How to Start a Blog and Make Money in 2018

So you’re looking to set up your blog?

Don’t worry, this will take around 15 minutes to set up!

Thankfully there are a lot of products on the market these days that can help you do this easily, but the one we recommend the most is building a business website with WordPress.

The process we’re going to go through is super easy and it doesn’t matter what age you are whether you’re 20 or 70 years old, it really doesn’t matter.

If you’re asked to do this 20 years ago it would have cost you a lot of money.

Thankfully, since technology has moved on it makes things and easier to implement.

Follow these instructions step-by-step and we will have you up and running in no time at all.

Ready? Let’s get started.

How To Start A Blog In 5 Steps

  1. Let’s choose the right blogging platform for your new blog.
  2. Choose your blogs topic & custom domain name.
  3. Setup your blog & web hosting in just 1 click.
  4. Customise the look and feel of your new blog.
  5. Write your very first blog post.
ALERT: Start Your Blog For Just $1.99 Per Month Today & Get A FREE DOMAIN NAME!

Step 1 - Choose Your Blogging Platform

91% of bloggers use WordPress. Why?

WordPress is easy to use, it’s free to download and is designed for bloggers to customise in seconds/

Why Do People Use & Recommend WordPress?

 

  1. Anyone can use WordPress for free (the only thing you need to get started is a cheap web host and a domain name)
  2. Even if you’re new to blogging, it’s really easy to use once you get started
  3. There are over 5000 free themes to choose from to make your blog look great!
  4. As I said earlier, over 91% of all blogs online are running WordPress (including this very website you’re using).

Why You Shouldn’t Create A Blog On A Free Platform

 

One of the biggest mistakes people make when they are starting to look for a business website is choosing the wrong platform to start with.

There are many different hundreds of website platforms to choose from but the one we’re going to choose for you allows you to completely manage your website without any third party interference and it won’t cost you an extra penny if you want to add an image, edit text etc.

For that reason, we don’t suggest using a free blogging platform like Tumblr, Blogspot or Medium.

  • No Control – You have absolutely no control over your blog. These free blogging platforms can shut down your website and even delete it if they feel it doesn’t meet their terms.
  • Little Customisation – There are thousands of different WordPress themes available. You won’t be able to use any of them 🙁
  • Limits – There is a limit to just how many videos and images you are allowed to upload to your blog.
  • No Custom Domain Name – You can only use one of their limited domains like http://yourwebsitename.blogspot.com rather than yourwebsitename.com.
  • No One Will Take You Seriously – Gaining people’s trust online is the hardest thing to do. Having a free blogging platform makes you look inexperienced and it will be hard to be taken seriously by your readers.

If you want to be taken seriously and you want to start a blog and make money like I do –

Then I recommend that you do thing s right at the beginning of your journey.

Better still, it only costs a few dollars to get you started the right way.

Step 2 - Choose Your Domain Name

Choosing the right domain name is probably one of the most important things you initially.

If you don’t know what a domain name is, the very address of this blog is DesDreckett.com (my name).

Choosing your name is just fine. However, if your blog is based on a theme then you may want to base your somian name on that.

Here’s a few suggestions:

  • Write a list of 3 things you are good at
  • Write a list of 3 things you are interested in or enjoy
  • Write a list of 3 things you want to learn about

 

Things you are good at:

Thing I enjoy:

Things to learn about:

This 5-minute exercise is designed to give you a few ideas for a good domain name for your blog.

Once you’ve found your topic you just need to choose a good domain name.

Whatever the theme of your blog, I recommend using the theme name within your domain name if possible.

Alternatively, just use your name like I have done (if it’s available as a domain name).

Have a look to see if your domain name is available – here

After you have chosen a domain for your blog (don’t buy it just yet)

Believe it or not, the hard part is over!

In a few minutes, we’ll get you online in just a few more steps. The process is as easy as the last one.

Step 3 - Setup Web Hosting & WordPress

What Is Web Hosting?

Web hosting is basically where your website lives online. It stores all of your information, from the text you write, the images you upload and even video files. If you don’t have web hosting, no one would ever see your blog.

A great web host means your blog will be available to see by anyone, in any country no matter what time or day

Avoid Bad Web Hosting Companies!

To be honest, like everything, there is both good and bad web hosting companies and it’s always good to go with recommended ones.

There are many cheap web hosts that have really bad customer service and overload their servers which makes your blog really slow. This means when you’re ready to update it or your visitors come by, it will take a long time to load.

The main hosting company I recommend for beginners is iPage because:

  • Free custom domain – They include a 100% free custom domain name.
  • 1 Click WordPress installation – Installing WordPress takes less than 30 seconds.
  • 24/7 support – No matter what happens, they are available to help.
  • $100 free extras – You also get $100 worth of free extras to kick-start your blog.
  • Budget-friendly – It costs just $1.99 per month!

 

ALERT: Start Your Blog For Just $1.99 Per Month Today & Get A FREE DOMAIN NAME!

First, go to iPage.com and click Get Started Now:

 

Get iPage Hosting & Domain

Click the “Get Started Now” button and you will be directed to the next page.

On the next page insert the domain name you chose earlier.

Enter your chosen domain into the domain search box.

This Is Important: Make sure you get the spelling right for your domain name as you can’t change the spelling later on.

 

iPage domain registration

After you have done this, you just need to confirm all of your details and then enter your billing address.

You probably don’t need the Website Essentials for now, so skip over that upsell page.

