How to Start a Blog (No Experience Necessary)

start-a-blog

No more putting it off, ya’ll!

You don’t need to be super, duper tech savvy to start a blog, so what are you waiting for?

 

Why Start a Blog for Your Business

If you want to transition your hobby into a full-fledged business or want to make extra low-stress income on the side, blogging is a tactic I wholeheartedly recommend.

start-a-blog
start-a-blog

Why?

1. When your blog grows, it can put extra money in your pocket. I just started sporadically monetizing this blog during the summer with advertising and affiliate links. Last month, I brought in $300 in extra income solely from the blog. This does not include income I make from freelancing a.k.a. my service based freelancing business. So, woop, woop to side hustle income!

2. If you have a service based business (a.k.a. freelance) and you don’t want to monetize with advertising or affiliate income, blogging is still awesome. It’s a sweet way to build trust with potential clients.

3. Even cooler, a blog that showcases your style, voice, and work can attract your ideal clients (and detract people who are not your ideal client).

 

For me, taking blogging seriously has increased my skills, confidence, and business leaps and bounds. The advertising and affiliate income made directly from my blog besides freelancing is a new venture for me, but it’s also growing fast!

As for exposure, I’ve used my blog to land guest features on MagnifyMoney, Wise Bread, The Huffington Post, The Write Life, and more. So, if you simply want to get your writing or voice heard around the world, starting a blog is the logical path to take.

Now, that I’ve given you the why, let’s dig into the how you can start a blog.

Don’t worry.

Starting a website is not something that requires a huge amount of tech knowledge.

I had limited knowledge about websites and was able to start a self-hosted website on my own.

Here’s how to do it on your own, too:

 

Website Vocabulary & Quick Preliminary Tips

Let’s first talk about some vocabulary to make sure we’re on the same page.

BlueHost is a domain and host provider. It’s also what we’ll be using in this tutorial to set up your site.

Your domain name is the address of your website that readers type into a browser to find you. Mine is taytalksmoney.com.

For your site to appear online at that address, you need a place to store your site files. That’s called hosting.

Finally, WordPress is a website builder that turns your files into a pretty website.

One quick word of advice: Choose a domain name with care.

There are millions of websites on the internet, which means there are millions of domain names already taken. You may have to get crafty to find a domain that’s not in use. At the same time, you don’t want to get too crafty.

> Find out if the domain you want is available here:

Your domain needs to be memorable and not too obscure.

In order to grow your blog, you want to focus in on a few specific topics that you’re passionate or knowledgeable about. Your domain name should reflect what you intend to talk about, teach, or share with your audience.

Try to avoid any dashes or underscores in your domain name.

If possible, stick to the .com web extension. That may be difficult if the domain you want is already taken. If you must stray from the .com extension stick to the .co, .org and other short extensions that people are familiar with.

Also, test what your domain is in the .com extension if it’s being used.

You don’t want it to send people somewhere weird if they type it in by accident. For example, someone I know has an extension other than .com, I believe it was (hersitename).info and when you type in her (hersitename).com by accident it went to an x-rated site.

Not a good look, so cover your bases, my friend!

Now on to setting up your site.

I created a super easy video to walk you through this:

First, go to www.bluehost.com and then hit play!

(For peeps who like to work through steps along with the video, I have the instructions below as well 😉 )

Tutorial Transcript

Step #1. Choose Your Hosting Plan

Once you hit the get started screen on BlueHost, you’ll be asked to choose a plan. The basic plan will work for a starter site. You can always upgrade later on if your site needs more space. The starter package comes with a domain which you need.

 

Step #2. Select Your Domain

We talked about domains above so that I won’t get into too much detail here. You’re going to type in your domain idea to see if it’s available. If it’s not available, try other variations or choose from the suggestion lists that BlueHost gives you.

 

Step #3. Enter Your Payment Info

Once you find a domain, it’s time to put in your payment information and weed through the BlueHost add-on services. The add-on you may want to consider using is the privacy one. Read through the terms of each add-on to see if it’s worth the cost for what you’re planning to do with your site. Keep in mind; the billing shows up as per month, but you’ll be charged for an entire year of the service.

 

Step #4. Install WordPress

Agree to the terms and hit submit. You’ll be taken to your brand spanking new BlueHost account from there. The next thing you want to do is download WordPress. There could be a pop up here that will ask if you want to download WordPress.

If not, scroll up to the top toolbar. On the left-hand side click on hosting. At the middle of the hosting page, you’ll see an icon that says install WordPress. Click the button to head to WordPress install.

At the top of the install page, you’ll see a big fat green button for install. Press that button. The installation will take a few sections. When it finishes, you’ll see another big fat orange button that says view credentials.

 

Step #5. Grab Your Credentials to Login

When you click on the button to view your credentials, there will be a credentials box near the middle of the page with another link to view them.

On the new page, you’ll find the username and password for your WordPress site, plus where you’re supposed to go to gain access to your WordPress account.

The website address to get access to your WordPress site backend looks like this >> www.(yourwebsite).com/wp-admin.

Click on the admin website and you’ll arrive at a page to where you can copy and paste your username and password to get into the dashboard of your WordPress site.

 

Step #6. It’s Official; You Have a WordPress Site!

In the video, I gave you a brief rundown of the backend of WordPress.

What you need to know is the left-hand panel of WordPress is your friend.

Here are a few highlights:

  • House Button – At the very top left of your WordPress site you’ll see a tiny house. When you click on the house, there’s a tab to view your blog. If you view it right now, it’ll be super, duper plain.
  • Posts – To add posts to your blog, hit the post button and add new.
  • Pages – Same deal here with pages as with posts.
  • Media – The media area is where you can add video, audio, photos, and other forms of media.
  • Appearance – This area is where you make design changes to your site. If you hit themes from the appearance window, you can find some free themes already loaded in there. You can also search Google for free WordPress theme downloads to find something you like to upload. If you find a theme, you can upload it using the upload button at the top of the theme screen.
  • Settings – Go to settings to update your email and other basic information about your site.

Bonus: Beautify Your WordPress Site

If you want more in-depth help with the content and design aspects of your new blog, be sure to check out my free Blog Revamp guide and checklist.

And that’s all folks, you have a freakin’ blog!!!

 

***This page does include affiliates links. What does that mean? For referring you to products that I use regularly, I get a small benefit that in no way impacts how much you pay for the service.

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