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So you’ve decided you want to start a blog! Congratulations! I did the same thing four years ago and I’ve never looked back. If I woke up tomorrow and was told I have been dreaming this entire time, I would totally believe it because blogging has led me to do things I never thought would be possible. So, you’re making a life changing decision here. But, as they say, nothing good comes by easy. And the same applies to blogging. But the good news is that the technical stuff behind the blog doesn’t have to be a nightmare. Here are some easy steps on how to start a blog that will get you up and running in minutes!
How to Start a Blog – The Technical Stuff Behind the Brand
The very first thing you have to do is decide what you want your blog brand to be about. How will your brand suit you? How can you choose a brand when there are so many things you love? This can be scary for many, but it doesn’t have to be. My advice is to start with what you love the most and then think about how you can monetize it.
I am launching two new brands this year. The first thing I did was write down (yes with pen and paper) everything I wanted to write about. For example; Travel, Film, Gaming, Recipes, Toys, DIY, Beauty, Fashion, and Tech all in the Geek vertical. I can see right away that several of those topics will allow me to monetize. So I want to think of a brand that will speak to those audiences.
And that’s how you come up with a domain name. Think creative yet poignant.
Which leads me to my first step!
Step 1: Decide on a domain name
Or several because you don’t know what will be available. Write it down, ask your friends what they like and don’t and why. You can see what’s owned and not owned just by entering into an address bar. Once you’ve got the winning name, you’ll want to go to choose a host where you can purchase everything (but the theme) that you will need to get you started.
Step 2: Choose a host
There are many hosting companies out there. I’ve used everything from GoDaddy to KnownHost. One being on the value end, the other on the more expensive end. Recently I grew tired paying so much to my host and I asked a bunch of my colleagues which host they use. I was surprised to hear Bluehost over and over again. And then even more shocked when I learned the pricing. It was a no-brainer for me to make a switch.
Once you get to Bluehost you’ll want to click on “get started now”.
Which package do you get?
There is no question about it, you want to either get “prime” or “GoPro”. Anything else and you’re basically planning to be a hobby blogger. This is essentially the vault to your site. It’s not something to cheese on. And since they have such good prices, it really shouldn’t even be an issue to begin with.
You will then be brought to this screen where you can get your domain name for free.
Any additional tools for security, SEO, privacy, and much more.
Think of your host as the place that holds all your stuff. Your storage for your website. Personally, I recommend a VPS (Virtual Private Server) so you know what’s on your server. If you’re just starting out and you want to cut costs, you can certainly use a shared server. But you’ll want to get onto a VPS once things start to pick up. It’s best to have your money maker in your hands.
Bluehost is the #1 recommended by WordPress, offers near perfect uptime for sites, and 24/7 support. I repeat 24/7 support. I can’t stress how important this is. When you’re on a press junket and your site it hacked into, or you want to set up that email for your new virtual assistant, you going to want 24-hour support.
Step 3: Install WordPress
Because you want to design your site, you going to need to install WordPress. This is really easy. The most powerful blogging dashboard is just seconds away from your fingertips. Click on the Install WordPress button under “website builders”.
This will take you to MOJO Marketplace where you can click “Start” to begin the download process.
Select the domain you are installing WordPress on and hit “Check Domain”.
Now enter the name of your blog/site, your preferred username, a password, and your email. Click “Install Now”.
And the installation is good to go!
Step 4: Pick a theme
Now you can make your site look how you want! There are tons of free themes on wordpress.org to choose from. Other sites like Theme Forest and StudioPress are great places to look. Note: some themes are free and some are not. I’ve always loved using ThemeForest.com.
You want to search for a WordPress theme followed by blog/magazine. Then you want to filter your results by a high volume of sales and 5 stars. The last thing you want is a theme that is buggy. A good theme will run you about $50-$70. It’s a one time fee and it’s a great way to launch with a bang because these themes are SMASHING!
Once you’ve picked your theme and purchased it, you can download it to your hard drive and then upload it into the WordPress dashboard under the “Appearance” menu option on your left sidebar. You can log into your WordPress by typing in your domain.com/admin.
And just like that, you have a blog! Now it’s time to start customizing your site for your brand. You want to launch with about 50 articles. You can click “new post” and start writing! Be sure you are uploading photos in the correct size (your theme should tell you what size is best for that theme) and using all the best SEO practice to optimize your site for Google searches. It only takes a few weeks for Google to start recognizing you, so get it right the first time!
Good luck on your journey to start a blog and if you have ANY questions at all leave me a comment below!