There are so many good reasons to start a blog. A blog or website is a great residual income business to do in your spare time. A person can choose how much time you want to spend on it. Money is earned from your blog or website even without touching it for months. You have so much information to share! Think of all the things that you have learned about, things you are interested in or have “geeked out” about. If you are interested in a topic, chances are, others are interested in reading what you have to write. Or let’s say you know how to do something. You could share that. Okay, now you have some ideas, now I will teach you how to start a blog or website!
How To Start A Blog
Before you get on the computer to start a blog or website, let’s make some notes. When you are starting a blog, you should list 20 ideas of content that you could write about. You could have a craft blog and have tutorials on how to make products. You could be a lifestyle blogger and talk about various aspects of your lifestyle. How about a cooking blog to make money? Try to have all the topics you cover go to one type of person. For me, all my content is directed to a mom who is needed in the home. For you, it could be young adults learning to cook. Becoming a blogger is a fun job that you decide how much time you want to give to it. I have about three hours a day at this stage of my life and yet I earn money from blogging. You can too. You want to have plenty of content to drive enough viewers to your site to make an income. The more posts you have, the more views you get, which means the more chance of someone clicking on your ads and buying something. That is how you get paid.
Think of a domain name for your website. You will register your domain name in the same account where you have your blog hosted. Try your domain name out to see if it is available here
First of all, to start a blog or website, you want to go through a web hosting company that will let you own your website. This way you own all of your content. You can install the plug-ins you choose to customize the way your website looks to others. Also, you are free to share whatever you want, including downloads, a PayPal button for your favorite charity. You could add a shopping cart, e-courses, forums, discussions, boards or link to your Etsy or other shop and so much more. There are some sites that will offer free blogs, but you don’t own that. Eventually, they can charge you more money or even close up shop and shut you down. It is best to have a self-hosted blog right from the beginning.
I use Bluehost‘s least expensive plan which you can use by clicking here. Adding a security option is a great idea and is not much more money if you do not have a technical background to protect your domain.
Since I use Bluehost myself, I can tell you how to set that up. First, you will see this screen…
Since you know that the domain name that you want is available, to secure it, you need to purchase website hosting. That will get your domain and website on the internet. Bluehost is reliable and easy to use and I highly recommend it. The best part is that you can actually get a FREE domain name when you purchase 1 year of hosting in advance (versus paying monthly). Click “get started now”, then select your plan.
I use the Basic plan and that is enough for me, but I am comforted to know that if I ever need it, I can always upgrade. Now it is time to officially enter your domain name in the left box if you are new.
Next, enter your account information. I added the SiteLock Security – Find to my account as I do not have a technical background and I would rather have someone else take care of this for me. I am so glad I did too. I am always amazed at how many malicious attacks have been stopped from happening to my account. There is a place in Bluehost where you can see how many.
Now it is time to pay the bill.
Finally, create your Password.
You will see this screen. You now have an official website and if you plan to have a blog, you are an official “Blogger”! Read on for more information.
You install Word Press through the company that hosts your website. In my case, it was Bluehost that chose the right Word Press for me. If you have to choose on your own, be sure it is the self-hosted version of Word Press so you have ownership of it, as there are two different kinds. When you go through your web host company, the core software for Word Press is free.
This is what makes your blog unique and makes it look good and stand out from the rest.
Word Press has many custom themes, but in my opinion, when I look at other blogs, it looks like everyone has these. If you want yours to stand out from the rest right from the start, I recommend using a StudioPress Genesis Framework which is the framework behind the scene.
There is also a vast collection of “Child” Themes which is the part people see. It’s just the name of it. Techy people get this as it is an industry standard term, I don’t get it.
Here is a beginner guide that is very helpful: Click here to download The Genesis Guide for Absolute Beginners (PDF – 1.4 MB)
For business websites, you need a web design that accentuates the most important elements of your expertise, while delivering on your value proposition in the first few seconds of the visit. Do that, and you’ll get your chance. Studio Press Authority Pro is another theme that perfectly highlights your knowledge, years of experience, and acquired wisdom. Even if it’s early in your journey toward building expertise and trust, this carefully-constructed design will accelerate how quickly your audience grows.
Among the notable features of Authority Pro:
- It has a built-in area for your lead capture form to make building your list a simple, integrated part of your website experience.
- It has an optional hero image section you can deploy if you have a compelling image that will help you capture and keep attention.
- There is a built-in section for recent content — including your latest blog posts and podcast episodes — so your audience can stay up-to-date with your latest content.
- Have a product you want to promote? Authority Pro makes this easy and seamless to integrate.
- If you have a special message you want every visitor to see, the call-to-action message strip at the top of the page gives you a clear, conspicuous way to do so.
Your theme may come with a subscribe box in the Widgets section so readers can subscribe to get an email when you make a new post.
You can attach it to a mail list company like Mailchimp and start gathering readers for an email newsletter you can do. If you have a product to sell, this is helpful. Mailchimp is free until you go over 2,000 subscribers.
You can pay to have a pop up subscribe box from a company like Devpups.com if you want.
Word Press app
I suggest getting this app on your phone to post on the go, to get photos from your phone more easily and more. It connects with your self-hosted Word Press website.