At this point, you don’t need any extras they offer, so just click Checkout.

 

Once you have completed these steps, you just need to wait for iPage to email you your login details.

Sometimes they require additional verification information. Simply go through the process until you find that you are back at their dashboard.

 

It should look a little something like this-

Locating WordPress in iPage

Now, this may seem to be quite technical. Please don’t worry, all you need to do is click on the “WordPress” icon.

You will then be prompted to select the domain you chose earlier so that you can install WordPress on it.

Simply choose the domain you selected earlier:

iPage - Select domain name for registration

From here you’ll need to give your website a title and type in your username and password.

These details will be used to login into WordPress once it is installed.

 

After you have finished entering your details in the form, click on ‘Next” and it will start setting up WordPress for you.

Once complete you should see this screen:

iPage WordPress installation successful.

Once you see this page, click on your domain and it will send you to the WordPress admin login page of your new blog.

You should be able to log into your WordPress blog by entering ‘/wp-admin’ after your URL-

yourwebsitename.com/wp-admin

 

After you have done this, you will be directed to the following screen where you can enter your login details that you created or that was created for you:

This is just an example of what it will look like.

Did you think there was more to it?

That’s basically it.

You now have a new shiny WordPress business website that’s ready to go.

Step 4 - Customising Your Blog

There are two types of themes you can choose from.

You can either choose a free WordPress theme or a paid WordPress theme.

Before we go any further, I’m going to let you know that there are many thousands of themes to choose from and you have the ability to change these every day, month or year if you like.

The theme we’re going to show you is a free theme.

Please note:  We do recommend purchasing a theme later on since free themes aren’t updated with security patches as much which means they’re much easier to hack into by unscrupulous people.

For now, if you’re on a budget this will get you started.

If you like the free theme you do have the ability to purchase this at any time 🙂

 

When you visit your website for the first time you’ll probably be unimpressed with the way it looks and rightly so.

This is the bare bones structure of a very basic theme that WordPress installs automatically.

 

build website first look

As you can see it’s not very appealing.

Up to this point, it’s been pretty standard to build your website but now we get to customise it which is probably the most exciting part of the journey.

Like I said before, there are thousands of themes you can choose from. For this tutorial, we will show you how to install a free theme from Themeisle.

You can change your theme in your WordPress dashboard by clicking on:

Appearance >> Themes

Then click on the “add new” button.

This will take you to a screen that will allow you to search for over 4000 are free WordPress themes available from you in the official WordPress.org themes directory. However, for this tutorial, we’re not going to use any of those themes.

Click on This link.

Navigate to WordPress themes and then click on “Free Themes”.

choose to view free hestia wordpress theme

 

The very first one you’ll come across should be the Hestia Theme. This is a free magazine theme that’s easily customisable.

Feel free to click on the Live Demo to have a look at the thing (don’t forget you can change this at any time, we’re simply just getting you started).

 

click to view hestia theme demo

 

Once you’ve had a look click on the “download this theme” or “download button” you will be asked to enter your email address and then it will start downloading to the download folder or to your desktop.

 

download hestia theme

Make a note of where this is downloading because we need to find this folder when we come to upload it to your website.

Go back to your website dashboard and click on the upload theme button. From here you then need to navigate to that folder where you downloaded the theme and upload it.

After the theme is uploaded click the “install” button which will then be replaced with the “activate” button you then need to activate the theme.

Your theme is now installed and you can customise it by clicking on the customise link under the appearance menu.

Your business website is nearly ready to go.

Check out the video below showing you how to install your new theme:

*** video coming soon ***

We took the liberty of producing a free course for you going through the steps of we have gone through in this guide which you can access here:

The full scope of customising your theme would be too much for this blog post so we have produced a small free course showing you how to do that (if you need the help).

Now that you have selected your theme we need to delete the dummy default page and post that have already been produced by WordPress.

*** insert pics here ***

Bit of a technophobe? Why not let us install and customize your theme the way it looks in the demo for just $25.

Click Here if you would like us to install and customize your theme

 

Step 4. Creating Your First Blog Post

So now we’re going to create your first blog post.

You can do this by clicking on the posts >> add new menu in the dashboard. This will then take you to an edit area we can now write your first blog post.

 

writing your first blog post

 

If you are used to working with software programs like Microsoft Word then you’ll find that this is very similar.

The editor uses a “What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG)” type editing platform where you have the ability to write your content, bold, italic, underline and also add images or videos if you like?

Once you have finished writing your blog post you can either save it as a draft, preview it or publish it to the world.

 

publish your first blog post to the world

 

If you save it to draft the only person that will see this would be you. However, once you publish it, the whole world will see your blog post.

If you’re on the post screen you may have noticed that there are other sections such as categories and tags.  these sections are used to organise your blog posts.

Often times new users of WordPress are confused between pages vs posts in WordPress. So we thought we’d produce a quick and handy guide showing you the difference.

Step 5. Plugins & Customizations

Now that you have written your first blog post you’ll probably want to add certain elements such as an about us page or even contact form?

In order to customise these elements into your WordPress business website, you need to use some WordPress plugins.

What are plugins?

Plugins are small pieces of code or apps that allow you to add certain features to enhance your website.

Believe it or not, there are over 46,000 WordPress plugins available, but for your website will only use a few of those (so don’t worry).

Recommended Products

iPage (to host your new business website)

ThemeIsle Hestia (free WordPress theme)

ThriveThemes (paid WordPress theme with built-in lead generation tools)