Updated: June 23, 2016
Today, you will learn all about easily creating a blog on your own. I have included discounted pricing that I personally negotiated with Bluehost so that you can learn how to start a blog for cheap. You will also receive a free blog domain through my link too. Act quick though because I’m not sure how long these low prices will last! Lastly, for any reader who signs up for Bluehost, I will promote your new blog on Twitter if you would like me to. Just send me an email!
Click here to start a blog on WordPress, then use the tutorial below for the easy directions.
“How do I start a blog? How did you earn over $320,000 by blogging in 2015?”
Ever since I started my extra income series, many of you have been interested in learning about ways to increase your income and how to start a blog.
In my Ways to Make Extra Income (my very first post of this series), I highlighted all of the little things that I do to make money. There are so many things that I do, and I hope my extra income page on my blog has been helpful so far.
I receive e-mails all the time asking for blogging tips and how to start a blog. And that is why I am publishing this post today.
I started my blog in August of 2011 and have come across some hurdles.
I started on Blogger, which I still really regret. If you’re still on Blogger, switch to WordPress now! On Blogger, you might think you own your blog since you “have” your own domain, but you really do not. Blogger can delete your blog whenever they want, and it actually happened to me one time. I had to practically beg for it back, and I heard they don’t usually do this. Usually, your blog is just deleted forever.
If you are wanting to transfer your blog from Blogger to WordPress, please read my other post Blogger or WordPress – Tips on How to Move to WordPress.
I had a huge panic attack when that happened. All of my work just deleted? And all they had to do was click a button and everything was gone!?
Having a self-hosted blog seems to be the way to go definitely. Having your blog self-hosted pretty much means that you can do whatever you want, and there are no major limitations as you would with Blogger and free WordPress. You can download any theme you want, make your blog look any way you want, and you have TOTAL control over your blog when you are self-hosted.
If you are interested in ever making money off your blog, freelancing or turning it into a business, then paying for your hosting, such as through Bluehost, is a MUST. It’s extremely cheap as well to go through Bluehost AND you get a free domain. You can run any of your own advertisements, affiliate links, direct advertising, etc. with a blog ran on Bluehost. Making money on Blogger or any other free blogging platform is very difficult, and in many cases never happens. Most advertisers and companies tend to run away from Blogger websites because they don’t view them as professional as self-hosted WordPress blogs, so that’s another big reason to use Bluehost.
If you take a look at my past income reports, you can tell that my income through blogging didn’t take off until right at the exact moment I switched to WordPress. That’s a lot of proof right there that being self-hosted on WordPress is the way to go!
Starting a blog of your own for cheap.
In today’s post, we will go through starting a blog on your own step-by-step. The tutorial below is so easy that anyone can do it! If you are looking to create your own blog and possibly even make money from it one day, please continue reading below.
Bluehost is one of the top web hosting companies in 2016 and you can start your own blog with them for as low as $3.49 a month (this low price is through my link only)! Also, if you sign up using my link, then you will get your domain for free if you purchase a 12 month or longer hosting plan (a $15 value). I highly recommend signing up for the 12 month hosting plan through Bluehost. It’s affordable and you can save a lot of money by signing up for at least 12 months. Plus, there are no contracts and you can get a refund anytime, even after 11 months!
First, you will need to head on over to Bluehost if you want to know how to start a blog. There are many web hosting companies out there, but Bluehost is honestly one of the best.
There are many reasons for why you may want to choose Bluehost for your WordPress blog. These reasons include:
- It’s easy to use. Yes, ANYONE can create a WordPress blog easily with my tutorial below. Bluehost makes it very easy to create a WordPress blog.
- Bluehost web hosting offers technical support.
- Bluehost is extremely affordable and they offer cheap web hosting. You can have a blog of your own and the only real expense you need to pay is the cheap blog hosting which starts at just $3.49 per month.
- You get a FREE blog domain.
- Bluehost offers a guarantee in case you determine that it is not for you. If you sign up for Bluehost, but you are confused for any reason (such as how to set it up, picking a plan, pricing, etc.), you can always send me an email and I can help you out.
- You will be self-hosted. If you want to monetize your blog, then you will want to be self-hosted.
