Before we start discussing about different methods of making money online, we need to first of all sort out the essentials because everything has stages and most of all, you need to learn how to crawl before learning how to run. What i mean by this is that we have to get you online first! Today I will show you how to build your first blog, which is surprisingly easy.
The fact that you are reading this article is an indication that you are interested in blogging and want to start a blog, either for personal or business purpose. You probably have a little idea about how to start a blog, and you need a comprehensive guide on the subject.
Don’t worry, I was once in your shoe and had little information to start with. Over the years, I have garnered enough experience as a blogger and have assisted a couple of people to launch their blogs as well.
In this article, I will share some useful tips and a step-by-step process that will help you to get your blog up and running in a couple of hours.
- 1 How to Start a Blog | Choose Your Preferred Blogging Platform
- 1.1 Self-Hosting Or Free Alternative?
- 1.2 Free Hosting
- 1.3 Self Hosting
- 1.4 How Does Web Hosting Work?
- 1.5 Affiliate links
- 1.6 Black Friday Deals
- 1.7 FAQ on How to Start a WordPress Blog
- 1.8 How To Set Up A Blog On WordPress With Hostgator Hosting
- 1.9 Step 1: Choose a hosting plan
- 1.10 Step 2: Choose a domain name
- 1.11 Step 3: Choose the billing cycle
- 1.12 Step 4: Provide your billing info
- 1.13 Step 5: Choose your add-ons
- 1.14 Step 6: Enter your coupon code
- 1.15 Step 7: Review the details
- 1.16 Step 8: Install WordPress
- 1.17 Conclusion
How to Start a Blog | Choose Your Preferred Blogging Platform
To start with, choosing the best blogging platform is one of the most critical steps you must take to make it easier for you to start blogging. This is a necessity considering that there are tons of blogging platforms in the industry with each of them promising to be the best.
To enable you to make the right choice, I will review the top 5 blogging platforms in no particular order and focus on their features and pros and cons.
Squarespace is a Content Management System that you can use for creating a blog or an eCommerce store. This web developing platform allows you to create a blog even without any coding skills. It equally makes site editing easy thanks to its user-friendly design.
You can choose from the awesome templates offered by the blogging platform and tweak it to meet your specific needs without stress. That’s how simple it is to use this platform.
Tumblr is a decent blogging platform for beginners. The blogging platform has continued to attract microbloggers over the years with its attractive designs and ease of use.
If you are considering blogging in the paintings, photography, or design niche, Tumblr has all the features that will make blogging absolutely easy for you.
Blogger is one of the most popular blogging platforms with millions of blogs and websites built on this platform. One of the many projects of Google, it is absolutely easy to create a blog via Blogger.
Blogger offers an open source approach, a distinction between this platform and others. When you add that to the integration of several Google apps such as Google Drive and Gmail, you have a simple and free blogging platform where you can create a blog without the assistance of a coder. It simply gives you the tools you need for creating a blog where simple design is a necessity.
Joomla has booked a space among the most popular open source Content Management Systems. Joomla has a great list of paid and free plugins that take off the challenges associated with web customization.
WordPress is unarguably the most popular blogging platform. By hosting a little below 60% of all websites, it is the most used Content Management System around the globe.
WordPress is also a free platform that allows you to create a blog without challenges. Although WordPress has a more in-depth learning curve than Blogger, it is nevertheless still reasonably easy to learn and use.
Self-Hosting Or Free Alternative?
After creating your blog, the next step is hosting. Hosting your blog is tantamount to renting office space for your offline business. Without the office, the offline business is practically nonexistent.
You have two options to choose from. You either use the free hosting offered by the blogging platform or self-host your blog. Let me briefly explain these two hosting options.
The free hosting option implies that you are hosted on the platform. If you are using a WordPress platform, your blog will look like www.myblog.wordpress.com or www.myblog.wordpress.org. The same applies to the free hosting offered by Blogger. It offers blogspot.com extension for free hosting.
