Do you have a hobby that you absolutely love or something that you are really good at it and want to start blogging about it but don’t know where to start? No worries – we are here to help! We were there once too. Just a little over a year ago, we decided to start yourcoolcityblog.com to go with our website, yourcoolcity.com, a directory website about fun things to do in Houston. We actually were still in the design phase of building yourcoolcity.com when we started blogging.
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Click here to start a blog using WordPress and then follow the guide below for easy directions.
You Can Make Money From Your Blog
Blogging is a primary source of income for many bloggers and you can make a substantial living by blogging or having a website through affiliate income and selling advertisements once you start to get a good amount of traffic and followers. You also must have a host for your blog, or somewhere to “park” your website. Hosting is like paying rent for your website on the internet. We do not recommend starting your blogging journey on any of the free blogging platforms, such as blogger or blogspot. You will not be able to use these platforms to monetize your blog like you would on a paid self-hosted blog. Some of those platforms strictly disallow ever being able to advertise on your blog and paid self-hosted blogs look more professional.
If you are looking for cheap hosting through a really good provider, we recommend Bluehost and prices start at just $3.49 per month using our referral link.
Getting hosting through our link also comes with these features:
- You get a FREE blog domain name.
- WordPress through Bluehost is FREE.
- 24/7 customer support
- FREE Website Building
- 30-Day Money Back Guarantee
Step 1. Pick Your Domain Name
What do you want your blog to be called? A domain name is just a fancy term for the URL of your blog and should also closely resemble the name of your blog. Basically, you want your domain name to be as close to the name of your blog as possible. We changed our blog name and had to go through the process of transferring our sites to a new domain, which really provided some setbacks for us. The name of your blog is super important and I would give it some serious thought.
If you know what you want your blog to be called, head over to Bluehost where you can run a search and see if the domain name you want is available. Remember that if your desired domain name is already taken, you can use dashes (-) , underscores (_) and other special characters to achieve matching your domain to one that you prefer. (Example: you wanted www.mysweetcakes.com and it is unavailable. You can try www.my-sweet-cakes.com or something similar. Remember you can also choose to have a .net or choose from several other options.)
Simply start by clicking the “get started now” button.
Choose a package. We recommend the starter package. It has everything to you need for a standard website. You have to sign up for 36-months at the $3.49 price or get 12 months for $5.95 per month, paid in full upfront. I would recommend the 12 month package if you are brand new to blogging and want to try it out.
Pick an available Domain (Website) Name. You want to make this catchy and should include the keywords of what your website is about or as close as possible.
Once you find an available domain name, you will enter your billing information and package information. I would suggest at a minimum the domain privacy protection in addition to the hosting fee.
Step 2. Install WordPress
After you’ve purchased your hosting and domain name, you can start setting up your website. Once you’ve logged into Bluehost click on “Install WordPress”.
Click on “install”.
You will see a screen with your domain name. Click “check domain”.
Read and accept the terms and conditions. Select “install now”.
You will see the install taking place. When it is done click on “view credentials” at the top of the page.
You will need to use the below information to login to your WordPress site using the admin url, so make sure you write this information down or print it off.
Step 3. Spruce it up!
You’ve done it! You now officially have a blog but you will need a theme to spruce it up. (A theme is just the look, layout and overall functionality you want for your website. It’s similar to picking out a home. You choose the ‘style’ of the home you want, the layout etc…you buy the home and now you just personalize it.) You can search the web for a WordPress compatible theme to design your website. There are a lot of free ones and there are also some very affordable ones that you can buy at very reasonable prices.
We use the Genesis Framework. and we highly recommend it to you. Once you download the Genesis Framework, there are many child themes that you can use to customize it. In order for the child themes to work, you have to buy the Genesis Framework from Studio Press. If you are looking at the child themes, the cost of the child theme includes the cost of the Genesis Framework as well if you haven’t bought it yet.
When looking at blog themes, make sure you thoroughly review demos and make sure they are very similar to what you want your blog to look like. Most themes are customizable but for the most part the general layout cannot be changed without special customization. You can also find a multitude of Plug-ins and Widgets to add to your blog for more features and design. (Plug-ins are just extras you add to the website to help spruce it up…such as social media icons…Search Engine Optimization tools…and other tools you may find useful. It’s similar to downloading apps on your phone.)
It will take some time to familiarize yourself with WordPress and how to use it. You will need to download some widgets and start giving your blog some personality – just remember to focus on quality!