This post may contain affiliate links. 

 

I created this how to start a blog tutorial as the only guide you will need to quickly and easily start a blog.

Blogging has changed my life. Before blogging, I had been wanting to start a blog for YEARS. Basically since 2007. I can kick myself every single day for not starting sooner. There really isn’t any reason to delay. When you purchase Bluehost through my link below, you get the lowest discounted price available and a FREE domain.

Click here to start your blog and refer to the tutorial and guide below for directions on how to set your blog up.

how-to-start-a-money-making-blog-in-5-simple-steps-pinterest-imageI use my blog as my business – to market my web design services, coaching services and to host my information products. It is my honest opinion that anyone wanting to be an entrepreneur today must have a blog. Not only as a creative outlet but to market your skills and abilities.

Why a Self-Hosted Blog?

First, there are two methods of creating a blog. One method is a free service provider such as Blogger, Tumblr, WordPress.COM. The other method is by self-hosting a WordPress website.

It is very difficult and many times impossible monetize a blog that is not self-hosted. This is because you do not own your blog. These free service providers own your blog and can delete it at any time. Therefore, if you want to make money blogging, then I highly recommend self-hosting through Bluehost.

Just about anyone can make money blogging allowing you to pay for your hosting fees. If you are interested in freelancing or turning your blog into a business, then you must be self-hosted. To make money, you can do many of the things I do on this blog such as affiliate marketing, advertising, sponsored posts, freelance services, etc. If you are looking to do business with companies, many will only consider self-hosted websites as a professional website.

Why Bluehost?

  • Bluehost is named the top web hosting service provider year after year.
  • You can start your blog with Bluehost for as low as $3.49 per month (this low price is through my link only).
  • You are eligible for a FREE domain!
  • They do not have any contracts. You can get a refund at any time.
  • It is very easy to create a WordPress site with Bluehost. Follow my tutorial below for step-by-step instructions.
  • WordPress through Bluehost is FREE.
  • Bluehost has amazing technical support. I had them on the phone with me one time for 45 minutes!
  • You will be self-hosted allowing you to monetize your blog and have a professional appearance.
  • Bluehost is not location dependent. You can purchase hosting no matter where you live in the world.

IMPORTANT: Difference between WordPress.com & WordPress.org

There is a BIG Difference. Remember, there is self-hosted and then free hosted. WordPress.com is a free hosting provider just like Blogger. This platform is for the hobby bloggers. If you want to be a serious blogger and monetize your blog, you will want to use WordPress.org.

When you create your account with Bluehost, they will provide WordPress for FREE. In the tutorial below, I show you have to install it on your new Bluehost blog. WordPress.org gives you complete control of your blog and you own the rights to everything.

NOTE: If you already have a WordPress.com website or even a Blogger website, do not fear. Once you sign up with Bluehost, they can help you transfer your free site over to your new hosted site.

5 Steps to Start a Blog TUTORIAL:

1 – Register with BlueHost

2 – Install WordPress

3 – Navigating WordPress

4 – Designing your Blog

5 – Monetizing your blog to start making money today

Click here to start creating your blog then follow along.

1 – Register with Bluehost

Click the green get started now button.

how to start a blog with bluehost

Pick a package

The low advertised package prices are for annual subscriptions. I highly recommend you purchase the annual package. It is cheaper, you get a free domain and you will not have to worry about your website expiring each month. If you chose month-to-month, you will have to pay for your domain name.

For most people, the basic plan is the best one to start your blog with. If you decide later you want a different plan, you can upgrade and pay the difference.

How to start a blog with bluehost

After you click the green select you will be brought to this screen.

Pick or use a domain name

A – Picking your domain name.

My suggestion is to use your full name or pen name as your domain name. If you are trying to blog anonymously then, of course, chose a different domain name. However, if you are looking to make money blogging and become an authority in your niche, then having your name as your domain name is the best option.

As you can see from my domain name, I chose my name as the URL. I mainly did this to

  1. to brand myself
  2. to make it easy with social media
  3. I wanted to write on many different topics and may take my blog in a different direction one day.

If you are wanting to blog anonymously, then I recommend you find a domain name that is short and easy to remember. Less than 20 characters is key. Also, try and make the domain name a little broader in terms of niche so you don’t pigeon- hole yourself in case you want to change the focus/topic of your blog in the future.

B – Sign-up with a Domain Name that you Already Own.

I had purchased some domain names from another company and wanted to use my Bluehost account to host them all. If you decide you want to purchase more domain names after getting the free one through Bluehost, I would use this company because their domains cost as low as $8.99 each. This company also offers their domain privacy protection as part of the $8.99 cost. Score!

If you purchase other domain names at a later date and want to connect them to your Bluehost account, you will need to change the name servers at the company that you purchased your domain names through.

The name servers need to be ns1.bluehost.com; ns2.bluehost.com. If you ever have any questions on how to change them, call Bluehost technical support. They will walk you through the process like they did for me.  😉

Create Your Account

Once you’ve entered your domain name, Bluehost will ask you to create your account and purchase your plan.

In order to get the cheapest price, you will want to pay for 36 months upfront. If you are not comfortable with this, then choose the 12-month plan. Even at 12 months, the prices are still very inexpensive.  Please remember, you can cancel at any time and get your money back. So there are no obligations when you purchase the 36-month plan. And at least you get the cheapest price.

