In 2017, I attended a conference called FinCon where I heard story after story of people who have made a full-time living through blogging. They began by choosing a topic that excited them, consistently wrote about it on their blog and eventually made an impressive income.
One presentation I attended featured a blogger who made over $6,000 per month!! It did take him a several years to get there, but with the right patience, determination and appreciation for your topic it CAN be done.
Can you imagine being able to craft your own hours, work whenever and wherever you want? I've personally met a blogger who has worked from the Caribbean islands, another who travels on a permanent vacation around the country in an Airstream and at least a half-dozen who work at home so they can spend more time with their kids.
All of these success stories have a common theme … They all started with a WordPress Blog. The process is simple and it only costs a few dollars to get started.
Click here to start a blog on WordPress, and I'll walk you through a step-by-step process below.
If you use my links in this article, you'll get a FREE domain name AND 50% off the monthly hosting costs. I will also receive a commission which support this blog – Thank you!
Step-by-Step Process to Create a WordPress Blog
I followed this same process when I started my blog in 2016 to chronicle my family's journey in paying off our mortgage early. It only took me about 15 minutes (not paying off the mortgage … starting the blog).
1. Come Up With a Domain Name
A domain name is what comes after the “www” on the websites you visit every day (like MarriageKidsandMoney.com).
Here are a few tips for selecting a good domain name:
- Use keywords that help describe your topic (helps boost search traffic!)
- Avoid numbers as people may get confused when typing (“10” vs “ten”)
- Try to get a “.com” as it is the most memorable (versus .net or .info)
If you haven't already bought a domain name, that's good!
If you already have a domain, that's okay too. Keep reading and you'll be on way to your bloggy-blog world.
2. Choose Your Hosting Plan
When I started my blog, I used Bluehost. They made the process easy and provided the support I needed as a newbie blogger.
Once you click the “Get Started” button, you'll be taken to a page where you can select your monthly hosting plan.
There is a 30-day money back guarantee on the hosting service. If you're not digging it, you can cancel and get your money back.
When I started my blog, I chose the Basic Plan ($3.95 per month). It provided me with my domain, an email account and I was off to the races!
I've heard the Choice Plus Plan ($5.95 per month) is worth the extra cost as it provides additional benefits like unlimited storage and unlimited subdomains. You can always upgrade later, but the discounted hosting pricing won't be the same.
Once you get to the screen that requires your credit card information, you'll see that you can sign up in 12-month increments. The more time you commit to, the lower the price.
I signed up for 12 months to start because I was new and wasn't sure how I'd like it. After a year of blogging, I wish I would have signed up for the 36-month hosting plan.
It's all good! You live and you learn.
3. Input Your Domain Name
On the left side of the screen, you'll see a section called “Create a new domain”. This is where you type in your chosen name. You have the option of choosing “.com”, “.net”, “.info”, etc. but I recommend choosing a “.com” so your readers can easily remember your site!
If you already have a domain, insert it into the aptly named section “Use a domain you own” (genius, right?).
4. Create Your Account
Fill out all of your contact information and include an email address that you use consistently. This will be your main contact with Bluehost and your blog.
After creating your account, you'll insert your credit card information to process the order.
Now it is time to choose your account plan length. This is up to you. Again, I chose 12-months when I started last year, but I wish I would have went with the 36-month option for the better deal.
For now, I would uncheck the boxes for the extra services. This will keep your overall monthly costs low and you can always sign up for them later if you're interested.
Frugal Andy Tip: After this step, there are a few windows that follow offering you more “add-ons”. Again, I'd recommend holding off on these for now. These onesie-twosie additions can really add up. Click “No Thanks” at the bottom and move on to the next step.
5. Create Your Password
You'll reach the screen below and at this point, you'll need to create your password.
You want your password to be protected and not easily hacked, but you also want it to be something you can remember.
Make sure you copy your password (do this now) and save it somewhere safe. You'll need to access this password frequently and it'll help to have it handy.
Voila! You're in!
You have now officially created your Bluehost account. It's time to log in and get started with your blog.
Remember the email address and password we talked about earlier? Now is the time to enter that information. Then click “Log in” and we'll put the final touches on your new blog!
6. Give Your Blog a Name
Every good blog has a name. But there's no need to make it complicated. Most of the time, you'll use your domain name as your site name. Like for this blog, the site name is Marriage, Kids and Money.
If you want to add a tagline, you can do that here, too. It's meant to describe your site beyond the domain name. We use “Strengthen your family tree” as a tagline.