Hence, your blog will look like www.myblog.blogspot.com.
If you take a look at these free hosting options, they make your blog look unprofessional since you will always count on the blogging platform for everything.
You have probably come across the term, self-hosting. This term refers to hosting your blog on a hosting company, and thus you have absolute control over the blog, unlike free hosting where you depend on the hosting offered by the platform freely.
You can do the hosting on some popular hosting website hosting providers such as HostGator, iPage, BlueHost, and a host of other credible hosting companies.
I will still write a guide on how to create a blog on a WordPress and hosting it on HostGator later in this piece.
With the assistance of a hosting company, your blog will be launched on the cyberspace to make it accessible to people across the globe. This will make the blog look more professional and puts it in the right condition for adding more functionality as well as make it ready for monetization.
For instance, if you host your blog on any of these hosting providers, you will enjoy these excellent benefits:
How Does Web Hosting Work?
- Free SSL Certificate: One of the most important factors you should consider when hosting your blog is the security of the blog and the visitors. With the SSC Certificate offered freely, you are guaranteed the maximum protection of both your blog and the users. It is a part of the plan.
- Free templates: Most hosting providers offer their users a good number of free templates to choose from. You can tweak a template until you have the desired result without having to build the blog through hard coding. That will save you time that can be used for other purposes.
- Free domain registration: Your blog’s domain name is the identifying name given to the blog to differentiate it from other blogs. For instance, this blog is topbloggingcoach.com. That’s my domain name and distinguishes between my blog and other blogs out there. You can register a unique domain name for your blog freely when you subscribe to a hosting plan during the Black Friday Deals period.
- Customized cPanel: The cPanel offers you the tool that you need to customize your blog. Within the cPanel, you can set up your blog to your preference, assign menus to your posts, and do practically everything that will improve the look and feel of your blog as well as make it great.
- Impressive customer support: As a leading name in the industry, HostGator ensures that its hundreds of thousands of customers have access to the needed support whenever they need such support. You can benefit from its 24/7 server monitoring, an online support portal with tons of useful resources such as video tutorials and articles, and other supports. Auto-backup and one-click scalability are also offered with the cPanel, making the panel to be very clean and easy to use.
- You can get started easily: HostGator provides you with a website builder you can easily use to create your blog.
FAQ on How to Start a WordPress Blog
How To Set Up A Blog On WordPress With Hostgator Hosting
HostGator is one of the most preferred hosting companies for blog owners. Over the years, the platform has provided hundreds of thousands of blog owners a platform for creating awareness for their blogs on the web. With millions of registered blogs on the platform, HostGator has come to stay.
If you are contemplating hosting your blog on this platform, here are the step-by-step guides that will assist you to create and launch your blog in less than 2 hours.
Step 1: Choose a hosting plan
Visit HostGator’s official page and click on “WordPress Hosting” to have access to the corresponding hosting plans. The three available hosting plans for WordPress blogs are:
Starter Plan: This is the most preferred hosting plan for beginners. It is apparently the cheapest hosting plan that will cost you $5.95 monthly subscription fee.
Nevertheless, it offers you the basic features you need to keep your blog up and running: unmetered bandwidth, shared SSL Certificate, unmetered disk space, unlimited domains, 1GB backup, 100,000 monthly visits, and what have you. If you are low on budget or want the basic features, this plan is the best for you.
Standard Plan: You may consider this hosting plan if you need some other features that are not available on the Hatchling Plan. Although it is a bit more expensive at $7.95, the Baby Plan is obviously still affordable and offers a wide range of features that include all the features provided by the Baby Plan and more.
For instance, the Standard Plan allows you to host two sites, offers 2GB backups as well as makes provision for 200,000 monthly visitors.
Business Plan: Last but not the least is the Business Plan. Going by the name, you will realize that this hosting plan is specifically designed for customers that want to host business blogs with the potential for massive traffic.
