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I got a lot of inquiries for the past few years from my readers, friends, peers and relatives on how to start a blog, or how to create their own website as they don’t have any idea at all about it.
I’m blogging since 2010. I fell in love with blogging when a friend taught me how to setup my own blog on WordPress.com, from there I started to read more blogs and developed my habit of writing and maintaining my blog at a time.
I have a lot of experience on setting up blogs and websites because it’s my online work, and most of the work I’ve done before for my previous clients were complicated and time consuming. But don’t worry, in this post, I would be generously sharing the easiest platform that I’m still using right now. If you found any technical jargon that you are not familiar yet, I will try my very best to explain it to you in the process.
Having a blog can really offer you a lot of perks, not just you have your own online journal as other bloggers does, but it can really help you to get more opportunities and can help you fund your travel, lifestyle and pay your bills too if you want! Maybe, having your own blog or a website is one of your goals for this year.
To help you out on this goal, I will be sharing to you this detailed step-by-step guide that is easy to follow. This guide can apply to any kinds of blogs and websites.
So are you ready? Let’s start!
1. Find your niche.
“You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” — Zig Ziglar
What is niche? Niche is an area of a specific market specializing in one or more type of products and services. It is something that suits your talent/s or personality. You need to determine your niche first so that you would establish yourself as an expert of a specific field.
- What kinds of service/s would you think that will benefit not just like you but other people that will visit your website?
- What things do you think you are expert on it?
- What topics would you think will be helpful for your readers?
As an example, let’s take my blog, though I intentionally used my name on it because my brand was myself. It focuses on giving guides and tips on inspiration, blogging/writing and self-publishing. Over time, I will be posting more about it to inspire and how it is possible for one to become an author even they don’t write at all — no matter whether they are not good in English, as long as they have a message for the world.
The bottom-line here if you are not yet even an expert on the niche you will be selecting, make sure you will work hard to learn more about it and be an expert on it! And what you can do the very least for your readers is to be unique in your story.
2. Brainstorm for your domain name.
Domain name is your unique address on the internet. If you have a brilliant blog theme and are ready for readers, your first priority is to secure you own domain name and register it so others wouldn’t take it!
Having your own domain name would help you to have your own unique identifier on the internet as long as you continue to pay for its annual fee.
Yes it has a fee, but before that let’s start brainstorming what awesome domain name you will be using. I will give you some tips about it. When brainstorming for a domain name , here are the things that you should remember:
- Make sure that it’s easy to remember — try to keep it short, too! Avoid taking long names or using long sentences on your domain name. . Other things to take note of:
- Avoid hyphens or numbers since you risk people typing it out wrongly when they spread your blog’s name by word of mouth.
- Avoid words that are not easily recognized or spelled by other people (especially words that are not in English, unless of course you want to focus only on audiences in your home country).
- Check if it’s good when combined together. I’m using www.bustaname.com to combine words together to form a domain name. It is FREE, you may use it whenever you want.
- Make sure you will be proud on the name you will be using even in the future.
- Try to make it related to what you are offering. If for example you are going to start a travel blog, make it travel related, if about personal finance, make it related to money. But why my blog was named after me? Because I want to make my very rare name to be known in the world (Haha). Anyway, it’s important to make your blog or website to be related to your products and services, you also have to mind your blog’s ‘standing’ on search engines..
In a nutshell, make your domain name, short, sweet, simple and easy to remember!
3. Buy the domain and get a good hosting for your blog or website.
Once you’re done brainstorming for your own domain name, it’s time to buy it before anyone would take it from you!
The cost for registering a domain would cost you $8 to to $15 which is 368 to 600 pesos depending on the extension you would be choosing. “.com” domains generally cost 550 pesos per year but I heard that GoDaddy.com usually givea promos that you can get it for less than 100 pesos but the downside is, the renewal fee would be more expensive.
Right now, I’m currently re-selling domains and hosting plans to my clients (see www.webifyweb.com) — I am selling it for a very cheap price!. But you can opt as well to other hosting providers like Go Daddy, Blue Host and others.
Now you now are aware what a domain is and the fact that starting a website or a blog would involve money, hard work and dedication lest your money and efforts would lead to waste if you are not committed maintaining it.
4. Install WordPress and setup your own domain email too!
WordPress.org is the most powerful content management platform in the world and I’m using it!. Just drag and drop and tadaaa! You have your own website. It’s the best platform for a beginner like you — in fact, it is used by big websites like BBC, CNN, and New York Times, Forbes, Entreprenuer and others!
How to install it? Follow the steps below.
- After placing your order previously, you should have received an e-mail notification confirming your registration with your web hosting provider. There will also be a separate email that will give you your username and password details for your Cpanel Account and FTP Details. In each of these emails there should be a link that says “My Accounts”. Click it.
- Now go to your Cpanel by looking for a link or a button in your “My Accounts”. Click the buttons saying “Cpanel”. Your Cpanel has a lot of images or buttons that will take you to each functionality of you’re the hosting you ordered.
- From your Cpanel, look for “Softaculous Apps Installer” as shown on the image below and click “Wordpress”.