You can easily change this later, so don't spend too much time trying to come up with the perfect tagline.
Next, you'll answer the question of “What are you goals online?” and tell Bluehost how comfortable you are with creating websites.
If you're like I was, you're a complete beginner and will select the circle all the way on the far left. That's okay – after all, everyone has to start somewhere!
7. Pick a Theme
This is where starting a blog gets exciting. You get to pick out exactly how you want your site to look!
With all the options, you might have a hard time picking one. The good news is your theme isn't set in stone. For now, choose a theme you like and worry about perfecting it later.
The theme categories at the top can help you narrow down your choices. If you're going to blog about Food & Drink, you might find just the theme you're looking for in that section. Or if you're not sure yet, check out the Recommended or Blog categories to see what they have.
After you pick a theme, WordPress will install on your site. This is a free platform that will make adding content to your blog a breeze.
In a short period of time, your installation will be complete!
8. Open WordPress
Now, it is time to log in to WordPress. Click “Start Building” to open your magical hub for all things blogging.
You'll be brought to your Dashboard. If you're thinking, “this doesn't look like a website or a blog!” You're right. This is the backend. This is the area you'll be developing content, modifying the look of your site and improving the overall site experience. Think of it as your blog's home.
You may receive some new “offers”, but ignore those for now so we can get your first blog post up!
9. Write Your First Blog Post
You're almost a blogger! Let's craft your first post so we can make it official TODAY. Not tomorrow. Today!!
On the left side column, click on “Posts” and “Add New”.
You'll arrive a brand new blog post screen like the one shown below. This is your time to shine!
Be sure to include a title at the top. For inspiration, your first post could be entitled “Why I'm Starting a Blog on BLANK TOPIC”. I know you definitely have some material for that post!
Don't overthink your post. Get your thoughts out there and have fun with it. If you want to get fancy, include a photo by clicking the “Set Featured Image” link on the right side bar.
When you're finished, click the “Publish” button on the right side. This will make your post live on the interwebs!
You may see a message that says “Your site is currently displaying a “Coming Soon” page. Once you are ready to launch your site click here.” Click it.
After that, you can click the “View Post” tab and check out your fancy site and blog.
YOU ARE LIVE MY FRIEND! Congratulations you blogger, you!
You may find that your site looks … well, a little bland. There are a multitude of free themes and paid themes that help your site look a little better. I went with a free theme through WordPress just to get my start.
Click “Appearance” then “Themes” on the left side column to look at the options. You'll be able to plug and play content and design based on those templates available.
10. Connect, Learn and Make Money
At this point, you are an official blogger. You're going to want to do several things so you can keep learning and having fun.
By some estimates, there are over 150 million blogs. That means there are that many blog writers. I can tell you from experience that 90% of the ones I've encountered are thrilled at the opportunity to help other first time bloggers grow.
Go on Twitter or Facebook and find like-minded people in your niche. If you love talking about photography, there are other bloggers like you out there who would love to talk with you about mega pixels and specialty lenses (I know nothing about photography BTW).
Connect with me if you need advice on how to grow. I'd be more than happy to help you! I was in your spot just a few years ago.
This is just the beginning. There is so much to learn about how to make your site look better, flow better and eventually make you money.
Here are a couple of resources I'd recommend you look into:
- WordPress Beginner: Helpful to learn the 101 of WordPress
- Bluehost Video Tutorial Series: The first of the 10 videos is similar to what we just went through, but the last 9 videos helps you expand your knowledge
- How to Start a Blog: Pete McPherson from Do You Even Blog dedicates his time to helping bloggers grow their traffic and revenue. Check out this post where he walks through it all!
I started this article off with some impressive stories of people who are making a killing as bloggers. I'm sure you'd like to know more about those folks!
Here are a couple of podcast interviews that have inspired me in my blogging and online business development journey:
- Robert Farrington with the College Investor (Financial Independence in his 30's)
- Larry Hagner with Good Dad Project (Developed a Community of Dads Helping Dads)
- Erin Lowry with Broke Millennial (Award Winning Author started of as 20-something blogger)
These are real people who are making a good living through blogging and the opportunities that blogging opens up (professional speaking, sponsorships, affiliate partnerships, book deals and much more).
Are You Ready?
Don't put this off. Start the process today. If you've read this far, you know you're interested.
Starting a blog has helped me connect with thousands of like-minded people, learn from the best experts out there and develop new sources of income I never thought were possible.
I wish you the best of luck in your blogging journey. Please feel free to contact me at any time and let me know how you're doing and if you have any questions whatsoever. Your success is my success too.