Think of all the features of the Baby Plan and other amazing features, this hosting plan offers it all, making it the most comprehensive plan. It is a bit more expensive at $.95 per month but offers 3GB backup, provision for 500,000 monthly visits and offers you the opportunity to host three different sites.
Click “Buy Now” to have access to the different features offered by the hosting plan of your choice. When you do, you will see a promo offering you 3 years hosting for the price of 2 that gives you 53% off.
If you want to take advantage of that offer, accept the offer. Otherwise, cancel it and proceed to the next stage.
Step 2: Choose a domain name
I’ve previously explained the function of a domain name. After choosing a hosting plan, the next step is to select a domain name for your blog. The rule of thumb is that your domain name should reflect what the blog is all about. Since I blog blogging related stuff, I chose a domain name that reflects it. A simple look at your domain name should give potential visitors an idea of what your blog is about.
Depending on the type of blog you run, you can choose from a wide range of domain name extensions. The available extensions are com, org, net, biz, co, and others.
Step 3: Choose the billing cycle
Whatever hosting plan you settle down with, there are billing options to choose from.
HostGator’s billing cycle starts from monthly subscription to as much as a 3-year subscription at a go. So, consider your financial power and choose the most appropriate billing cycle within your means.
When you are through with the billing cycle, create a security PIN. This should be between 4 and 8 characters long and must be numbers only.
Step 4: Provide your billing info
HostGator will want to find out whether you have sufficient fund to proceed with the hosting. Thus, you will be required to provide your billing info using the form shown below:
Step 5: Choose your add-ons
HostGator offers some optional add-ons that are designed to improve the performance of your blog in addition to increase its security. Some of the optional add-ons are SiteLock Monitoring, Free SSL Certificate, and Site Backup as seen below:
How secure you want your blog to be will determine the add-ons you want to add to your blog.
Step 6: Enter your coupon code
If you have a coupon code, enter it into the appropriate column and click “Validate.”
Step 7: Review the details
After validating the coupon, you will be given a breakdown of your subscription. Review the details and ensure that everything is in order before confirming the subscription.
This is the subscription detail for a user that subscribed for 36 months. Your details may be different from this depending on the number of years of the month you subscribe to as well as the add-ons you select.
If you are satisfied with the details, check the Terms and Conditions agreement box. Finally, click Checkout Now to finalize the registrations. After hitting the Checkout Now button, HostGator will give you access to your Control panel via the provided email address and a password to proceed with the hosting.
Step 8: Install WordPress
The next step is to install WordPress on your HostGator. To do this, visit HostGators website and click on “Billing Login.” Enter your username and password before clicking on “login” to give you access to your dashboard from where you can proceed with the installation.
Your email address is your username while the email sent to you after creating your account will include your email. Once you are logged into the site, select the Hosting tab from the available options. Then, click on “Get Started with WordPress Today” from the special offers available.
When you are through with that, you will be taken to another page, QuickInstall.
In the Application URL section, select your registered domain name and check “Enable Auto Upgrades” before you proceed to supply all other necessary information.
Click “Install Now” after supplying all the necessary information. For security purpose, don’t use “Admin” in the “Admin User” section. This password is pretty easy to guess and will give unauthorized hackers access to your blog without your consent. Use a unique password that is quite difficult to guess.
You will receive a congratulatory message after the successful installation of WordPress. You can then proceed with writing your first post and publish it as soon as possible.
The cost of setting up a hosted blog may run into about a hundred dollars when you pay for a year hosting. However, you can reduce your hosting cost drastically if you make your hosting during this year’s HostGator Black Friday Deals.
Expected to run between November 22nd, 2018 and November 27th, 2018, you can get an 80% discount on any hosting plan of your choice. To make it easier for potential subscribers to avail themselves of this opportunity, the promo is available about three to four times daily, and you can access it with a promo code that will be available during this period.
Thus, rather than spend $100 on hosting your blog during that period, you will spend a meager $20, a whopping 80% off the regular hosting cost.