- Click the install tab and fill out the information needed:
Most of the instructions is easy to understand so you won’t have any problems on it. But just in case you received an error, the system will tell you where it is and all you have to do is to correct it. And then click “Install” button which is usually at the bottom of the setup page
The system will then automatically install the WordPress software on your hosting and will give you the default WordPress theme.
And after it, congratulations! You now have your own blog up and running! Your next job is to tweak it and design it according to your needs.
How to create your domain custom own email:
- Make sure that you have a Gmail account because in this guide, I will help you create a custom email for your domain wherein all incoming and outgoing messages can be simply handled by your Gmail account alone.
- Go to your Web Hosting Provider User Area (which should be located here) and click the tab: “My Accounts”. In here, you will see a red button at the top that says: “Go to cPanel” click that and a pop-up will appear. Just click “Proceed”.
- Scroll down and find the section below: “Email” and then click on “Email Accounts”.
- For Email, you are free to choose whatever name you wish. Example, it can be info for [email protected], or your name, etc. As for the password, it doesn’t need to be too complicated, we only need this one for the set-up with your Gmail account so take note of it. Once done, click “Create Account” and that’s it!
On the bottom or new page will show you the details of your email configuration. Scroll down to see the section “Manual Settings” and here you will see your server details. Whatever information you see under the highlighted section in the image below should be the data that you can use to setup your email to other software like Microsoft Outlook, Live Mail and etc.
And now you’re DONE! You now have your own customized email for your domain name!
5. Customize your site by picking theme, tweaking it and install some plugins!.
For the free themes and plugins, you can find them on:
- For themes: just go to your blog’s WordPress Dashboard (http://yourblog.com/wp-admin/). On the left column, click ‘Appearance > Themes > Add New’ and you will see a huge list of free themes that you can install for your blog
- For plugins: just go to your blog’s WordPress Dashboard (http://yourblog.com/wp-admin/). On the left column, click ‘Plugins > Add New’ and you will see a huge list of free themes that you can install for your blog
If you are still not satisfy with the free themes and plugins you may opt to buy premium themes and plugins available on the internet:
What are WordPress plugins? Do I need them?
Oh yes, you do! They will help a lot in maximizing your site — just think of them like apps that will help your blog perform and look better. To start, below are the free WordPress plugins that I recommend which you can easily add to your blog by going to your Dashboard: click ‘Plugins > Add New‘. In the search box, type the plugin names below and click ‘Install‘ as needed.
- Akismet – protection from comment spam.
- WordPress SEO by Yoast – helps optimize your site for Google.
- Google Analytics – Google Analytics (GA) is a powerful tool that helps measure and analyze your blog’s traffic; in the future, advertisers would need data from this platform. So first, you need to register with GA and then install this plugin to easily integrate GA’s tracking with your website.
Try not to install too many since it can slow down your website.
6. Create your basic contents and build an email list.
What are the basic contents?
- Others (like Services, Products, Books and etc.)
- Must contain the links like Disclaimer, and Copyright.
- Your Widgets like Social Links and Newsletter
This will display at the top of your blog containing the pages you created previously.
How to start an email list and why is this important?
You can create your own mailing list or newsletter with MailChimp which comes FREE with a maximum number of 2,000 subscribers.
It is important to have this because though people commonly use social media nowadays, they still use their emails too and prefer to be notified or updated through it. Having an email list will help you to send your new products and promotions via email in almost automated way!.
7. Secure your name in Social Media and Start creating your content.
It will be a very long process to get on social media. Make sure you are using the same username for all your social media accounts and your website so as to easily remember.
Creating content is where hard-work begins. Start researching and keep writing. Ultimately, just discuss the topics that you would personally want to read or know about if you were to place yourself in the shoes of your readers.
And remember successful blogging won’t happen overnight. It will take time and you need to have a lot of patience.
And lastly as a bonus,
8. Make money from your blog.
Do you want to earn money from blogging? Would you like to earn from your passion? If not then you may skip this step otherwise please read on.
One of the advantages to creating a blog and owning it? There will be a lot of opportunities and ways for making money!. You’ll get endorsements from other brands if you get notice, so keep working on it!.
Focus on creating a blog that brings value to your readers first, and making money will be easier later on. There are many ways on how to monetize your blog. I’ll give you some examples below:
Sell Products or Services
- Travel guide
- Consultancy services
- Online Store
- Premium content for members
- If I own a travel agency, I could also sell plane tickets, hotel accommodation and travel packages
- Sell Adspace
- Write advertorials
Sell third party products and services in exchange for sales commission
- Amazon Associates
- ClickBanc and others
Ad Network Membership
Join an advertising network and let them find the advertisers for you like Google Adsense.
I tried my best to be as detailed as I could. Hope that this helps you learn how to start your own blog and website successfully.
Next time, I will share to you how to boost your blog or website performance.
P.S. Please feel free to message me if you have any questions. I would love to hear from you. I am also in the business of creating blogs and websites for businesses and personal use, if creating your own website for your business or personal needs will cost too much time on you I would be glad to work with you. You can visit some of my projects posted this website: www.dhennmarkespiritu.com/services
How about you?
- If you’re a newbie, did you find this post helpful? What are the other things you need to know?
- If you’re an experienced blogger and reading this post, do you have any other ideas to contribute? I would love to hear them!
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