Do you want to learn how to start a blog in 15 minutes or less?
Starting a blog has single-handedly been the best business decision we have ever made. It has allowed us to create our ideal lifestyle, work from home doing what we love (on our own schedule – heck YEA!), and is growing to be something that we can rely on when we start a family.
Yes, you are right in noting that I used the term “business” to describe our blog. I call this a business because that’s how we treat it, and how it should be treated if you are serious about growing it to its fullest potential and possibly even monetizing it.
Many people treat their blog as a hobby that they like to work on in their spare time. Others put in a decent number of hours over time and later realize that their blog has a chance to be even bigger than they expected. And then there are those that start their blog knowing that they want it to be a source of income for them.
Whatever category you fall into, you’ve come to the right place to get started.
Keep on reading for our step-by-step guide on how to start your very own blog.
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This post may contain affiliate links. Please see our disclosure for more information.
If you are looking for a fast track and affordable way to start a blog, Bluehost is the best way to go.
I like using Bluehost for a variety of my websites because it is not only safe but extremely reasonably priced. Not only are they a reliable host but they are one of the top choices among bloggers for 2019 and they are the #1 recommended web hosting by WordPress.org. When choosing your host for your new blog, it’s important to go with a company that is both easy on the pocket and trustworthy.
Why do we love them so much?
- For starters, they’re quite possibly the most affordable (and reliable!) host you will find, with plans starting at as little as $3.95/month – I’ve yet to find a better deal
- You get a lot for your money
- Bluehost web hosting offers technical support via phone, email and live chat – and they are through-the-roof helpful
- It’s super easy to set up a blog with WordPress, whether you are experienced or a from-the-womb beginner
- It’s trusted by thousands of experienced, successful bloggers
- You get a FREE domain with the purchase of a hosting plan (WIN!)
- WordPress is FREE with Bluehost and can be installed with just one click
- If you aren’t satisfied, Bluehost offers a 30-day money back guarantee
- You can be self-hosted, which is necessary if you want to monetize your blog
As an experienced web builder that has personally developed multiple websites and has used a variety of hosts, I will say to you first-hand… WHAT’S NOT TO LOVE?!
Now, let’s build you a blog!
So, what fuels your soul? Is there a topic you are an expert in? Is there something that you could talk about for days, and never get sick of it?
If you don’t know what you want to write about yet, these are questions you should be asking yourself. You shouldn’t choose a niche that you can’t write about at length for lack of knowledge. And you definitely shouldn’t choose something that you don’t really love talking about.
Why? Without knowledge, you will have a hard time providing your readers with something of value. The blogging world is extremely saturated. There are thousands upon thousands of others who are actively working on their own story. What you need to do to stand apart from the crowd is to offer something of value to show that you have real things to say about whatever topic you choose. Something that you’d have a hard time finding anywhere else.
Without love, well… you will get bored, fast. And you won’t feel as committed and driven to give your blog the attention and time that it needs to flourish.
What can you write about? Common topics are travel, parenting/family, personal finance, recipes, lifestyle, fashion, relationships, beauty, and much, much more. Your options are unlimited really.
So, you know what you want to write about, but how in the world do you get started?
Our easy 5-step blog tutorial:
Step 1: First and foremost, what should we call you?
Picking your blog’s name is one of, if not THE most important decision you will make when you create a blog. Your name is your brand, and it is how you are going to stay ingrained in readers’ minds when they come back to read more articles after stumbling upon your kick-ass post that they found on Google. You want to choose something that feels true to who you are and is unique. Something that makes sense.
Our name, The Millennial Bull, was chosen for (hopefully!) obvious reasons. We are millennials, and we blog about personal finance. Know that big old bull down on Wall Street? Well, hopefully we didn’t have to say that for you to put two and two together, but if we did… now you know! There should be a reason for your decision! Don’t just choose a name to choose a name… sleep on it!
Step 2: Choose your Hosting Package (Basic, Plus or Prime)
Next, visit Bluehost and hit GET STARTED NOW on the home page – it’s time to choose your hosting plan. Your host is basically where your site lives. Think of your blog as a house guest. If you already purchased your domain through Bluehost, the whole process is about to be very easy.
