How to start a blog in 30 minutes or less? Sounds crazy, right? But, I got you. We are going to make this happen. Blogging is powerful. You have a voice. You have a business. You need to blog. Blogging brings you new business and helps your customers know and trust you. Odds are if you are here, you probably already know you want a blog, so let’s get to it!!
Reasons to start a blog:
-Make money while staying at home. I’m a mom and my goal is to be here for my kids. Having my own business has allowed me to do that. Making money online is definitely possible. Now, it is hard work, but the barrier to entry is so low, it is definitely worth the risk.
-Build your business. We live in a time when customers want to get to know businesses on a personal level. Having a blog allows you to gain exposure and really connect with your customers.
-Writing to write. We each have a story to tell. A blog is a great place to have your story heard.
Step 1: Decide what to blog about. Using the information above, decide on why you are starting a blog. Then you can decide what you will be blogging about. If you are a business, your blog should be related to what you sell. If you are a photographer, you will be blogging about your photography. If you are a DIY-er, you will be blogging about your latest projects.
When deciding what to blog about, it is a good idea to choose a niche so that you can establish yourself as an authority. Then you will be get your audience coming to you for specific information. (Want help choosing your niche? Come get advice in our FB group.)
Now that we know what to blog about, we can move on to getting it up and running. It really is so easy.
Step 2. Choose a blogging platform.
You can blog using a lot of different platforms. I use and HIGHLY recommend WordPress because it comes with unlimited plugins (think apps for your blog), it is easy to use and it is easily customizable.
There are two choices to start a wordpress blog: WordPress.com and wordpress.org sites.
Hosted WordPress blogs are often referred to as “WordPress.com blogs.” This means that your site is hosted on WordPress and will have wordpress.com in the URL of your blog.
Self-hosted WordPress blogs are often referred to as “WordPress.org blogs.” This means that you choose to host your website through another host (we are getting to that in the next step). I highly recommend self-hosting because your website URL will be www.iammichellegifford.com instead of www.iammichellegifford.wordpress.com.
Step 3. Choose a web host.
Whoah. Whoah.Whoah. What is a web host? That seems pretty complicated, right? Well, no. A web host is simply a business that hosts your website. You need a place to store the digital files for your website, web hosts that do this for you. They have big computers called servers that store your website. Think of it like a craft fair. If you want to sell things at a booth, you have to rent the booth from the craft fair’s organizer, right? Well, that is basically what you are doing. Rent? That sounds expensive. Don’t worry, it isn’t. But, we will get to that soon.
I use Bluehost to host my blogs. I really love Bluehost. They have fantastic customer service. If I ever have a question, which happens frequently, I start a chat and they walk me through every step.
Click here to get started.
Click on the “Get Started” Button
The picture may not be exactly the same, but just click on that “get started now” button.
Next, choose a plan.
You can choose the basic plan, but I would choose the plus plan. For just a few more dollars a month, you get a lot more features. But, if your budget is a little tight, go for basic. You can always upgrade later if you need to.
Step 4. Choose a domain.
A domain is your website. So, what do you want people to type in to get to your website? Mine is iammichellegifford.com.
If you don’t have a domain, enter one in the “new domain” box. You can check to see if the domain that you want is available. Need help deciding on a domain? Here are some tips:
Next step is to fill out your account information.
Then you will select an account plan. You don’t need all of the extras. I usually do the Privacy Protection and the SiteLock Security. Under the account plan, you can choose to pay by the year, every two years or every three years.
Now enter your billing information on the next page. You will be asked if you want any upgrades. Go ahead and say, “no” to these.
Go check your email. You will have a welcome email from Bluehost. It will have all of your control panel login (cpanel) and password.
Now, go back to Bluehost.
Step 5. Install WordPress.
Now that you are logged in, click on “install WordPress” in the website folder.
Once you click on that, a new window will come up. It will look something like this. Click on “Install” or “Start” to start the install.
Choose your domain from the drop down menu.
Next, enter your account information. Check the box next to Show advanced options. Enter your Site Name or Title. This is different than your domain which ends in .com or something similar. So, you could put Michelle’s Knitting Blog or whatever you want to title it.
Now click the “Install Now” button.
And then you are done!! You can now visit your website and login by going to your site followed by /wp-admin
For example: www.yoursitename.com/wp-admin
You’re directed to this screen where you’ll need to put in your Admin Name and Password that you created two screens up.
Step 6. Design and use your blog.
Your WordPress site comes with built-in free themes. A theme is the layout of your website. There are a lot of different websites where you can buy templates. You may want to play around with the free ones before you buy a new theme. I’ll include some of my favorite beautiful, inexpensive templates to make your site look amazing for not a lot of money.
Check out these affordable templates.
Those should get you started! And then you have a beautiful, custom website for $100 or less.
Alright, my friends, you have a website. This is a big step in your business. I am so excited for you!! Now leave me a link to your business in the comments (whether your site is new or not) so I can come visit and make new blog friends.