Writing a post is very simple. Sometimes I start in my phone app, if my photos are there, and save it as a draft. Then I type the rest on the computer as I can type faster there. Other times, I may do the whole post on the phone app or computer. My biggest problem when I started blogging is that I had all these topics I wanted to write about, but all the blogging education I was reading was telling me, you have to have a “niche”. Which made me feel like I could only talk about one thing! The eBook called How To Successfully Organize A Blog With Multiple Topics was a game changer! You can have more than one topic as long as your audience is the same. Don’t be offended if you are not this, but my primary reader is a stay at home mom. That’s the largest percentage so I write for a mom who is needed in the home. I do have some men that like to read the Buying Abandoned Storage Units section, but I am talking about the largest percentage. This eBook explains in full detail how to organize it on your site to make it easier for your readers to find.
Attach social media buttons to your posts with Word Press and/or a social media button company plug-in. This makes it easy for readers to share on Facebook and Pinterest, for example. Sharing, especially when you start a blog or website, is a great way for a reader to reach someone that really needs to hear your post. That has happened with my There is hope after miscarriage post. A woman was able to read it and be encouraged after a dear friend shared it with her. You might be reading this thinking, this is not for me, but I am going to share it with my brother because I know his business needs a website. Or I am going to share it with my cousin because she is a great writer and has so much to share, she needs to start a blog. Notice the social media buttons around this post? You can even see how many times people have shared on Pinterest and Facebook. Some sharing buttons do not have a counter, like Twitter, for example. I would love for you to share this! And thank you to everyone who has and will!
A Few Plugins I recommend for Social Media Sharing
Click To Tweet
Integrates with clicktotweet.com and allows you to insert Click To Tweet boxes in your post like this…
You can be a blogger and earn money from sharing your ideas! Learn how to get completely set up and running today!
Pinterest Pin It Button
Allows you to pin your WordPress blog post images with a little Pinterest button when people hover over it. Hover over one of my photos or ads to see an example of how it works.
Getting a Pin To Go Viral on Pinterest
In my third month of blogging, I had a pin go viral and really saw an increase in affiliate marketing sales (see Monetize section below for affiliate info). This was due to pinning my pins to group boards rather than just my own Pinterest boards. When you pin to your own boards, your followers see it, but if you don’t have many followers, that won’t help much. With a group board of 100 contributors that each have followers, now you have a much larger audience! Yes, people can find you on Pinterest by doing a search, but they were not finding me. This Start A Blog post is just on in a million on Pinterest, but it gets found when I pin it to group boards. You can find group boards to pin to at pingroupie.
I don’t have a lot of time to work on pinning to Pinterest as I am a homeschooling, homemaking mom of 7 with four side jobs. I found an automated program to do my pinning and now I only have to spend an hour a week on it! That program is BoardBooster. Upon signup, you get a 10 day free trial and 500 free pins. Then, after that, if you want to pay for more pins per month, you can. You can change how much you want to spend or stop the program at any given time.
Because this is how you get paid when you start a blog or website, it is important. One way how to start to get your profit from a blog is with affiliate marketing. When you are on a company’s main web page and you scroll down to the bottom and see the word “affiliate”, that is where you go to sign up. That company will decide whether or not to allow you to put their links on your website. You can connect the link to a word or display their banner ads, for example. When a reader clicks-through the link or banner and buys within the time-frame, you get a bounty or referral commission.
With Amazon, you can display ads or link directly to products to get a percentage.
Shareasale is a company that other companies go through to pay their affiliates. You, as a blogger, can sign up with the companies you want to advertise for on the Shareasale website. Each company chooses whether to approve you or not. If they approve you, and you put their links on your website and your readers purchase through them; then your commissions from those companies pay you with one deposit into your bank account from Shareasale, which is very handy.
Keep adding affiliate links to your posts and it will really add up over time. It takes a few minutes to add links to widgets or posts, but it’s the way to go!
Education After You Start A Blog
Keep learning! When you start a blog or website, it may feel like you are learning a foreign language and that is perfectly normal. Just determine in your mind that you will learn something new and apply it each day. There are many great tutorials and You Tube videos on every little detail of your blog or website and suggestions for how to do it. It may seem hard, but if you learn it and apply it, someday you too will be paid for all of this learning and then it will be totally worth it!
For ideas of great eBooks to read and other resources, check out my Resources Page under the Blogging section.
A few of my favorites:
Demystifying SEO from Kim Six
Traffic Transformation Guide from Adventures in Blogging
Pageviews from Pinterest by Krista Dickson
Start A Blog Bootcamp from Adventures in Blogging
Okay, so your blog is all set up. Now how do you get people to read it? Will they just find it on the internet? If you have read the Demystifying SEO eBook I mentioned above and have done everything you can to optimize according to SEO rules, yes. But, you can get so much more traffic from social media! I know it’s hard to believe, but it’s true! I get over 60% of my traffic from Pinterest alone. At this time, some people prefer to search on Pinterest rather than search engines for the topics they are looking for and may find you easier there. It is best to put your pins out on group boards though so you need to learn to do this from eBooks such as Pageviews from Pinterest. You can have a lot of social media accounts, but don’t spend all of your time on all of them. Pick two to really focus on and visit the others just once in a while. My two that I focus on are Pinterest and Twitter.
Now you know how to start a blog or website and if you have done all of these things, it is ready. Now get the word out there through social media (read books from the Education section to learn how to do that) and word of mouth, tell clubs or groups you are in, your holiday letter to family, etc. Happy blogging!
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