There are three different plan levels, Basic, Plus and Pro. Select a plan that fits your needs. If your blog is brand new, you would be fine with Basic, which is just $3.95/month! You may eventually need to upgrade to Plus, but if you do, that’s a good thing. It means your blog is getting tons of traffic and has a lot of awesome content! Keep in mind, you can always upgrade your plan as you grow.
Once you select your Basic plan you will be asked to choose how long you want your blog to be hosted, from 12 to 36 months. The 36-month package, as I’m sure you’d guess, is the best deal financially speaking, but you should choose what works best with your budget. You will be charged for the full amount when you sign up, but it is worth it for the service that you get! If you are not satisfied with the service, there is a money-back guarantee for a certain period of time.
Step 3: Register your domain
Now that you know what you want to call your blog, and you have a place for your blog to live, it’s time to snag your domain! Domains are usually about $11.99/year but since you already bought a plan, you get one for free!
Note: remember when I said that your brand name should be something unique? I meant it! There is a chance that when you search for your domain name, it’ll be unavailable because someone else already owns it. If you run into this issue, take a look at the alternatives that BlueHost will recommend to see if you are interested in any of them.
If you already own a domain, enter it into the box and hit NEXT.
Step 4: Account Info & Plan Options
Next you will fill out all of your account and plan information.
Again, when it comes to choosing your plan, go with the pricing that works best for you. I would recommend starting with 12 months because of the upfront costs. But, if your purpose is to save money in the long run and are confident that you will keep up with your blog, the longer plans are more affordable.
If you choose 36 months, your hosting price will amount to just $142.20! For THREE years of hosting! There are add-ons as well which are entirely optional.
Submit your payment information and you will be on your way! Congratulations!! Your hosting account has been created! Bluehost will send you a welcome email confirming your account and FTP (web-talk – more on that another time!) information.
Step 5: Install WordPress to Your Account!
This is the exciting part, ’cause well, this is when s*** gets real!
Now is the time to install WordPress to your Bluehost account! This part is so easy (and did we mention FREE?). With a simple click of a button, WordPress will be installed and you will be prompted to choose your theme and start building your site! Go ahead and choose a free theme to start – you can change it as many times as you want later!
You may find a free theme that totally suits your style, or you my later decide to browse the internet for something more curated to your niche and taste.
This part is fun, albeit slightly overwhelming because there are so many options to choose from! Site design is another guide in and of itself to be honest! Don’t worry yourself too much with what theme you want – the first thing you need to focus on is writing a handful of awesome blog posts. You will find the right look for you in time!
Once you choose your theme (if you’re not ready, you can always skip that step), it’s time to start building. You can choose either “Business” or “Personal,” doesn’t really matter which in our opinion. If you want, you can even click “I don’t need help.”
Now, how do I make money off my blog?
Making money off of your blog takes time and patience, but it is totally possible. There are a variety of ways to monetize, but monetizing is nothing without content of high quality and value. Here are my tips for making money off your blog:
Quality content that offers value to your readers. The more quality you can offer, the more your readers will trust you. The more your readers trust you, the more often they will come back and become faithful followers. This = more page views, more subscribers, and more money. The more page views you have, the better positioned you will be to qualify for high-paying advertisements!
Well-designed pins and a content sharing strategy. Each time you publish a post, you should created multiple pins to go with it to maximize your reach. We design our pins using PicMonkey and Canva, with fonts from Creative Market, and photos from Deposit Photos, Haute Stock and Shutterstock. Schedule your pins with Tailwind and watch that traffic grow! When you sign up for Tailwind, you get to schedule the first 100 pins for free so you have time to decide if it’s for you (it will be for you, we swear!).
Affiliate Marketing is amazing because it isn’t specific to any one type of blog. You can monetize your blog with affiliate marketing for any niche, so long as you promote products and services that you have honestly used and love! I would highly recommend taking Michelle Schroeder’s course, Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing. It taught us everything we know about affiliate marketing (and has helped make her $100,000/month!) and is easily the best product we have paid for when it comes to blog monetization.
Some great networks to work with as an affiliate are:
Happy blogging! Be sure to comment below with your new home!