I recommend purchasing Domain Privacy Protection. If you do not, then you will start receiving spam mail and email. The privacy protection keeps your home address safe.

You do not need any of the other options, so make sure to uncheck each of them.

how to start a wordpress site on bluehost

If you are ready to follow these steps I’ve outlined above, click here.

2 – Install WordPress

The first time I purchased Bluehost, I called their technical support and asked them to walk me through installing WordPress. They also have created this great video tutorial.

It is very simple and only takes a few minutes.

  • After you’ve made your purchase, you will receive a welcome email. This email will have a link to your cPanel. The cPanel is your dashboard in Bluehost
  • You will then need to click on “One-Click Install” this will take you to the MOJO Marketplace
  • Click on WordPress under the Blogs heading
  • Click on Install – a brand new installation
  • Click “Show Advanced Options” This is where you will name your site and set your username and password. You cannot change your username, so make sure it’s a good one!
  • Check that you understand the terms and conditions
  • Click “Install Now”

Once the installation is complete, you can go to www.yourdomain.com/wp-admin to log-in. (Make sure you replace your-domain with the actual name of your domain. 😉

YAY!! You now have a WordPress website through Bluehost.

If you are ready to follow these steps I’ve outlined above, click here.

Now, let’s take your blog a few steps further and discuss general navigation and design in WordPress.

3 – Navigating WordPress

Navigating in your WordPress “back-office” takes a little getting used to. There are PAGES and POSTS and PLUGINS, oh my! You may be wondering what you got yourself into!? Don’t panic! I’ll give you the basics so you can get familiar.

WordPress Navigation

POSTS

At the basic, these are your blog posts. They are the ones that are attached to a category and show up in your blog feed.

MEDIA 

Any picture you want to show up on your blog must first be loaded into the media section ofWordPresss.

PAGES 

These are your static pages. They do not show up in your blog categories or blog feed. They are your About Page, Contact Page, etc.

APPEARANCE 

The appearance section is where you change the “Theme”. This is how you change the look and feel of your blog.

PLUGINS

Are located under appearance and allows you to add items to your sidebar, footer, in posts, etc.

If you are ready to follow these steps I’ve outlined above, click here.

4 – Designing your Blog

When I created my first blog, I used one of the free themes already installed on WordPress. I didn’t like the look and feel and really wanted to be able to customize areas of my blog. I searched the web for hours until I found the Genesis Framework and a child theme. This site is currently running on the Genesis Framework – Pretty Chic Child Theme, and has allowed me to customize sections of my website that I couldn’t before when I was using a free theme.

I recommend the Genesis Framework for 3 reasons.

  • It is updated constantly, providing security for my website
  • I only had to purchase it once and can install it on any other websites I own for free
  • There are hundreds of child themes that run on the Genesis Framework

Now you may be wondering, “Roxanne, I just installed WordPress, now you are asking me to install Genesis Framework and install a Child Theme?!”

I know it sounds crazy, and it literally took me a year to wrap my head around that (I’m kinda slow sometimes.) BUT, this has been the best thing I have found to design my website the way I want.

I previously spent HOURS, days even looking for the perfect theme. The one that would jump out at me and I would scream “That’s it!” Well, I NEVER found that theme. I have purchased way too many WordPress themes for me to admit. And I wasn’t able to customize a SINGLE ONE! UGH!

Now with the Genesis Framework, I can install as many Child Themes as I want and customize them to my heart’s desire. (Please note, you can purchase the framework and child theme together as a bundle. Or you can purchase the framework and then purchase as many child themes separately as you want.)

To be clear, you do not customize the Genesis Framework. That is like the frame of a car. You leave it alone. The Child Theme is like the paint job. We can change that as many times as we want without messing up your site. (Also, plugins are like custom parts for your car. You can add new rims, a spoiler, tint, etc. with plugins.)

After you’ve purchased the Genesis Framework and a child theme, follow these instructions.

How to Install Genesis Framework & a Child Theme

Below is a video that will walk you step-by-step (it’s super easy) on how to install your Genesis Framework and Child Theme onto your blog.

What are Plugins?

This is a great video by Bluehost that explains what plugins are.

Here is a list of some plugins I use on my site and why:

  1. Askimet – filters out spam comments on your site and comes automatically installed
  2. VaultPress – creates a file that I store in Dropbox of my website in case it crashes or I need to restore it.
  3. Pretty Link Pro – for my affiliate links. It’s how I keep track of each link.
  4. Social Warfare – for my social icons and social sharing
  5. W3 Total Cache – so my site runs faster
  6. WP Login Limit Attempts – to stop hackers
  7. Yoast SEO – helps with increasing the SEO of my blog posts

5 – Monetizing your Blog

There is a TON of information out there on different ways to make money from your blog. The main way many people start is through affiliate marketing.

These are my top 3 affiliate income earners so far:

You can advertise your services like I do through your blog to increase your income potential as well. Check out my resource guide on 60+ ways to make money online – many of theme utilize a blog. 

I HIGHLY recommend you take the Course – Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing. Michelle breaks down exactly how to implement a successful affiliate marketing campaign to maximize your blogs earnings potential. Before I began blogging I took her course so I would be starting out on the right foot. She explains where to find affiliates, how to apply, and how to successfully advertise. Last month, Michelle made over $50,000 from affiliate marketing! YES, it’s true!!

I want to hear from you!

Leave a comment if you still have questions about starting a blog. If you already have a blog, what do you enjoy most about blogging?

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