- You will appear much more professional to readers, companies, and so on if you are self-hosted on Bluehost than being on Blogspot.
If you plan on starting a blog on Bluehost and you are interested in learning how to start a blog on WordPress, continue below:
Step 1: Register your domain
For the loooongest time ever, my blog was known as senseofcents.blogspot.com. UGH! I finally bought www.makingsenseofcents.com and haven’t looked back since. I don’t think anyone has ever said “I regret buying my domain and looking more professional.”
You can easily get your domain directly through Bluehost and make the whole process very easy. If you do this, you can get a FREE domain for the first year as long as you buy 12 months worth of Bluehost web hosting. This makes it well worth it to sign up for at least 12 months of hosting as you will be saving a good amount of money this way. You also get a cheaper monthly price when you buy at least 12 months of hosting, so the free domain just makes it even better. If you decide to get the free domain, just continue to the next step as you can buy your hosting and get the free domain all in one step.
Choosing your blog name is very important, and it’s most likely a post all on its own. How did you decide on your blog name and the domain you ended up using? Sometimes I do regret having such a long blog name, it’s definitely a mouthful!
2. Buy hosting for your blog
Setting up a WordPress blog on Bluehost is very easy. First, we will talk about the costs of blogging:
- To receive the cheapest price to start a blog, then choosing the “Basic” plan is really all you need. It’s only $3.49 per month through my link (due upfront in full) if you sign up for 36 months. If you sign up for a 24 month plan, then the price is $3.95 per month. If you sign up for a 12 month plan, then the price is $4.95 per month. $4.95 is still extremely affordable and it’s a great plan to choose. If you are unsure about blogging, I would sign up for the 12 month plan as this is still a great price and very affordable for one year of blogging. Plus, you still receive the free domain name when you sign up for 12 months or more which saves you money.
- The Basic plan is all you really need for now, so skip the Plus and Business Pro plans as they are more expensive. You can always change it later to a different plan if you want to (and just pay the difference), so there is no need to sign up for extra that you do not need.
- The other item you may want to pay for when it comes to blogging is Domain Privacy Protection, which is only $0.99 per month. This is so that your contact information stays safe.
- Other than the above, you do not need the other items that Bluehost sells, so I would uncheck any of the extras that are listed.
- Remember, if you sign up using my link, then you will get your domain for free if you purchase a 12 month or longer blog hosting plan.
I want to reiterate why you should purchase at least a 12 month hosting plan. Month-to-month is less effective, and I highly recommend signing up for a minimum of 12 months for many reasons. By signing up for a minimum of 12 months, you will receive a free domain name, lower pricing, and you won’t have to deal with an expired website after each month. For example, if hosting is not renewed or if the card expires, then your website is down and you risk losing business (visitors/traffic) when you pay on a month-to-month basis. It’s also exceptionally more expensive to pay month-by-month rather than in one lump sum. The more years you sign up for, the less you pay.
You can also receive a refund at any time, so I highly recommend signing up for the 12 months as it is the cheapest option. Some think that if they sign up for a yearly term then they are locked in to a contract. However, that is not true. There are no contracts and you will be refunded should you decide to cancel. It’s a full refund within 30 days and then pro-rated after that. So whatever you don’t use, you’ll get back. There’s really no risk!
Blog hosting most likely cost you around $50 a year on average, or $125 for 3 years, which is a great deal! If you purchase a 12 month plan, your total price is only $59 a year, which is still a great price.
Here are the steps to buy the domain name and hosting.
- Go to Bluehost and click the “Get Started Now” button.
- Click on the package you are interested in.
- Enter your domain name you registered with earlier, or sign up for a new domain name here.
- Enter your personal and payment information.
- Next you will be asked to enter a password. Make sure it’s secure as this information is very important.
Step 3: Connect your domain and your hosting
Note: You can skip this section if you buy your domain directly through Bluehost.
If you buy your domain through Go Daddy, then you will need to connect your domain to your hosting account. Go Daddy has a full support page for setting nameservers for your domain names. Below is a snippet:
“When you register a domain name with us, we set it up on our parked nameservers so a temporary page displays when visitors go to your website. After you determine which hosting provider to use, you can change your domain name’s nameservers to remove the parked page and activate your domain name.
