So How Do I Start this Blog Thing?
Well its no secret I believe making a website is a great way to start a side hustle and earn some extra cash. Many of my readers look over my income reports and often ask, “how can I start a website,” so I figured I would put together a step by step guide to help people start their own website. After reading this guide most of you will realize creating a website isn’t rocket science; it’s quite simply, fun, and only takes a couple of minutes!
Why Should I Start a Website?
There’s ton of reasons why people start websites and blogs and to tell you the truth everyone has their own reason but here are a couple of the top reasons why.
Many people in this world have unique jobs, skill sets, and experiences and while your next door neighbor might not want to learn what you do that doesn’t mean that no one does. Even the weirdest of niches has people that are interested in it. For example, let talk about someone that removes warts for a living, while most people are not in the slightest bit interested in this, (myself included) that doesn’t mean that no one is. When looking up “wart removal” in Google AdWords to see how many times its searched for in a month, it gets an astounding 27,000 searchers a MONTH!
Wanting to Connect With People
Have you ever had that feeling that others you hang out with aren’t as passionate about things that you are into? The truth is you’re probably reading into that correctly and they aren’t, but that doesn’t mean you have to strike those passions from your life. Many people start blogs or websites on those passions and make tons of friends because they all share the same interests. I’ve made numerous friends online that share the same passion as me because I started this blog!
People wanting to make money
Now let’s be realistic here, most people make little to no money online but that doesn’t mean you can’t. If you’re willing to put in some hard work, time, and add useful information to the web, I wouldn’t be surprised if you make some money. There are people online who make pennies a month all the way up to people who make millions and they all started the same way, with an idea and a website.
So now that we know some of the top reasons people start blogs, lets show you how to setup your own!
How to Create a Blog
Register a great domain name
Your domain says a lot about your site, in fact, most of the time it tells people what your site is all about. So with that in mind make sure you pick a name that goes along with the theme of your site.
- Select a domain name: You’ll want try to think of a domain name that is unique so it allows you to be easily recognized online. Be PATIENT! It took me time to come up with Cash Flow Addict, and before that I searched for tons of other names.
- Create variations of your domain name: Create at least three to five versions of your domain name so you won’t run out of ideas in case most of your chosen names aren’t already available. I great tool I used when looking for a domain name was Name Mesh, it will check to see if the domain you want is available all while providing you other great domain name ideas.
- Check domain availability: Use domain checkers such as Go Daddy, Namecheap, or Name Mesh which I mentioned above, to find out if the domain name you like is available.
Once you find an available domain that you like, next you’ll need to purchase the domain. After that it yours for as long as you keep it active! What I recommend and did when starting my first site is to purchase your hosting and domain through Bluehost. Why? Because if you purchase 12 months of hosting through Bluehost you get your domain free of charge, which will save you some money and make the setup process a lot easier. Alright on to the next step.
Purchase web hosting
When first starting out hosting makes up the bulk of your expense (if not all). What does a hosting company do? A hosting company stores all of your files for you on the web, so when people type in your domain name, the hosting company provides the documents online that you want your visitors to see. Take for example this post, which is a file saved on my Bluehost account, so when people come to this page on the web they are able to read this guide.
So as you can see it’s important to pick a well known hosting company because it will affect the speed of your site. Also, some host providers have lots of down time, which means your site will not be viewed by anyone during that time! If you run a website or blog you want to avoid this like the plague!
After days of researching high quality, low budget hosting companies, I decided Bluehost was the best fit for me. Many people were recommending/using Bluehost, so I gave them a shot and more than 3 years later I’m still using them and couldn’t be happier. Some of the benefits of using Bluehost are:
- Having almost no down time. This is awesome!
- Being able to get a free domain name when you purchase a hosting package, which makes it easy to grab everything in one fell swoop.
- After you sign up, you can install WordPress with one click.
- They provide automatic backups for your blog. I found this out when trying to alter my site and ended up screwing it up. I called them frantically and they loaded my backup from that morning and everything was fixed!
So now that you know why I recommend Bluehost let me show you the steps to get signed up.
Go to Bluehost site at www.bluehost.com and choose the Basic plan. The Basic plan costs less than $6 a month if you choose 12 months or less than $4 if you choose 36 months. Your purchase is also covered by a 30 – day money back guarantee too. It might be tempting to get the Pro or the Business Pro plans, but the Basic is all that you need for now. Make sure you get the Domain Privacy Protection for $0.99 a month since this ensures that your contact information is secure, and uncheck the other extras.
Go to Bluehost.com and click the “Get Started Now” button
Choose the package that you need, like I said above I recommend starting with the basic package.
