First of all, what is a blog and why would you want to create one?
A blog is a type of website that focuses mainly on written content, which are called blog posts. You can start a successful blog on any subject, or niche, you want to write about.
If you write quality content your readers will return again and again, and now, you can monetise your blog and make passive income online – you could put an opt-in form on the home page to gather email addresses so you can email your readers and tell them about new blog posts or ‘must have’ products related to your niche.
But I’m getting ahead of myself!
Your blog may just start out small, but over time could grow into a go-to resource or information hub for your niche as you write about related subjects and post tutorials and reviews. These in turn will bring visitors to your blog who are searching for the information you are posting.
Starting and hosting your own blog is a simple 4 step process.
- Choose what you want to write about, your niche subject
- Sign up for some web hosting
- Choose and purchase a domain name related to your niche
- Install WordPress
Choosing your niche subject – this may well be the most difficult part of this process! Just be sure it’s a subject that interests you greatly – otherwise this blog will be very difficult for you to keep enthused about.
Are you aiming to monetise your blog? Does your niche subject have enough of a following to target your marketing at? Are there plenty of products for that niche? More products could indicate a bigger market.
Sign up for web hosting and choose your domain name
Hang on, I can do this for free on Blogger or WordPress.org I hear you shout. Yes you can use a free blogging platform but if you want the freedom to do whatever you want with your blog, to be in control over your content and advertising and, basically, to be your own boss you will need your own piece of internet real estate – web hosting!
This can seem quite daunting if you’ve never owned a website before but it’s a doddle really, the hardest part is choosing who to go with. My personal, and recommended, choice is HostGator, this site is hosted by HostGator.
HostGator has several shared hosting plans. Shared-hosting means that your website will be on the same server as other people’s, instead of having a whole server to yourself which can be quite expensive. You can scale up to dedicated hosting whenever you need to but that’s probably a while away yet. Get your hosting, Click on this link
Note the prices and offers are those that are available at the time of writing and may vary over time.
HostGator’s plans currently come with a free domain name, unlimited storage and unlimited email addresses (which some other hosting companies charge extra for). You even get a Google Adwords and Yahoo/Bing credit (at the time of writing), so you can advertise your blog.
As you can see, HostGator recommends their Baby Plan, because it allows you to run unlimited blogs, it’s also so close in price to the Hatchling plan which only allows a single blog, that it’s a no-brainer really. To get your started with your free domain name click the “Buy Now” button
You may want to make it relevant to your niche – e.g. if you are going to blog about travel you may choose something like alltravelreviews.com or you can simply choose yourname.com if it’s available.
Next, you will confirm which plan you want to purchase and how long for, the default will be 36 months as that will be the highest discount.
You will also need to enter your billing details.
You’ll see some optional extras you may want to add, note that two of them are selected as security essentials. Feel free to un-select them if you want, though I would keep them. Also ignore the email offer as you can setup unlimited email addresses in your cpanel (hosting dashboard)
and finally, enter a coupon code if you have one and confirm your order details.
Click ‘Checkout Now’ and pay up – Congratulations! You now own your own valuable piece of Internet real estate (aka website and hosting)!
Once you have signed up for and paid HostGator, they will send an email with your account login details. When you have these, sign in to your account and you will see your hosting dashboard.
To go to your hosting control panel click on ‘Launch cpanel’, at the bottom of the right hand list. Then scroll down until you see the Softaculous apps installer panel.
Click on WordPress and you will see the Softaculous WordPress install screen.
Click on ‘Install now’ and follow the instructions, and that’s it you’re done!
You will get an email confirming the install and another one with your administrator access details.
Now to get your blogging boots on!
Log in to the admin dashboard of your wordpress site and you will see something like this:
This is where I hand you over to WordPress to take you through your blog set up. see that small arrow I have inserted in the image? Click on that menu item and you will be taken to a comprehensive walkthrough on how to set up your theme and get your first post published.
Let me know if this post helped you out, and happy blogging.