Do you want to learn how to build your own blog to make money?
Then read on.
I will walk you through the five basic steps of how to build a blog website. The basic steps are common to almost all blogs.
And anyone can do it.
Hopefully, I will be able to answer your questions as you read through this. First of all, there are some technical aspects about building your own blog. Sorry to say! But as they say, forewarned is forearmed!
There are many reasons to create your own blog, but the biggest reason for me back in 1999 was make additional income on the internet.
5 Simple Steps to Start a Blog
Here are a five simple steps that you will need to complete to start your blog:
- Select your blogging platform
- Grab a domain name and get hosting
- Set up your blog
- Design your blog
- Start creating useful content that helps and informs people
Below I will walk you through how I would approach each step if I were to start a blog and suggest further reading that will be helpful on other important questions like: choosing a niche, finding readers for your blog, building community with your blog, and thinking about how to make money from it, etc.
My hope is that this step by step blog guide will help you to start your first blog.
Step 1: Selecting a Blogging Platform
Learning how to build a blog has never been easier. A blogger can set up a website in a matter of minutes. You no longer HAVE to know HTML and CSS.
Today, you have the option of using an online website builder associated with a web host, using a stand alone web editor or hiring a website designer. I am going to talk about how to build a website using an online website builder associated with a web host.
Generally, your online website builder comes with a content management system or platform. This is an application for the creation and modification of website content and includes web-based publishing.
WordPress is one of the most, if not the most, popular content management systems used. WordPress allows a user, even beginners with limited expertise, to add, modify and remove content from a Web site without requiring webmaster services.
To start a blog you’ll need to select a blogging platform – or a tool that helps you to get your content up onto the web.
There are many free blogging platforms available online, but in my mind the choice is easy.
Using WordPress benefits users because WordPress is:
- flexible – thousands of plugins are available increase website functionality.
- easy to use – no coding, programming or file transfer programs are required. WordPress makes building professional looking websites easy.
- easy to create websites – over one thousand templates or website themes are available.
- supportable – with over 60 million WordPress websites worldwide, there is a huge support base.
- free – WordPress is a free and open-source software package. So there is no requirement to buy website development software.
- social media friendly – many themes and templates come with social networking capability built in. Many social media plugins are available to customize your website.
- easy to learn – WordPress has proven to be a program that is easy to learn.
See how easy it is to build a website
How to build a website is easy. Simple as 1-2-3.
- Pick a name and enter it above.
- Get a free account at SiteRubix.
- Get two free websites and training program.
Step 2: Grab a Domain Name and Set Up Your Blog Hosting
I recommend using Wealthy Affiliate for obtaining your own domain and hosting set up. Some of the steps listed below are done for you with Wealthy Affiliate.
If you prefer doing your own thing without the desire for extensive training and large community support, then I recommend Bluehost.
The following additional information about Bluehost and Wealthy Affiliate may be useful.
- Bluehost has a variety of hosting plans to meet budget and technical requirements.
- Bluehost offers discounted prices for new accounts. Renewals are at standard prices. Wealthy Affiliate offers a discount for the first month of premium service.
- Wealthy Affiliate includes SiteSSL (HTTPS) and SiteProtect (Spam Blocker) as part of their premium package. Depending on hosting plan, Bluehost has add-ons for additional monthly fees. For example, the $19.99 WordPress Standard Hosting Plan includes Free SSL and several other premium add-ons.
- Bluehost offers cpanel access for the technically inclined. Wealthy Affiliate does not.
- Bluehost offers 30-day money back guarantee.
Choose a Domain
The next step of building your blog is getting a domain name (registering your domain). A domain name is part of a website address so that people can find you on the internet. Homebusinessforveterans.com is my domain name for this website.
An alternative way (and way to build a blog for free) is use a subdomain name. A subdomain is part of a larger domain. I use a subdomain as a development site for Home Business for Veterans. The subdomain name is nbfvdevelopment.siterubix.com. (I mispelled hbfv when I typed in “hbfvdevelopment” in the free website above).
Should you decide to get your own domain name, choosing a name is important.
It all begins with selecting a niche you like from which to write about.
Merriam-Webster defines niche as an activity that is very suitable to someone. A niche is the situation in which a business’s products or services can succeed by being sold to a particular kind or group of people.
Some of the things to consider are:
- creating a brand name that is easy to remember, or
- creating a domain name that reflects your niche, or
- creating a domain name that includes appropriate keywords, or
- creating a domain name that includes a trademark, service mark, or copyright.