If you registered your domain name with another provider, you can still purchase a hosting account with us, use our Off-site DNS services, or use our CashParking® or Quick Content services. If you do any of those, you must view your nameservers in your account with us, and then set the nameservers with your domain name registrar.”
How to modify your DNS Nameservers when you are using Go Daddy for your domain and Bluehost for your hosting:
- Log into the GoDaddy.com Account Manager
- Select Manage Domains from the Domain Names dropdown menu or the Manage Your Account list
- Select the domain name you wish to modify using the checkboxes and then click Set Name Servers
- Enter your updated name server information in the spaces provided under the blue Name Servers heading on the right side of your page and click Save Changes at the bottom.
- Your entries should look like: NS1.BLUEHOST.COM and NS2.BLUEHOST.COM
Step 4: Get WordPress
WordPress all the way! With WordPress, you can pretty much customize and make your website anyway that you want it, unlike with Blogger. It’ll take some time getting used to if you used Blogger first, but trust me, it’s not hard at all!
You’ll most likely want to use WordPress along with your Bluehost account.
- Log into your Bluehost account that you just created.
- Head on over to your cpanel and find Simple Scripts and click on WordPress (or whatever other platform that you want to use).
- Install the blogging platform you would like (WORDPRESS!) and follow the steps, which are pretty easy. You should be receiving an e-mail with your new login information and keep this handy.
As I said earlier, I did start with Blogger, but I still regret the full year that I spent on Blogger when I could have been on WordPress. I always told myself that I was afraid that I would lose followers, but that was not really the case. Get WordPress now, because the longer that you wait, the harder it will be to move. Did any of you start with Blogger also? Do you regret it? Tell me all thoughts and why you did or want to switch!
Even if you did start with Blogger and then wanted to switch to WordPress, this is obviously still possible because this is what I did. Your blog posts, pictures and everything can remain intact, you can just have it all transferred over.
Step 5: Design and start blogging!
This will most likely be the most time-consuming part of starting a blog. Will you pay someone to design your blog, or will you do it all yourself?
There are so many themes out there to choose from! Also so many extras and plugins as well.
If you are looking into the actual design of your blog, Genesis seems to always be the most popular. Genesis is used on my blog, and I highly recommend it. Or, there are free themes through WordPress you can use too. Just go to “Appearance” on the left-hand side when you are logged into your WordPress website and click on “Themes,” then activate whichever one you are interested in testing out. By doing this, you can start designing your website easily!
Some general tips for how to navigate WordPress:
- You can add and create new posts by clicking on “Posts” on the left-hand side when you are logged in. If you want to add a page, simply click on “Page.”
- If you want to add an image, click on “Media” on the left-hand side.
- You can go to “Appearance,” then “Widgets” in order to add items to your sidebar, footer, and so on.
- If you are looking for a way to send newsletters to your readers, I recommend AWeber.
EDIT July, 2016: I recommend checking out my online course for bloggers, Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing. I earn over $50,000 a month through affiliate marketing and I share my exact strategy and tips in this very informative online course. If you’re a blogger (even if you’re a new blogger!), then you NEED this course.
Here are more blogging-related posts you should take a look at:
- Why You Should Start a Blog – So Many Positives!
- Tips For Beginner Bloggers Part 1 – The Basics
- How To Make Money Blogging
- How To Become A Successful Staff Writer for Blogs
- How To Promote Your Blog Through Networking
- 9 Helpful Blogging Tips For New Bloggers
- What To Think About Before You Start A Blog
- How To Start A Blog – Tips for a Beginner
- Ways To Make Pennies, Hundreds or Thousands A Month By Blogging
- How To Know If Freelance Blogging Is Right For You
- How do I increase my affiliate income? – Scroll down to this section when you open this link.
- Do I need millions of page views a month in order to make money blogging? – Scroll down to this section when you open this link.
- How do you build websites up to sell them? – Scroll down to this section when you open this link.
- Do only celebrities make money through owning websites? – Scroll down to this section when you open this link.
- How much money can a person make blogging? – Scroll down to this section when you open this link.
- Where does blog income come from? – Scroll down to this section when you open this link.
Please share your blogging mistakes, tips, and any questions that you may have. I hope you enjoyed my tutorial so that you can learn how to start a blog of your own.
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