Enter the domain name you registered or sign up for a new domain free with the purchase of 12 months of hosting.
Complete the personal information.
While you don’t need the “Domain Privacy Protection” I highly recommend picking it up.
Finish your account creation by inputting your payment information, reading over the terms of service, and confirming by clicking the box.
You will know that you are done when you see a “Welcome to Bluehost” page. Afterwards, you will see a page that will ask you to upgrade your package. Since the Basic plan is the only plan you need at this time, click “No thanks, I’m not interested.” Once your site is established and grows requiring more storage and features, you can always upgrade your Basic plan subscription by logging in to your account and purchasing a higher plan.
Another great benefit about Bluehost is they make installing WordPress a breeze.
Log into your Bluehost dashboard with the credentials that where sent to your email
- Choose the button that says “One Click Install”
- Click on the WordPress icon on the next page. This is located underneath “Blogs.” Click the start button to begin.
- Click the drop down menu to choose the domain you want to use.
- Locate “Advanced Option” so you can choose your username and password for your WordPress account. Select “Automatically create a new database for this installation”
- Agree to the terms and conditions of the site and then choose “Install Now”
- Save your designated username and password.
At this point, you will see another pop up which will ask you if you would like to purchase a theme for your site. Again, another tempting offer since you might think that your site is too simple at this time but I don’t recommend purchasing a theme since there are tons of free WordPress themes to choose from. Simply choose “No thanks.”
- After that theme pop up, you will be taken to your Mojo home page. Again you don’t need to add anything to your shopping cart and can simply click the button that says “My Installs.:”
- Select “admin login” and use your username and password to log in.
- You will be taken to your own dashboard where you can add new posts, access menus, select themes, add anything to your site and so on.
- Use the Jetpack box and select the “Connect to WordPress.com.” This plugin is free and should be downloaded right away so you can access your stats and other features that will improve your site.
- Create a Jetpack account. An activation email will be sent to you. Check your mail and use the link to activate your Jetpack account.
- Once your Jetpack account is ready, click “authorize jetpack” and then activate “jump start” button. Try to become familiar with the website since you will be using this a lot in managing your website.
- Install a theme by looking at free ones online. Go to “Appearance” on your side bar then “Themes” then “Add new”There are plenty of free themes to pick from.
Once you select your theme, your blog is now ready to be used! You may now create menus, add pages, add photos, videos and other colorful content.
Use marketing strategies to increase your website income flow.
If you are selling anything or offering any kind of service then you might want to design your site as an income-generating site. The following might help:
- Update your website content regularly. Make sure all information is correct and timely. Customers will realize the value of your site and depend on it for updated information making them come back again and again.
- Engage your customers with related videos, how – to articles, and info-graphics. Most online customers are the visual kind and are attracted to attractive content. Keeping your site content trendy and informative are key steps in generating more income from your site.
- Connect your site to top websites and social media. Linking to important sites and social media links such as Twitter and Facebook means that customers can easily share information they find on your site. The more value you provide to your customers the more likely they will buy from you.
- Conduct contests, special offers and discounts. Everyone loves a discount and the best things are free. You can give away free e books, free discount coupons, and free shipping. Start a loyalty program too, this will help persuade customers to buy more.
Create a Awesome Contact/About You Page
Your contact/about you page is how your customers can reach you and learn more about you. It has to be regularly updated and should contain complete and accurate information otherwise your customers will never be able to reach you for inquiries or questions about your services and/or products. Here are some great things to include on your contact/about me page:
- If you are your brand, make sure you let the world know who you are. Don’t be afraid to get silly and let you personality shine through, so what if some people don’t like the real you because there are plenty of others that will instantly connect with your personality.
- Let the people know why you started this website or blog. If you have goals or a mission statement this is a great place to talk about it.
- Use Skype Click to Call to instantly connect your customers to your customer service team. Skype is easy to use and has outstanding features such as video calling, video conferencing, three-way video calling and more. Skype even connects you to your Facebook friends.
- Use chat features so that your customers can instantly get answers. A chat box will appear on the lower part of the screen where a conversation could take place. Chat boxes even allow customers to send a copy of the chat straight to their email for future reference.
- Google Maps may be incorporated in your contact page allowing your customers to locate your headquarters and even other locations nearby.
Last thing on the list is… MAKE IT YOUR OWN! This is your blog or website, so take the reins and make it everything you want it to be. Don’t try and be just another blog in the hay stack, be exciting, interesting, bold! So now that you know the steps the only thing stopping you is you, so what are you waiting for.