Selecting and registering a domain name is approximately $15 a year. Wealthy Affiliate charges $13.99 for .com domains while Bluehost charges $11.99 a year and $15.99 for renewal. Bluehost includes free domain name services with some new hosting accounts. Privacy also costs extra with Bluehost.
Set Up Your Blog Hosting
Over the last 20 years, I have not found an easier way to set up blog hosting than Wealthy Affiliate.
Please watch the following video to see how easy it is to build a website under 30 seconds!
If cost is a major constraint for you, then the simplest way to get your own domain is to do it at the same place that you get your blog hosted. My recommendation for a good place to start is BlueHost.
I have been using Bluehost since 2015. With 1-click WordPress installation, 24/7 support, and a super affordable rate, Bluehost is a great option for building your first website or blog. Additionally, I have used Hostgator in the past. But I have since moved my sites to Wealthy Affiliate.
Step 3: Set Up Your Blog
If you have decided to host with Bluehost as your domain and hosting provider, installing WordPress is easy. Watch the following Bluehost video to see how to do it:
If you have any trouble during this process, there is live chat to ask questions.
Once you have your WordPress blog installed, it is time to design and configure your blog.
Step 4: Configure and Design Your Blog
Now that you have your blog set up, it is time to configure and design your blog.
Your homepage will look something like this.
Basically, it is a blank page!
Both Bluehost and Wealthy Affiliate have training to help you configure your new blog!
Configuring your blog
The team at BlueHost have put together a great set of tutorials. The tutorial videos will help you become familiar with WordPress as well as setting up your blog.
Here’s a good video that introduces you to what you’re looking at on your WordPress dashboard.
I particularly like Bluehost’s video on plugins. Plugins give WordPress blogs much greater functionality.
On the other hand, Wealthy Affiliate has an extensive training program to help members create their first website.
Here is a screen shot of their lessons that everyone can access. Advanced training is available to Premium members only.
Designing your blog
WordPress uses themes. A theme is what gives your website style, color, page layouts (templates), font styles, and more. Your theme says lots about you and your brand and is what makes your blog unique.
There are thousands of free themes. And there are many premium themes that cost. I am familiar with Envato Market, which has many premium themes.
Both Bluehost and Wealthy Affiliate have thousands of themes available. I usually spend hours and hours looking at themes. That is one reason I have a development site on Siterubix. So I can test different themes.
While there are many thousands of free themes out there, I have purchased premium themes. I believe it comes down to personal preference to find a free theme that does everything you want plus look exactly the way you want.
The advantages of purchasing a premium theme are customization and search engine optimization. Also, premium themes are usually updated frequently to account for changes or updates to WordPress.
Step 5: Start creating useful content
Hopefully, you are excited and ready to start adding content to your blog!
The best way to think about content is to ask yourself, “what can I do to help people?” What do they need? What problems need solutions?
A good way to start is think of things people search on Google and the other search engines.
A keyword is simply a word or phrase that people search for in the search engines. Every time you do a google search you are entering a “keyword” into the search box.
But, before we go much further, lets add some content to your blog.
I always recommend adding an “About Me” page. This tells the readers who I am and why I am blogging. It helps to personalize the website and connect with the readers.
It builds trust.
There are two types of content that you are able to create for your blog in WordPress – ‘Pages’ and ‘Posts’. WordPress.com explains it very well.
There are very key differences between posts and pages in your WordPress blog.
Posts are entries listed in reverse chronological order on the blog home page or on the posts page if you have set one in Settings → Reading. If you have created any sticky posts, those will appear before the other posts. Posts can be found in the Archives, Categories, Recent Posts, and other widgets. Posts are also displayed in the RSS feed of the blog. You can control how many posts are displayed at a time in the Reading Settings. The URL for a post includes the date the post was published like this:
If you want your posts to appear on a page other than your home page, read this: Front Page.
See Posts for more detailed information.
Pages are static and are not listed by date. Pages do not use tags or categories. An About page is the classic example. Pages can be displayed in the sidebar using the Pages widget, and some themes display pages in tabs at the top of the blog. If you have 50 pages and you use the Pages widget, then all pages will be listed all the time. The URL for a page looks like this: http://yourgroovyblog.wordpress.com/page-title/
I would also highly recommend that you check out the ProBlogger Guide to Your First Week of Blogging eBook which is perfect for anyone who has just set up their blog. It helps to think through some key challenges facing bloggers like how to come up with an editorial strategy, how to find readers and much more.
Have you Started a blog?
If you have any questions or comments about blogging, please fill in and submit the form below. I love feedback.
NOTE: Some of the links on this page are affiliate links and I will earn a small commission if you purchase the products or services. Please note that I have purchased and use or have used most of the resources mentioned.