Wondering how to start a blog? The good news is it’s not overly difficult to do. All you need is a little bit of guidance and your blogging dreams could become a reality in just a matter of a few moments.
Starting a blog doesn’t have to cost a whole lot of money. What if I told you that the investment for your self-hosted WordPress blog can start out as little as $3.95 a month for hosting plus the cost of your domain name which is around $15 a year? That’s a very small investment to put towards something that could result in bringing you an income of hundreds, or even thousands, per month.
Note, this article does not discuss the differences in whether or not you should use free WordPress.com or Blogger. I do not recommend using free blogging platforms. You are limited to many things when using these platforms. This article simply is going to help you get started with a Self Hosted WordPress Blog.
Before I go any further, I have to disclose to you that this post will include recommendations of products and services that I use and may include affiliate links. What this means is that I will make a small commission or referral fee from them if you make a purchase. These affiliate links are just one of the many simple ways I monetize my blog and helps me afford to keep my blog up and running.
How To Start A Blog Using WordPress
It’s really not difficult to start a blog. If I can do it, anyone can! Did I mention how much I absolutely love my “job”? I get to write and share with my readers about the things I enjoy doing while getting paid for it! Not only that, but my family gets to enjoy these perks and items as well!
Starting a blog has changed our lives, and for the better! We get to try out products and write about them, and also go on trips and sponsorships as well. Here are just a few destinations my family and I have traveled to for our blog. To say there’s never a dull moment in the blogging world is an understatement! It’s actually really exciting to be a full-time blogger!
Some of our fun family adventures have included:
How do you know if blogging is right for you?
If you like to write, why not blog? Wouldn’t you like to get paid to do the things you love like cooking, traveling, or sharing great reviews on products you already use and love? Not to mention all the amazing local entertainment and attractions that your family might be invited too. It is a pretty awesome deal, isn’t it? Well, you can have this too. This can literally be your life.
It starts with a self-hosted WordPress blog. This is just the beginning. It’s important to know though that instant success isn’t a reality. I am not going to make promises to you about your blog taking off, either. Blogging takes a lot of work and commitment on your part. But, if you’re serious and dedicated, you can make it become something that can ultimately earn you a nice income. (Some people have even been able to leave their jobs and blog full-time!)
How to purchase Your Blog Domain Name
First things first. You must pick a domain name. Your domain is going to be the name of your blog. For example, the name of my blog is Life Family Fun. You choose what speaks to you and what you are about. You want it to be good, catchy, and unique. A domain is the foundation of a blog. While you do have to pay for a domain, it’s not overly expensive. You can grab your domain for as little as $15 for the whole year! I recommend Bluehost for my hosting and domain purchase. I like to keep it all in the same place.
Set up your Hosting Using Bluehost
When you are starting out, I would recommend the basic hosting plan with Bluehost. If your blog takes off quickly and you find your page views surpass the reach of what the beginning plan can do, then you can always upgrade your hosting plan later. There are other companies out there that offer hosting as well, but Bluehost is my first choice.
After you purchase your domain and hosting plan, you will need to visit your CPanel. This is where you will install the WordPress to your website.
Plus, the support at Bluehost is wonderful. If you are confused once you have purchased your host and domain and don’t know where to go from there, reach out to their support team. They are super helpful and are very quick in answering any issues or concerns.
This is where you’ll probably spend the majority of your time getting your bearings on your blog. Probably for me in the beginning, the hardest part about starting a blog is learning all the ins and outs of WordPress. There is a lot of information about how to start a blog, but not all that much on the process of getting your content up and going. There are plenty of free training videos available on YouTube that will help you navigate WordPress. Your dashboard will look like this. This is your hub where you will create content.
Here are a few tips for getting your blog going on WordPress:
Choose a theme layout
WordPress offers some great free themes in your Dashboard but I recommend purchasing a theme. Some recommend Genesis with a child theme, like Restored 316 themes.
Most theme developers come with six-month to one year support. Make sure you choose a theme that is WordPress Self Hosted compatible. There is usually always a manual that comes with your theme purchase that provides explicit instructions on how to install it.
How to write content for a blog
Once your theme is picked out and WordPress is installed, you will begin adding content to your site. In your dashboard, you will want to find where it says “Posts” (not Pages). This is where your blog and the magic happens. I would recommend you start creating new content that you want on your blog immediately. Because let’s face it; you can’t really make money off a blog if you have nothing on it. Decide what your niche will be, but write what you enjoy. For example, my blog is a lifestyle blog and I love to write about family, food, and travel.
Where To Find Photos and Images for your blog
Also another great tip I want to share with you. Make sure to use great photos for your blog, especially your featured images. I recommend using original photos but if you can’t just yet, there are great places to purchase photos for very minimal costs. I usually use DepositPhotos.com if I had to use a stock photo image.
How to grow your following
Now here is the fun part. Growing your following.
The most important thing you should do right away, is creating your email opt-in! You need to create a way for readers and followers to subscribe to your blog from the very beginning of starting your blog. There is no reason to wait.
Doing so allows you to start an email list, which can then be used to send out your new posts or keep your readers informed of all your upcoming travels and events. You can even share products with them that you are selling or featuring.
Constant Contact Email Service
I recommend using Constant Contact as a simple and easy way to set up your email list correctly on your blog. They provide you with an easy to use format, great guidance and customer support and options for how you want your opt-in to look. You can try it free for 60 days. Make certain that this is one of the first things that you create on your blog to capture those readers!
I know this is just the beginning for starting your self hosted WordPress Blog and I don’t want you to feel overwhelmed. Starting a brand new blog can be a very scary and overwhelming thing. But don’t worry, you’ll find that the blogging community is very welcoming and supportive! The more that you search and find other bloggers, the better you’ll start to understand how a blog truly works.
Blogging is a great way to make extra money especially if you are a stay at home mom, dad, full-time college student, or retiree, etc. It can also become the most rewarding full-time jobs you will ever have! I know it has been for me.
Now is the time to create and start your blog! You have what it takes to make it happen, so get started!
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