Plugins are out of the way lets learn another thing.
How to work on your blog’s appearance
Blog appearance covers theme, menu, customize and widgets.
Working on your Theme
Under “Appearance” click “themes” . It will take you to the page with a lot of themes. Take a pick and “activate”
If you want to work on the background of your theme and styles. Such as adding a logo, favicon, fonts and colors. Got to Appearance under it click on “theme editor”.
Working on your menu
You need pages to add to your menu so if you haven’t created an page go and do it now.
Under Appearance click “menu”
Beside Menu structure there is “Add menu items”. Select what you want to be on your menu then click “save menu” and you are done with your menu.
Working on your Widgets
Widgets are extra features you add to your blog to improve its functionality. You can add and remove them as it pleases you. There are social media widgets, news letter widgets, advert widgets e.t.c.
There are over 20 widgets to choose from.
Simply find “Widgets” under appearance, select the widgets you want on your pages and where you want them to show.
Customizing your blog
“Customize” is also found under Appearance and the best way to do it is with live preview so you can see exactly what you are working on and if you love the results.
It’s easy to customize your blog and it doesn’t take long. Anytime you are not ok with a look of a page just customize it.
I have covered every basic thing you need to know when starting a blog. However if there is anything you want to know more about drop a comment and I will be on it ASAP.
This is my first blog income report ever since I started this blog one year six months ago.
Starting a blog was one of the most exciting thing I decided to do last year. So in April last year I decided to create broke girls get fixed. A personal finance blog, which I would share my experience on savings and starting a business.
The blog was intended to be a side hustle because of the many ways I could monetize it. Running ads, affiliate marketing, sponsored post, selling products just to mention some few ways.
Over time it didn’t appear so rosy again. I struggled to be focus as there was so many distraction online on making money aside blogging. I also struggle with creating time for my blog as I am not a full time blogger.
Every resources that could help with making money on a blog was expensive. Don’t forget this blog was created to make me some money so I didn’t have plans to spend too much on it. The truth is I haven’t spent much on it. If you want to know how I do it read cheap ways to run a blog on a low budget. Also head over to my resource page and see the free tools I use.
This could be the worst income report you ever read.
This is what I wasn’t doing right all this while which cost me a lot.
I wasn’t consistent. Even though my contents are original. They were not consistent and every blog needs consistency.
I was trying to many things at the same time. Instead of growing my blog I wanted growing other irrelevant things.
My monetization skills was poor. However, I’ve fixed it.
This is what I’m about to do to improve my income for October.
I just finished a 5 days free affiliate accelerator course by Aby the owner of Mamapreneur. A blog dedicated for mom bloggers. I’m not a mum but I learnt a lot and I am ready to take my income to the next level.
Hence, I will be more consistent. I will write more blog post to promote my affilate products.Step up my SEO, I will promote my contents more on social media. I will work hard towards getting more email subcribers. Trust me the next time you see another income report from me it will be amaizing.
Lets get to the main event of the day
Here is my blog income report for the month of September after 18 months of blogging.
Ad Income: 0$
Affiliate income: 0$
Sponsored post: 0$
There you have it, after all this while blogging I haven’t made a cent. Unbelievable right? If you were following you would see that I wasn’t doing much.
My next income report will have more figures other than zero I promise. Just watch me grow.
Trust me when I say you need to focus as a new blogger. Especially if you started blogging as a side hustle. I tell you the truth there are a thousand and one distraction out there. That could take your mind off blogging. Then you would be making a mistake.
Blogging needs consistency. Meaning you have to be on it very often. It doesn’t need 24 hours but it needs you to do a lot in the few hours you dedicate to it.
Work at homes are good and earning money from surveys are good. However, nothing pays better then a blog you own and made it your business because your income just keeps growing.
Focus before booting your system
I know you are excited, it’s a new blog right and you can’t wait to boot your system and get to work. Yes you can succeed with getting your system on hence fail with getting much done.
Before you on that computer know exactly what you want to get done. Be it a new blog post or some editing to your blog appearance know what you want to get done for the few hours you have to work on your blog.
I call it the Planning stage. Plan on what you want to do at the moment because the truth is there is a lot to be done but you can’t do them all at once. The only way to achieve a lot in blogging is doing one task after another.
This is how you make a simple plan as a blogger.
Today I only have two hours to work on my blog and I decided to write this blog post. There is a lot to do however, this blog post is a task I have to achieve for this week. Now that it is out of the way, I can focus on other things like my email list, social media, affiliate marketing and some online courses I registered for. As a blogger you have to keep learning new things.
Have a task for everyday that’s a way to focus as a new blogger. This blog post is a task. social media is a task, sending emails or creating them is a task, fixing a little problem is a task e.t.c. Which ever task you need to work write it down.
Write down your task it is an effective measure for focus
Having it all in your head is not good enough because you can forget. The importance for writing it down is for priority. Every task is important but there is the one you need to do before another. There is the one that could wait for Wednesday and the one you have to do right away. write down your your task so there won’t be a misplacement of priority.
Long term goals are very important.
Unlike the daily or weekly task or plan. Having a long term goal helps you focus as a new blogger. You started the blog for a reason and I’m sure you would like to achieve it very soon.
90 days plans are perfect for blogging. Give yourself three months to get bigger things done.
Your 90 days plan should be for goals like 50000 monthly page views or 1000 email subcribers or 1000 followers on social media or first blog income.
What this means is that for every little daily or weekly task you try to do will gear you towards achieveing the goals you set out for 90 days.
It doesn’t mean that you will achieve everything in those 90 days but you are way closer to achieving your blogging goals than when you started. Set another goal and work towards it. I did a 90 day plan and of all I set out to achieve I was only able to get an e-book off the list.
The way you use your computer will help you focus as a new blogger.
Too many opened tabs will slow you down. Don’t forget that the little task you achieve everyday is what makes your blog grow. However, when you want to do so many things at ones you often get lost or distracted.
I’ve been there and I would be honest to say I still struggle with this. But right now working on this post I only have 1 tab open because I need to get done with it.
Don’t think that by having many tabs running you’d be achieving much. Hours will pass, then, you will realize you haven’t done much. That’s why it is important to plan as I mentioned from the beginning of this post. Write down what task you need to get done before the other.
You are excited and you just want to do a lot within a short while. I get that. The good news is, blogging doesn’t work like that. Be patient, be consistent and learn everyday.
It’s the only way you can truly remain focus. When you hate your job, you are most likely not going to be focused on it or be success driven towards it. Hence pick a niche that interest you and you would enjoy working on it. You would wake up everyday wanting to achieve more and more.